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Friday, March 5, 2010

Fun Food Math, Part 5: Color

OK, some of these blogs on food math haven't been much fun. I admit when trying to get the numbers straight we often forget the word fun.

So let's see if we can fix that today. I can easily eat brown, brown, brown. Like a bowl of lentil and rice soup with pita bread and some dates (today's lunch). Or brown and beige for fish and chips.

But I prefer colorful food. (Is color fun?)

Take a look at the dishes in the tall picture and decide what math we could do with them:

1. Could you put the ingredients into categories (Meat, Fish, Vegetables) like the chart yesterday?  

2. Could you estimate the number of ingredients in each dish?  
  Maybe. I could do it because I cooked these dishes myself and can remember most of the ingredients.

3. Perhaps you might calculate the caloric energy in a serving for each menu item?  
  Wow - that would be very hard. But possible with the right data sources.

4. Could you determine the cost of the food in each of these pictures?  
  That would take a lot of facts. I guess I could estimate what they cost.

5. Could you count the colors in each of the food pictures?
  No that's impossible!

6. Could you figure out what season it was when we made each meal?  
  Wow - that would be very difficult, given the way food is flown around the world...

7. Could you calculate how many miles the ingredients traveled to get to my plates?
   Next to impossible, I'd think. However we tend to use fairly local foods when we can.

8. Could you calculate the relative amounts of vegetable versus meat/fish in each dish?
  Yes, that should be pretty easy. I see cheese, eggs, fish, scallops and pork in these dishes,
  plus mushrooms, vegetables, fruits, pasta and bread.

9. Can you calculate how much salt is in our diet from these photos?
  Not really, but you can see my favorite salt and pepper shaker which I've had for 35 years. If you never eat processed food, you won't get that much salt.

10. Maybe we could take a break, have lunch or dinner, and ponder the math implications of meals? Yes, sounds good. By the way, a handful of salad and grapefruit helped make my lunch more colorful.

(Yes, the same carrots and lettuce were in yesterday's picture too. But they have been eaten now.)

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