What You Eat

Friday, August 13, 2010

Marion Nestle, the Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and the author of What to Eat, estimates calorie counts based on crowd-sourced photos of meals, and discusses how our perception how healthy our food is matches reality.

Below, check out the variety of meal photos submitted by our listeners! (Note that we received LOTS of submissions, and will upload them asap. Thanks for your patience!)

Dinner: steak; spicy Quinoa salad; zucchini
Daniel, graduate student at Bard College
Lunch: polenta and black beans with fresh parsley and Romano cheese

“I am a grad student at Bard with a limited time to devote to food, or access to food. I am also a vegetarian. This is the best I can do.”

Tony Visconti, record producer and recording engineer
Dinner: three-egg omelet (4 ounces of broccoli, slice of American cheese, 1.5 ounces of butter); water
Brelyn Johnson

“Trying to be healthy.”

Yolande Rose
Lunch: spinach and mushroom omelet with Swiss cheese from IHOP

“I usually can’t eat the whole thing, but this time I had it right after a workout so it fit with no problem.”

Lunch: homemade gluten-free pizza with red pepper sauce, mozzarella cheese and ground beef; fruit salad
Rachel B. Selig, Princeton, NJ, sixth grade public school teacher
Lunch: 1/4 cup of Quinoa cooked in water and 1/4 cup of chili beans (mix of pinto, kidney, black); cup of grilled baby asparagus and tablespoon of garlic

“I am currently using an iPhone app called “Lose It” so I am certain this meal consists of less than 300 calories. It is remarkable to me how I feel full with so few calories! I am working towards a “real food” diet a la Michael Pollan…”

Rick Velleu, media producer
Breakfast: Stonyfield Farm low-fat vanilla yogurt with fruits, almonds and granola

“In the summer we eat locally-grown fruit from Columbia County farm stands as much as we can – heavenly! We both wash this down with two BIG cups of half-calf/half/decaf coffee with 1 percent milk.”

Jenelle Proudfoot
Lunch: Wendy’s bacon bit salad without dressing
Patrick McCandless, Astoria, Queens
Lunch: open-faced chicken salad sandwich; Udon noodle soup with Syrachia; seltzer
Ingo Fast
Brunch: red grapes, frozen organic raspberries or blueberries, organic banana, unsweetened Swiss Muesli, chopped raw walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, organic cold milled flax seeds, organic yogurt

“I eat this, in slight variations, every day when I’m at home, for more than 10 years. I never grow tired of it, and I barely need anything else the rest of the day.”

JoAnn Smith
Alex Cohen, Brooklyn
Lunch: corn, diced tomato, 2 ounces of steak, teaspoon of olive oil, teaspoon of cider vinegar, seasoned with cumin, tumeric, salt and pepper
Joan Robinson
Lunch: Quinoa, shell peas, red onion, basil, gorgonzola cheese

“I call it the Kitchen Sink Salad, every time it’s different.”

Kathina Anderson
Lunch: Chipotle vegetarian rice bowl, including rice, black beans, corn and a side of guacamole
Hal Miller
Lunch: Kugel; tuna fish; egg salad; Israeli salad; beet salad; whole wheat roll; watermelon and pineapple chunks; water

“I am a photo retoucher working for a Hasidic-run company, and I eat the free kosher lunch provided every day.”

Jackie Findra, recent college graduate
Lunch: cream of kale soup (hemp milk) sprinkled with grass-fed raw cow’s milk cheese; brown rice cake

“It’s quite tasty and easy to make in big batches.”

Bill Bartosik, Easton, CT, musician and private tutor
Breakfast: ¾ cup of plain nonfat yogurt, ½ cup of Kellogg’s Bran Buds, peach, ¼ cup of raspberries
Jennifer Nielsen Kahn, biochemist, Rutgers University
Lunch: dark bread with anchovy butter spread; tomato-basil salad; peaches
Lunch: salad with chicken, tomato, roasted peppers; bread
Lunch: Joe’s pizza; organic apple; golden plums
Michael Taylor, archaeology student, Columbia University
Lunch/Dinner: Jasmine rice with salmon, zucchini, carrots, fresh corn from the cob, babybella mushrooms, onion, garlic, sea salt and cracked pepper
Stephen Gorka
Breakfast: Wegman’s natural granola cereal with blueberries

“I used a mix of whole and 2 percent milk, because that’s what needed using up.”

