CATEGORY: Food & Nutrition
March 19, 2014– 5

Last week the weather here was pretty bizarre. Overnight, it went from 66°F and outdoor soccer matches to 28°F and a blanket of snow and ice. You know what else is pretty bizarre? Some of the things people can—and do—ask Wolfram|Alpha. So in case, like us, you’re stuck inside for a few more weeks of winter and in need of inspiration, read on for a few examples of some of the more… unique types of queries that you, too, can ask Wolfram|Alpha. More »

November 25, 2013– 1

The holiday season is upon us again, and that means one thing: more turkey, please. Last year we introduced a tool for calculating how long you should cook a turkey. This year we’ve expanded our selection of useful tools to help you plan your turkey-related needs for the holidays. More »

October 11, 2013– 3

Did you know that October 11 is World Egg Day?

Like most people, you probably go to the grocery store and eventually end up in the dairy aisle, where, unless you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you probably pick out a dozen eggs and place them into your cart without a second thought. They’re pretty much a staple food—from savory breakfasts to the sweet wonders of baking. More »

February 6, 2012– 9

Remember that New Year’s resolution you made to lose weight this year? If you’re one of the many people around the world who pledged to get healthy and finally lose that weight, Wolfram|Alpha is here to help! Even with January behind us, there is still plenty of time to get back on track in 2012.

Studies throughout the decades have shown that regular diet and exercise is the number-one way to get healthy. Wolfram|Alpha can offer you a variety of different ways to start, track, and maintain your new healthy lifestyle.

Query how to lose weight, and Wolfram|Alpha will bring up a formula where you can enter all the information needed, including your intended physical activity level, to figure out how many calories you should be eating every day in order to reach your target body weight:

How to lose weight More »

December 5, 2011– 3

In his classic sci-fi television series Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry dreamt of a computer that could help its user with pretty much anything. Ask it a question; it has an answer. Need some Earl Grey tea? It can materialize it for you. Need to create a self-aware, artificially intelligent program based on a Sherlock Holmes character in order to defeat Data? Easy. While we can’t materialize anything for you or create a self-aware, artificially intelligent program, we are on track to make all the world’s knowledge computable, with the hopes of someday answering all of your factual questions. In some cases, we are doing a bit better than the Star Trek computer:

More »

October 28, 2011– 1

With Halloween around the corner, everyone’s thinking about costumes, trick-or-treating, and jack-o’-lantern carving and figuring out what to do with a 1,818 pound pumpkin. While the latter might only be true for the owners of this year’s largest pumpkin, Wolfram|Alpha has something for everyone this Halloween. The nearly one-ton squash belongs to a farmer from Quebec, Canada. Besides carving it into a giant jack-o’-lantern, the next best thing to do with that much pumpkin is make enough pumpkin pie for a small town. A common recipe for a pumpkin pie calls for two cups of pumpkin. Using Wolfram|Alpha, we find that 1,818 pounds of pumpkin will allow us to make 3,550 pumpkin pies.

Hopefully you are in a giving mood, so you can cut each pie into eight slices to come up with just enough to share with the entire town of Allen Park, Michigan. With 28,210 people in Allen Park and 28,400 slices of pie, you’re still left with 190 slices to put in the freezer for later. More »

October 18, 2011– 3

We’ve blogged before about international food consumption data in Wolfram|Alpha, and queries about this data have proved to be a favorite among our users, with good reason: it’s fascinating to explore the world’s food supply and to visualize trends in consumption. In an attempt to fill in a more complete picture of global agricultural trends, we’ve added more data from the FAO—this time covering food production, harvest, and crop yields around the world. More »

January 19, 2011– 9

As kids start to return to classes after the holidays, we’re happy to announce that Wolfram|Alpha has the ability to compute some interesting information about their school districts. You can now use Wolfram|Alpha to analyze and compare data on student-teacher ratios, expenditures, revenues, and salaries in more than 18,000 public school districts in the United States.

Let’s start with an example on the West Coast: Seattle Public Schools is one of the larger districts in the country, with over 100 schools and more than 45,000 students. The student-teacher ratio is 18:1, and if you scroll down you’ll see that total expenditures are about $14,000 per student per year.

