Guru Kate: Beer, Wine & Liquor…Not Nutritious??

Why are there no nutrition facts on beer, wine or hard liquor?

Drumroll, please … Alcohol is not nutritious! While this isn’t a big surprise, it is the main reason that alcoholic beverages aren’t covered under the law like most other foods. The logic is that alcohol is not a necessary part of the diet.

Okay, I guess that I could argue the same thing for Twinkies and Ho Hos, but regardless — the FDA just doesn’t have jurisdiction over alcohol and the nutrition facts label.

The tide has shown sides of turning, however, because there are so many darned calories in alcohol. A pint of Guinness Draught has 168 calories. Good old-fashioned red table wine has 125 calories in only 5 ounces (over twice as many per ounce as the Guinness). A shot of tequila will only run you 69 calories (even though you know that you won’t stop with just one). Once you get all fruity, a 12-ounce daiquiri has over 670 calories.

But you would never know that by just looking at any of those drinks. That’s what prompted a few activist groups over the past decade to start fighting the FDA on supplying “alcohol facts” on liquor.

So why hasn’t there been a change in the industry, you ask? A couple of main reasons jump out right away:

First, small wineries and microbreweries simply do not have the workforce to test each individual batch for calories and protein. The alcohol content on the bottle normally reflects a standard batch, but calories and protein can vary from batch-to-batch.

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Also, I don’t know many people who would be deterred from drinking a particular beverage by knowing the calorie count on their alcohol; alcohol-time is intended to be an enjoyable moment, and meticulously monitoring consumption makes for an easy buzz-kill.

Alas, none of this compares to how easy it would be to institute the “alcohol label” law for major distributors like Corona or PBR.

The data is already online for anyone who is curious enough to look it up. They have the manpower to print it on each bottle, six-pack, 12-pack, and case. It could have the potential to prevent hundreds of thousands of beer-bellies.

— Just something to think about for upcoming grad parties. Viva la knowledge!