Christina Schwerin, documentary film and television editor
Breakfast: plain non-fat yogurt with frozen blueberries and raspberries, Kashi Crunch cereal, ground flaxseeds and almonds
Mark Dorfman
Breakfast: rolled organic oats; wholegrain organic flakes; dried cranberries and raisins; ground organic flax seeds; Gary Null’s Red Stuff powder; rice milk
Sasa Mikavica, architect
Lunch: salad with parmesan cheese, croutons, corn, avocado, mushrooms, olive oil, salt and pepper
Rex Harris, computer technician
Lunch: jerk chicken and rice
Virginia, stay-at-home mother
Dinner: salmon marinaded in teriyaki sauce; asparagus roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper; jasmine rice
Megan, teacher, and Robbie, architect, Morristown, NJ
Dinner: chicken flautas filled with chicken, onion, garlic and feta cheese and topped with tomato salsa and feta; fried potato pancakes

“Robbie is actually trying to gain weight for our wedding next year!”

Carolita, cartoonist and illustrator
Lunch: duck pate (with pork and mushrooms) on a ¾ inch slice of toasted bread; white wine; cut radishes

“This is one of my favorite lunches. I don’t often have it, because I usually forget about the pate until it’s no good and to be thrown out, so I avoid buying it. But sometimes I indulge!”

Lunch: salmon rice ball; tuna-mayo rice ball; Pokka aloe vera peach juice
Gwen, pharmaceutical researcher
Dinner: ground turkey with tomato sauce and pasta; Chobani Greek yogurt, peach; Stop Shop Clear Splash cranberry-flavored water
Dinner: grilled chicken; mashed potatoes; broccoli; water with lemon
Susan, reference librarian
Dinner: homemade thin-crust pizza with asparagus, bacon and gruyere cheese

“I ate about half for dinner with a salad on the side.”

Dinner: red quinoa, sweet red pepper, onions, fresh and powdered garlic, seedless red grapes, fresh tarragon, toasted almonds, candy stripe fresh plum, salt and pepper
Christina, Brooklyn, recycling outreach coordinator
“It’s become one of our favorite meals – made it this time with produce fresh from the Greenmarket.”

Dinner: seitan marinated with fresh ginger, garlic, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar, first boiled then lightly stir-fried with bok choy and scallions, severed over barley tossed with spicy cilantro pest, corn and toasted pine nuts

Lunch: fried rice with mixed vegetables, okra and eggs
Lunch: lettuce, onions, apple, toasted walnuts, crumbled bleu cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
Polly, epidemiologist
Breakfast: cup of Cheerios with banana; coffee

"Every weekday morning for as long as I can remember."

Dinner: kidney beans in a spicy yogurt coriander sauce with tofu
Breakfast: 16 ounces of green juice (Swiss chard, dandelion greens, wheatgrass, cilantro, cucumber, celery, ginger, lemon)
Adam, Closter, NJ, research assistant in biochemistry lab
Breakfast: Tigers Milk bar; coffee
Breakfast: Cranberry bread with smart balance butter; turkey bacon without cooking oil; 2 percent plain Greek yogurt with blueberry Special K cereal and strawberries
Lunch: lentils with quinoa and cherry tomatoes
Breakfast? Lunch? Late-night snack?: over easy eggs atop day-old pepperoni pizza

“Share this, for it is delicious.”

Breakfast: Herring; grilled eggplant; tomato
Maryann, teacher
Dinner: barbecued chicken thighs, sautéed potatoes, arugula; radicchio and tomato salad
Breakfast: black coffee; scrambled eggs; salad with balsamic dressing; English muffin with jelly
Daniel, particle physicist
“This is a breakfast I had recently while working in Japan, therefore I don't eat it daily. It's so different from what I think of as breakfast, that I'm very curious as to its nutritional value.”

