Template talk:Comparison of major staple foods

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Creation of this template[edit]

This template was created as a result of a short discussion in the Rice article. The following discussion was copied from Talk:Rice#Comparison of rice to other major staple foods

Comparison of rice to other major staple foods[edit]

This table includes a wheat column, but the data appears to be for wheat germ. This same table has been copied into several articles (see my contribs for some others I tagged). I suggest that all the data be verified and then make the table into a separate page which can be transcluded into this and the other articles. Sparkie82 (tc) 00:16, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Good idea. Wheat germ should be replaced with wheat. Include major staples from all continents, at least the top 10 staples of the world. Go ahead. Cheers, ApostleVonColorado (talk) 00:29, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for reworking the table. I made it into a template and transcluded it into all the staple food articles. Sparkie82 (tc) 07:21, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
The source shows 'wheat flour, white, all-purpose, bleached, enriched' as having ~2.7 g/100g of fibre (why do they use 1 cup as the standard measurement...). I would think that that would be pre-existing fibre and there's no entry for un-enriched, anyway. Whatever the value is, I doubt it's zero. I hope no-one minds if I change it.Axentoke (talk) 03:45, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
The table lists data for wheat, durum, not 'wheat flour, white, all-purpose, bleached, enriched'. The data for wheat durum is here. USDA does not provide any fiber data for wheat durum.
But, your good faith edit has a good point. Wheat does have fiber. Which wheat flour should we use? I suggest we consider wheat flour, whole grain because that is closest to wheat, durum (unprocessed / unbleached / not enriched), and because wheat durum is the closest comparison to all other staples - which are also whole grain, raw form. The data for wheat flour, whole grain is here. The fiber content should be revised to 10.7 grams per 100 grams from 2.7 grams per 100 gram. ApostleVonColorado (talk) 04:33, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree with using wheat flour, whole grain. Durum is a separate species of wheat and is a small fraction of total wheat production, so I think using statistics for common wheat would be more representative of the staple as a whole. I'm pretty new to editing data, so I'll leave the decision up to you. Axentoke (talk) 09:54, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
I will revise it to 10.7. The challenge in this table is to compare all ten staple foods on as similar a basis as we can. As it turns out, finding common basis is difficult; some staple foods have flour data, some bleached and processed, some cooked, some not. The raw whole forms were the closest common basis available in January 2012. If now or in future, other more relevant common basis and verifiable data in reliable sources are published for all ten staple foods, the data in this table should perhaps be completely modified. Meanwhile, if you find any other data that is off, please revise. ApostleVonColorado (talk) 17:02, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Major staple foods[edit]

I am reverting because the world produced only 71,400 tonnes of quinoa in 2010 - making it a minor staple. Many other crops are more important staples, given the volumes produced and consumed worldwide. For example, the world produces and eats 10 to 100 times more barley, millets, asparagus, raisins, beets, buckwheat, chickpeas, coconuts, kolanuts, beans etc than quinoa.

See for a full list of foods by production and other data: http://faostat.fao.org/site/567/DesktopDefault.aspx?PageID=567#ancor

The wiki contributor is welcome to present his or her reasons why quinoa (or something else) must take precedence over other major food staples of our world.

The wiki contributor is also encouraged to consider a new article, perhaps, of emerging staples where data on quinoa and other foods could be included. However, without persuasive arguments, quinoa does not rank in importance to be included in a table of major food staples.

ApostleVonColorado (talk) 01:46, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Notes and References[edit]

I moved most of the reference tags into notes as a way to differentiate between actual references in the article and the minor notes from the chart. I don't have time to update all of the pages with a note bar, but if anyone can please just follow the model from the Soybean article, that would be great. Regards.--MarshalN20 | Talk 07:11, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I like the idea of differentiating references and notes. I also like the notes under the table. However, the notes with reflist look cumbersome and confusing now. There are two Notes section in the article, the table is stretched out, see wiki MOS on where Notes should be. A compact version with just one Notes section at the bottom would be more useful to wiki readers, provide a better presentation, particularly in countries and schools where smaller screens are more common. I urge that we use the style and code similar to table and notes in Example table with footnotes.; this is also recommended in Table footnotes guidelines, see Template:Note label. ApostleVonColorado (talk) 12:52, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Your improvements are much better. I really don't have much experience using Wikitables, but today I have learned something new. Thank you very much Apostle.--MarshalN20 | Talk 15:17, 17 February 2012 (UTC)


Axentoke - If you can figure out a way to preserve current color coding in row #2, while coloring others - I would welcome that. Last edit removed colors from row #2, making the tables less reader friendly (see Wheat and Staple food for example). You may wish to play with this in wiki or your sandbox. ApostleVonColorado (talk) 04:43, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

I edited this page's sandbox. Is it suitable? Axentoke (talk) 10:04, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
I tried moving the sandbox version to the template. The yellow color is working after your sandbox edit; but the orange highlight under Wheat in the transcluded table no longer works (it doesn't work for cassava, potato, yam, etc. as well). To a wiki reader studying the wheat page, being able to quickly locate the wheat data amongst 10 staple foods is important; the orange highlight enables this. ApostleVonColorado (talk) 16:48, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Data Justification[edit]

