More than a spoonful of sugar

Let’s go back two or three weeks. Maybe it was four, but surely no more than that. How long ago is of little consequence to the fascinating educational joyride you are about to embark.

I am on my way to lunch, and notice a display table in the employee cafeteria. A sign called to me: how many spoonfuls of sugar in the bottle of Sierra Mist Natural? Closest guess earns a copy of The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook. I’m a bit of a sucker for a good cookbook at no monetary expense to myself, so I’m game.

First things first. (1) What kind of spoon, and (2) how much fluid in the bottle? Teaspoons, and the label says 15.7 fl oz.

After getting lunch and finding a table, I whip out my trusty Windows Phone for a little Internet research and calculation.

How many grams of sugar per teaspoon? I find multiple answers, and see the more reliable sources agree with each other on 12.55g per tablespoon. Good enough. I will multiple my answer by 3 for teaspoons.

How many grams sugar in the bottle? I could have read the label, but didn’t think to do that. Multiple Internet sources agree on 25g per 8 fl oz of Sierra Mist Natural. A little math (15.7oz / 8oz * 25g) yields 49.0625g sugar in the bottle. I’ll round that number in my final answer.

Finishing up, I do the math on 49.0625g / 12.55g per Tbsp * 3 tsp per Tbsp. I stop by the table again, on my way out of the cafeteria, and record my entire answer: 11.73 tsp sugar in a 15.7 fl oz bottle of Sierra Mist Natural.

11.73 tsp is almost 4 Tbsp. For comparison, 4 Tbsp is 1/4 cup. That’s a lot of sugar in one beverage. Oh, the label says 8 fl oz is a serving. But how many people stop at 8? Not many.

Fast forward back to the present.

I received an email telling me I won the cookbook for having the closest guess. I have to smile, because I didn’t guess.


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