Seattle Public Schools

Click the image to see the full results

More »

January 6, 2011– 4

Consider packing circles inside a circular container, or less abstractly, placing cookie dough on a cookie sheet. In the case of cookies, which expand to be a roughly circular shape, you don’t want them so close that they run into each other. At the same time, you don’t want them too far apart, because that would mean fewer cookies.

One of the latest features of Wolfram|Alpha is the ability to get information about packing circles into circles.

For instance, suppose you have a circular baking sheet with a diameter of 12 inches, and you want to make 20 cookies. You can ask Wolfram|Alpha “pack 20 circles in a diameter 12 inch circle”; not only does it give you a diagram of the densest packing, but also the largest radius of the circular cookies on the 12-inch baking sheet.

Pack 20 circles in a diameter 12 inch circle

Or you might know the size of the cookies and want to know how many can fit? One way to get the answer would be “pack r=1 circles in a diameter 12 circle”.
More »

December 29, 2010– 11

As we bid adieu to 2010, we want say thank you to all of our loyal blog readers and commenters. Today we’re taking a look back at some of 2010′s most popular Wolfram|Alpha Blog posts. 2010 was a year full of product releases, such as Wolfram|Alpha Widgets and new data for everything from movies to taxes.

These selections are only highlights of the topics we’ve covered in 2010. If you’re feeling really nostalgic, or if you’re new to the Wolfram|Alpha Blog, we invite you to read more in the archives.


Just in time to tackle a common New Year’s resolution, we released “New Physical Activity Data in Wolfram|Alpha”.


After reading “Computing Valentine’s Day with Wolfram|Alpha”, there was little doubt that we speak math, the universal language of love.


Ever wonder which country consumes the most coffee or sugar? In March, we introduced new data that answers these questions in the post “Food for Thought: Consumption Patterns from Around the World”.


In April we were excited to finally be able to share “Stephen Wolfram’s TED Talk: Computation Is Destined to Be the Defining Idea of Our Future”. The inspirational video quickly became a web favorite.


Where did the time go? In May we celebrated Wolfram|Alpha’s first birthday with the post “Wolfram|Alpha: The First Year”.


Just in time for family reunion season, we published “My Cousin’s Cousin’s Niece’s Grandfather Said to Just Ask Wolfram|Alpha”, to help you identify all of those branches on the family tree.


In July we shared “Ask Wolfram|Alpha about Medical Drug Treatments” to introduce a new functionality in Wolfram|Alpha that allows you to compare how your medical conditions and treatment plans compare to those of other patients.


Kids say the darnedest things. In the post “10 Fun Questions Kids Can Answer with Wolfram|Alpha”, we took a look at how Wolfram|Alpha can help you and your little one answer common curiosities. More »

November 22, 2010– 1

This Thursday, we’ll celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States. The first U.S. National Thanksgiving was celebrated on November 26, 1789. The holiday was originally established to show gratitude for a plentiful harvest and to give thanks for relationships with family and friends. A customary U.S. Thanksgiving celebration is centered on sharing a great feast that includes turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and more with loved ones. (Of course, in recent years, we’ve also tossed in football and holiday shopping.)

A cornucopia is a traditional centerpiece that symbolizes abundance and is often found on a Thanksgiving meal table. Wolfram|Alpha is a cornucopia of sorts—a horn filled with many trillions of pieces of data that produce an abundance of facts. In the spirit of the holiday, we though we’d share some fun Thanksgiving-themed facts we discovered from Wolfram|Alpha.


Fact: A typical turkey bats its wings 3 times per second.

Fact: If you’re in Champaign, Illinois, set your alarm to 6:51am on Thanksgiving Day if you’re planning to rise with the sun to start cooking your holiday bird. Click here for sunrise information for your location.

Fact: The chill point of cranberries is 2 degrees Celsius.

Fact: There are 5.8 grams of fiber in one serving of cornbread stuffing.

Fact: The first known English use of the word “cornucopia” was in 1508.

Fact: Need to burn off holiday calories? Six hours of Black Friday shopping will burn 1050 calories, or you can knock off 457 calories by staying in and watching football.

Dig into Wolfram|Alpha to find interesting facts of your own. (You might need them in the near future—hint, hint.) Here at Wolfram|Alpha, we’re thankful for all of our dedicated blog readers and Wolfram|Alpha users.