This is a great table, just wondering if there is support for changing the justification for the data to right justification (align right) for the data? I even believe it is possible to achieve decimal point alignment, per: Help:Table#Decimal_point_alignment. I realize that this would be tedious to implement, but it could be done working from the top down and maybe with two or three people taking turns. Of course, since this template is transcluded on numerous other pages, the benefits would be amplified. Comments?
Enquire (talk) 17:48, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Inconsistent data[edit]

I just put the figures from this table into a spreadsheet and summed them up and found problems with the data. Going by conventional nutritional analysis as seen on food labels, if you add up the protein, carbohydrate, fat, fibre and water you should get 100g (actually v.slightly less as there are also the micronutrients but these are typically only milligrams so can usually be ignored). But in this table every single food adds up to more than 100g (in the case of wheat it is 108.87g!) (BTW the reason you should get 100g is that anything which is not protein, carb, fat, a micronutrient, or water is by convention classed as fibre).

In the above sums I excluded sugar since normally carbohydrate = starch + sugar, but here is another issue - no starch is listed! And if we assume "carb" means "starch", we go even more over 100% when we add the sugar.

Similarly fat usually divides into monounsat/polyunsat/sat but in the table these three only add up to 60-90% of the stated fat, so what's the rest? Trans-fats maybe? (But I think they only occur in processed food) Samatarou (talk) 02:12, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Ah, I've realised what the issue is - it seems in the USA fibre is included in the carbohydrate figure, if I take that out the figures pretty much add up. In the UK fibre is not considered a carbohydrate as it's just the indigestible part of the food. I think the headings need clarifying so it is evident what is a subcategory of what since as it stands it is confusing for UK readers. At the least I think "carbohydate" needs to say "carbohydrate (including fibre)". What I would propose is showing carbohydates broken down into three subcategories (starch, sugars, fibre) using indented labels or some other formatting that shows that they are subcategories. Then the data will be understandable to both US & UK readers. The starch figures can be calculated by subtracting fibre and sugar from the carb figure. The line would be | Starch || 13.08 || 78.58 || 60.3 || 14.02 || 34.5 || 6.8 || 12.82 || 68.7 || 23.4 || 14.7
Since this table is included in several articles I'm not going to make any changes right now to see if anyone has opinions on this. Samatarou (talk) 04:31, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Fresh/dry comparisons[edit]

I don't think the current table is particularly useful to readers as it compares dry cereals with fresh roots and tubers. I think we should either compare everything on a dry weight basis, or compare them on an edible fresh basis (nobody eats dry cereals). Our current table makes potatoes appear relatively un-nutritous because of this, whereas this isn't really the case. This source has a table making a better comparison, and if other people agree that the current table isn't great, I'm sure we can find some better sources, or convert the ones in the current table, which WP:CALC permits. (Incidentally, the reference for the table is a dead link). SmartSE (talk) 13:51, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Do the math and add a note about how these figures are adjusted as per 100g of dry material. I agree that without making an appropriate water weight adjustment, any subsequent comparison of nutrient density etc. is kind of worthless. Archive.org has a saved copy of the reference (https://web.archive.org/web/20130401213457/http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/SR18/sr18.html) but you may want to find a better source.-Ich (talk) 14:34, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
I think it would make even more sense to talk about the nutritional value in terms of nutrients per calorie, since people have the same calorie needs whatever food they eat. I discussed this issue on the talk page of the Staple food article. Alázhlis (talk) 03:16, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Corn Energy wrong[edit]

The Energy (kJ) amount for corn is wrong. Obviously, the number for rice was mistakenly copied into the corn column. From the source given (http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/6364?fg=&man=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=&qlookup=corn), the value for yellow corn should be 365kJ instead of 1528kJ. I don't know how to change a template, so I'll leave it to someone more knowledgeable. A quick check showed the other numbers for corn are mostly correct. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Duane-light (talkcontribs) 13:33, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

It's not wrong; the USDA page lists energy in kilocalories while the table is in kilojoules. -- (talk) 12:06, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Brown rice[edit]

I added brown rice since its nutritional profile differs significantly from white rice. The USDA page for it lacks several micronutrients though, so I left a couple of the cells empty. If someone has the data for them, please fill them in. -- (talk) 12:04, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Protein / (Carbs + Fat + Protein) row added[edit]

I added above row but some one removed it. Can know I know why ? The reason I added the row is that it takes the water of equation thus easier to compare wet and dry produce. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vwalvekar (talkcontribs) 12:19, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

User:Smartse removed it, with the message 'What's the source for this? looks like OR to me' (OR stands for Original research) -- (talk) 12:51, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping 88.113. @Vwalvekar: As I mentioned above I agree that it is a good idea to compare the nutritional content on a dry weight basis, but unless I am mistaken this ratio isn't used elsewhere. It would be better to base all the figures on 100g of DW and then give the average moisture content as well. SmartSE (talk) 12:58, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

Dried soybeans[edit]

I don't find the recent addition of dried soybeans to be worth anything in the table. It seems self-evident that if you remove 60 grams of water from something that is 70 % water, you're going to get something nutritionally much denser. Three times denser, in fact, and the numbers match that. Are we going to add dried variants of all the other foods as well?

I'm likely going to remove them addition in the next couple of days. -- (talk) 12:43, 20 July 2015 (UTC)