Breakfast: short-grain white rice; miso soup; pickled cucumber; pickled plum; pickled ginger; pickled pear; baked (fried? grilled?) fish (possibly salmon?); egg; reconstituted fish (perhaps cod?); seaweed; grated radish; tofu; and black tea.


Yukari, chef, and Shinji, a Japanese fishmonger
Lunch? Dinner?: Rice topped with salmon roe (ikura), seared katsuo (bonito fish), crab meat, and pickled daikon radish and carrots

“Over half of what we eat is Japanese food. Lots of vegetables, both from sea and land. Small amounts of protein, fish or meat. We try to include five colors in each meal, black, white, green, yellow, and red (or orange). This guarantees a variety of nutrients and minerals, as well as satisfies the palate.”

Yukari, chef, and Shinji, a Japanese fishmonger.

Lunch: Japanese bento lunch of grilled miso marinated salmon over rice; bean sprouts with a black sesame dressing; steamed broccoli; stir-fried burdock root (gobo) and carrots; pickled cucumbers with sea vegetable (wakame).


Marion Nestle

Comments [14]

carolita from nyc

I use quinoa in everything. It's better than bulgour for tabouli (more nutritious), and works well with tajines. When I had to live in a garret and cook everything in one pot and one bunsen burner, I would sauté a bit of olive oil, garlic and quinoa (sometimes a few shrimps or a bit of ground beef), add twice as much water as quinoa, let it boil, then add vegetables and turn down the heat. While the veggies were cooking, I'd add curry powder, ginger, cumin. By the time the quinoa was ready, the veggies (and whatever else I threw in) were steamed. I'd add chopped up parsley at the last moments, then serve, and sprinkle with cayenne pepper and sesame seeds. Delicious, good for you, and very pretty if you put things like corn, beets, broccoli... You can even add a small red potato (cut up) to make it a little more substantial.
Variations on this dish sustained me through university. Cheap, healthy, beautiful.

Aug. 17 2010 07:03 PM
ileen from nyc

Where's my photo? I submitted it Thursday around 6pm - did I miss the deadline?

Aug. 13 2010 12:47 PM
Tom Killian from Upper West Side

The main distinction between the various meals was the "dinner ware": plastic vs china. This may reflect the source of the meal, self-cooked or bought prepared. Surely these distinctions are of primary importance.

Aug. 13 2010 12:29 PM
Dara from upper west side

Brian asked the guest about why Quinoa is so popular now. She didn't mention a main reason is that it is very high in protein. I'm not going to fact check this, but I'm quite sure that it the grain with the most protein.

Aug. 13 2010 12:07 PM
Duvie from SoHo

#16 - who says there's no such thing as a free lunch?

Aug. 13 2010 11:56 AM
jaz from jackson heights, queens!

more like the supergrain of the past! my understanding is that indigenous andean cultures venerated the grain (pseduograin?). not to lock said cultures in the past, but i'm sayin, it aint new.

Aug. 13 2010 11:45 AM
Diane from Riverdale

Love, love the Guggenheim Museum coffee cup.

Aug. 13 2010 11:45 AM
Susan from brooklyn

Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa's amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus,

Aug. 13 2010 11:44 AM
Jess from White Plains

Quinoa is popular in my community (Jewish, Modern Orthodox) it is a grain-like food that isn't actually considered a grain...and thus popular to eat during Passover, when normal grains are not permitted. Although I have to admit I've never understood it: it really is nothing like a proper grain, and I can't stand it! It's not like it's actually a substitute for grape nuts.

Aug. 13 2010 11:43 AM
jaz from jackson heights, queens!

on sale? nope, quinoa's just hip.

Aug. 13 2010 11:40 AM
Bee from somerville, nj

I believe that is hollodaise sauce on yolandos garden omlette

Aug. 13 2010 11:38 AM
clem from hastiings on hudson

For gorgeous pictures of take away, try

Thanks for the great show!

Aug. 13 2010 11:35 AM
Liam from East Elmhurst

What's quinoa?
Poor guy who eats McDonalds from Queens.

Aug. 13 2010 11:34 AM
Katrina from North Plainfield NJ

Was quinoa on sale this week or something?

Aug. 13 2010 11:04 AM

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