October 26, 2010– 3

Halloween week is full of spooky tricks and tasty treats. And between the office parties and the loads of edible loot reaped by the little ghosts and goblins, monitoring consumption of all those treats can be both tricky and scary!

But have no fear, we built this handy Wolfram|Alpha Widget that lets you check out nutrition information for common Halloween candies. We’ve pre-selected treats such as Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Twizzlers, Butterfingers, and others from Wolfram|Alpha’s large nutrition database.

Simply select your treat from the drop-down menu and enter the number of servings you plan to enjoy. Wolfram|Alpha will then compute a custom nutrition label providing details on calories, fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates, protein, and nutrients.

Keep this widget handy throughout the week by embedding it on your blog or website. To explore more nutrition-related widgets, visit the Widget Gallery or build your own widget to explore your favorite candies (or food selections more rich in nutrients).

What’s your favorite Halloween treat?

October 14, 2010– 4

Have you ever wanted a simple way to explain Wolfram|Alpha to your friends? Now you can by sharing our new video, “Wolfram|Alpha in a Nutshell”.

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Sure, it’s pretty cool that Wolfram|Alpha is the world’s first computational knowledge engine, containing trillions of pieces of data in more than 1,000 domains. (Wow, that’s a mouthful!) But what’s really important to you is how it can provide you with exact answers for questions in topic areas ranging from astronomy and food and nutrition to math, socioeconomics, and so on.

If you’d like to explore more about the world of Wolfram|Alpha, check out our new About page, which contains community resources, products, downloads, and more.

Go ahead, share “Wolfram|Alpha in a Nutshell” with your friends!

September 24, 2010– 4

We recently hosted the inaugural Wolfram Data Summit 2010 in Washington, DC. The summit brought together key people responsible for the world’s great data repositories to exchange ideas, learn from each others’ experiences, and develop innovative data management strategies for the future.

The summit officially opened with a keynote address from Stephen Wolfram, Wolfram Research CEO and creator of Wolfram|Alpha. In his talk, Stephen discussed the complex nature of gathering systematic knowledge and data, explained how Mathematica helps with the challenges of making all data computable, and hinted at some new technologies you can expect from us in the near future. You can read more in the transcript of Stephen’s talk below.
More »

July 23, 2010– 6

Runners and cyclists can now get personalized physical activity and fitness results from Wolfram|Alpha. Our team has added enhanced activity formulas to provide specific results that account for the individual differences among all types of runners and cyclists. Whether preparing for a race or monitoring regular routines, athletes and enthusiasts alike can now calculate actual performance results and compute performance predictions and the impact of exercise on personal physical fitness.

You can calculate your own results in Wolfram|Alpha by using a natural language input such as “cycling 72.13 miles for 240 minutes” or you can type in “cycling” to explore all of the formula’s options. For example, a cyclist who is preparing for, or who has just completed, a race can calculate a variety of user-specific metabolic properties, like the amount of fat and the number of calories burned, by taking into account factors such as age, gender, height, weight, incline, resting heart rate, and wind speed and direction. Below are sample results from Wolfram|Alpha when calculating the speed a 25-year-old male cyclist needs to maintain to complete a race in 240 minutes:

Calculating the speed a 25-year-old male cyclist needs to maintain to complete a race in 240 minutes

To complement the results of Wolfram|Alpha’s calculations, cyclists can compare their speed or pace with world record times by clicking the “Show comparisons” link.

Runners can input similar information and calculate calories and fat burned; oxygen consumed; heart rate; equivalent activities; conversions for speed, pace, distance, and time; and performance predictions. For this example, we convinced a member of our team to share his post-race results from the 2009 Chicago Marathon: More »

July 9, 2010– 7

This Sunday, July 11, is World Population Day—an event established in 1989 by the United Nations to raise awareness of global population issues. This year, the emphasis is on the 2010 World Population and Housing Census Programme and the importance of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data in a way that supports good health and social policy development.

In the past few months, we’ve added a variety of international data sets to Wolfram|Alpha, such as data on food consumption and worldwide health indicators. But Wolfram|Alpha launched with an enormous collection of global socioeconomic data, much of it from the UN and other authoritative repositories of international statistics, and we’ve continued to expand and curate that collection.

