Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the food ___ missing?

We focused on the most popular foods in the United States that typically don’t have nutrition labels, like fruits, vegetables, and meats. For comparison, we’ve also included some popular snack foods. If you’d like a specific food included, please contact us to suggest a food.

Why 100 calories?

100 is easy to add up, whether you’re trying to hit 1200 calories per day or 2400. One hundred calories also shows the best range of sizes from one pat of butter to two plates of bok choy.

What size plate are you using?

We use custom-printed plates that are 10 1/2 inches / 26.670 mm in diameter. This is the standard dinner plate size in the United States. To better understand a food’s actual size, the left side of our plates has a grid of inches and the right side has a grid of centimeters.

What size drinking glass are you using?

We use standard pint glasses from Libby, model 1639HT. The glasses measure 88 mm diameter on top, 60 mm diameter on bottom, 148 mm in overall height.

How did you make mounds of food? What is a portion scoop?

We use portion scoops or “dishers” that you can buy at restaurant supply stores. They come in a variety of sizes and are great for measuring consistent portion sizes. When a disher is used for a photo, we indicate the standardized color and size in the description. The size is the number of approximate servings per quart. Our dishers are made by Vollrath.

What do the different color backgrounds mean?

The different backgrounds don't mean anything other than variety is the spice of life!

Why is all the food raw?

Different levels of doneness and different cooking techniques can greatly affect a food’s weight. We primarily use raw foods to accommodate the most cases.

Do you include the peels, pits, or seeds in the portion weight?

All the inedible portions of foods are not counted in the weights. For example, bananas are shown with the peel, but the peel’s weight is not counted in the portion. Our goal is to represent foods in the way that makes sense to how you think about it. We calculate gross weights by comparing food weights with and without inedible portions.

Why is some nutrition information missing?

A small fraction of the foods are missing one or more nutrient values. We use data straight from the USDA (, the leading source of nutritional information. When given an option, we chose the version of a food that has the most complete data. Some foods, however, just don’t include specific nutrients, often the less popular ones. We will update the data as the USDA updates their information.

Why don’t the photographs match the USDA food portion descriptions?

For greatest accuracy, we always use our sample food’s weight when creating our photographs. Because foods come in different shapes, sizes, and conditions, sometimes this doesn’t exactly match the standardized portions provided by the USDA.

Is that really the portion size?

We do our best to accurately portion foods to the gram. Many examples were surprising even to us! If something looks off or if you have a suggestion to better represent a particular food, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Last update: 2020-11-30