As we’ve said before, we’re committed to “democratizing data”—to making it easier for everyone to access and understand the wealth of important data produced by a multitude of sources. For good examples of our own ability to analyze and disseminate relevant socioeconomic data, try some of the following queries pertaining to topics from past and present World Population Days:

We’ll soon be introducing some new functionality that will give “power users” the ability to do more advanced analysis and comparison of properties between groups of countries, and in other knowledge domains. And as always, if you’d like to see additional data in Wolfram|Alpha, please send us your suggestions.

PS: If you’re interested in the absolute latest information on world population, try asking Wolfram|Alpha for the current world population. Reload that page in your browser a few times and see how fast that number is going up!

June 23, 2010– 9

Today (June 23, 2010) would have been Alan Turing‘s 98th birthday—if he had not died in 1954, at the age of 41.

I never met Alan Turing; he died five years before I was born. But somehow I feel I know him well—not least because many of my own intellectual interests have had an almost eerie parallel with his.

And by a strange coincidence, Mathematica‘s “birthday” (June 23, 1988) is aligned with Turing’s—so that today is also the celebration of Mathematica‘s 22nd birthday.

I think I first heard about Alan Turing when I was about eleven years old, right around the time I saw my first computer. Through a friend of my parents, I had gotten to know a rather eccentric old classics professor, who, knowing my interest in science, mentioned to me this “bright young chap named Turing” whom he had known during the Second World War.

One of the classics professor’s eccentricities was that whenever the word “ultra” came up in a Latin text, he would repeat it over and over again, and make comments about remembering it. At the time, I didn’t think much of it—though I did remember it. Only years later did I realize that “Ultra” was the codename for the British cryptanalysis effort at Bletchley Park during the war. In a very British way, the classics professor wanted to tell me something about it, without breaking any secrets. And presumably it was at Bletchley Park that he had met Alan Turing.

A few years later, I heard scattered mentions of Alan Turing in various British academic circles. I heard that he had done mysterious but important work in breaking German codes during the war. And I heard it claimed that after the war, he had been killed by British Intelligence. At the time, at least some of the British wartime cryptography effort was still secret, including Turing’s role in it. I wondered why. So I asked around, and started hearing that perhaps Turing had invented codes that were still being used.

I’m not sure where I next encountered Alan Turing. Probably it was when I decided to learn all I could about computer science—and saw all sorts of mentions of “Turing machines”. But I have a distinct memory from around 1979 of going to the library, and finding a little book about Alan Turing written by his mother, Sara Turing.

And gradually I built up quite a picture of Alan Turing and his work. And over the 30 years that have followed, I have kept on running into Alan Turing, often in unexpected places. More »

March 29, 2010– 5

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating,” said Luciano Pavarotti. Let’s stop whatever we’re doing now to devote our attention to data on eating, as a kind of food for thought.

Wolfram|Alpha now has food supply estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, covering more than fifty foods spanning over forty years for countries all over the world. Let’s visit three countries to see what we can find.

First stop, the Caribbean. Type in “cuba wheat” and you’ll see a dramatic downturn in the early 1990s, following the demise of the Soviet Union (Cuba’s most important trading partner).
Food consumption data for Cuba

Now let’s go over to the Korean peninsula. Let’s check out South Korea’s coffee versus tea consumption.You’ll see that coffee intake has increased by several factors since 1970, as the country has become increasingly westernized, while tea consumption has gone up just a little:
Comparing per capita coffee and tea consumption in South Korea

Final stop, North America. In contrast to South Korea, we can see a slow decline in per capita coffee consumption in the United States; according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), increased availability of carbonated soft drinks may be one cause of the downturn. More »

March 23, 2010– 6

A movement is underway in the United States to reintroduce schools and families to freshly prepared meals. Last month, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced the “Let’s Move” campaign, an effort to raise awareness of and access to fresh food in schools and in our communities. The goal of the campaign is to eliminate childhood obesity within a generation. This Friday, Chef Jamie Oliver’s new television show Food Revolution will take us inside a few of America’s school cafeterias and classrooms in an effort to fulfill his wish to teach every child about food.

Wolfram|Alpha is already being used as a learning tool in schools to tackle subject areas such as math, science, social studies, and more. But did you know that Wolfram|Alpha contains a number of tools to help schools and families successfully start their own nutrition and wellness revolutions?

Imagine if students had the opportunity to compare the nutritional values of lunch options and make informed decisions before ever hitting the cafeteria. For example, students can go online to Wolfram|Alpha and compare grilled chicken breast to a corn dog. Wolfram|Alpha provides them with a nutrition label for each item, and shows a side-by-side comparison of nutritional values such as fats, proteins, and vitamins in each food option. Click the image below to see the full results.

Comparing the nutrition values of a chicken breast and a corn dog in Wolfram|Alpha

More »

November 24, 2009– 6

Ah, fall! The signs of the season are all around us: the sounds of leaves rustling along the sidewalks, the smell of piping hot apple cider, and the sight of 12-pound pumpkins being hurled through the air at speeds upwards of 350mph. Yes—pumpkins!

Recently, we had an opportunity to participate in one pumpkin pastime that’s right up Wolfram|Alpha‘s alley. We’re not talking about pies here, we’re talking about the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation’s CUPunkin’Chuckin’ Challenge! Punkin’Chuckin’ is the art of hurling pumpkins (or multiple pumpkins) great distances with smartly engineered, often homemade, devices such as trebuchets and catapults. In a typical Punkin’Chuckin’ competition, the goal is simple—to go the distance, or in this case, to hit a city bus.

This is one competition you have to see to believe.

Yes, we know what you’re thinking. We want to build our own, too!
More »

November 23, 2009– 5

We’ve blogged quite a bit about Wolfram|Alpha’s nutritional data, and with Thanksgiving this week, U.S. users are probably already peppering us with queries like “turkey leg + mashed potatoes + gravy + cranberry sauce + stuffing + pumpkin pie.” But you probably didn’t know that you could go a little further up the food-supply chain now—all the way to the “turkey population of all countries,” if you’re so inclined—and see that Americans are clearly the biggest turkey-gobblers on the planet, with a livestock population of more than 270 million birds.

Our new data, which comes from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), covers worldwide populations of turkeys, chickens, sheep, pigs, and other livestock animals from 1961 to 2007… which lets you uncover some interesting trends. Ask Wolfram|Alpha about “chickens vs cows in the USA,” for example, and you’ll clearly see a dramatic half-century increase in chicken, while the cattle population has undergone a slight but steady decline. Or try comparing “chickens in US and China,” and you’ll see not only an even more dramatic growth in the Chinese chicken population, but also an equally dramatic drop in population between 1997 and 1998—when Chinese authorities ordered the slaughter of millions of chickens in response to the 1997 outbreak of avian flu in Hong Kong.

And for all the smart alecks out there: yes, Wolfram|Alpha knows exactly what you mean when you ask, “How many turkeys are in Turkey?” Happy holidays!

October 30, 2009– 0

Each October around here, as we stare into the seemingly endless bowls of “fun-size” Halloween candies, we tell ourselves, “Oh, it’s just a bite!” Chances are some of those tempting treats will be the always-popular Snickers candy bars. But have you ever wondered just how much “fun” there is in a fun-size Snickers candy bar compared to a full-size one? And by fun we mean all the fun nutrition such as calories, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and so on. Being that we’re in the holiday spirit (or at least in the mood to eat candy), we want to share some fun comparisons for the Snickers bar we found in Wolfram|Alpha’s nutrition database.

Let’s enter the query, “Compare 1 fun size snickers v 1 regular snickers bar”. The output page shown below provides individual nutrition labels for the fun-size bar and the full-size bar, followed by comparison pods highlighting the difference in mean values and the percentages of daily recommended values for calories, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and sterols. It will also provide you with a comparison of the physical mass.

Click the image to see a full breakdown:

Comparing nutrition facts of a fun-size Snickers bar and a full-size bar

More »

October 21, 2009– 2

We want to introduce you to a mother-daughter team who will be joining us for the first-ever Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day to share their passion for advancing educational technology in the classroom.

Nancy Brachbill and Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith and her mother, Nancy Brachbill have more than 30 years of combined teaching experience, and are working hard to integrate technology into their 4th- and 5th-grade classrooms on a daily basis. Through their company Recess TEC, they strive to help other educators do the same. They have been involved in countless hours of various educational technology programs to gain a full understanding of what continually engages students.

Recently Shannon took to her classroom blog “Blogsmith” to talk about how she has introduced Wolfram|Alpha into her classroom. Here is an excerpt from her post “The Online Brain”: More »

October 9, 2009– 12

Happy Birthday, barcode!

The barcode’s 57th birthday is being celebrated this week all around the web. People really took notice of this event. And why wouldn’t they? From books to food to clothing, barcodes have found their place on just about every manufactured item we consume.

The system was invented by Norman J. Woodland and Bernard Silver, and was later honed by David Collins, as a way to track and catalog items. The barcode is an optical binary encoding system that was designed to be fault tolerant so that it can be scanned from a variety of distances and angles. It’s also designed so that the directionality is never ambiguous, and most barcodes have some kind of check digits or characters to improve accuracy (in Wolfram|Alpha, click “Show details” to see the encoded form and the check characters). First applied as a way to identify railroad cars, barcodes came into wide use after the laser and the computer were more developed. More »

September 8, 2009– 12


We know college is hard. So we’re highlighting examples of how Wolfram|Alpha can make subjects and concepts a bit easier to learn. Wolfram|Alpha is a free computational knowledge engine that can help you tackle everything from calculus, to computing the number of pages for a double-spaced 1000-word essay, to comparing the flash points of methane, butane, and octane, to figuring just how much money it’s going to cost you to drive home to do your laundry. Check out a quick introduction to Wolfram|Alpha from its creator, Stephen Wolfram.

We want to help you take full advantage of this resource. Over the next term, we’ll be highlighting helpful computations and information here on the blog, and even providing ways you can get involved with our company. (Would you like to be a part of the Wolfram|Alpha Team on your campus? Stay tuned to find out how you can be involved.) For this post we selected several of our favorite examples to help you start thinking about how you can use Wolfram|Alpha in your courses, and in your always-changing college life. More »

August 7, 2009– 7

We have heard from many people who are interested in learning more about calculating their daily food intake in Wolfram|Alpha. If you have been following our posts on how to use Wolfram|Alpha to help achieve your nutritional and wellness goals, this will be easy as apple pie.

Our data curators have been busy working on over 7,000 food entities that are listed in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference and other food databases. Currently, they’re adding additional brand-name and specialty food items. Once a food entity is placed into Wolfram|Alpha’s nutrition bank, rules and algorithms are applied to help categorize it by typical attributes (e.g. raw, boiled), units (e.g. cups, tablespoons), and unique serving forms (e.g. slices, pieces). As a result of these categorizations, when you enter a food item such as “strawberries” into the site’s computation bar, Wolfram|Alpha computes a breakdown of total calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, protein, and other particular nutrients based on standard serving sizes (units) and attributes.

Now let’s get started! For this example, a member of our team tracked her food intake yesterday to be computed for the world to see.

Breakfast: egg + bacon + strawberries

Lunch: turkey breast meat + 2 slices of whole-wheat bread + mustard + grapes

Snack: Snickers candy bar

Dinner: McDonald’s McChicken sandwich + McDonald’s French fries

As Wolfram|Alpha defaults to one unit serving, we only need to enter units if she consumed more than one serving.

“egg + bacon + strawberries + turkey breast meat + 2 slices whole-wheat bread + mustard + grapes + Snickers + McChicken + McDonald fries” More »

July 27, 2009– 10

We are continuing to demonstrate ways you can use Wolfram|Alpha’s nutrition and wellness data, with helpful input tips and examples. In this example we are talking about how to use Wolfram|Alpha to make smart food choices. A variety of nutritional factors may be of importance depending on your dietary needs and wellness goals, which is why Wolfram|Alpha goes further than just providing the total number of calories in a food item.

Whether you are concerned about monitoring your total fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugar, carbohydrates, or other nutrients, Wolfram|Alpha can provide you with this information for an individual food item, a meal, or a comprehensive calculation of your daily diet. In this post we’ll demonstrate how to calculate and compare the nutritional values of two food items. More »

July 15, 2009– 12

We have spent some time on this blog talking about ways Wolfram|Alpha‘s nutrition and wellness data can be useful tools in your everyday life, such as by computing the nutritional value of your favorite recipe and identifying a healthy body weight. Some of you have since asked how you can use Wolfram|Alpha to understand your body’s caloric needs to maintain a healthy body. With all of the talk surrounding the latest fad diets and nutrition programs, information about our bodies’ basic needs often gets lost in the noise.

You can estimate your body’s daily caloric needs by computing your basal metabolic rate (BMR) within Wolfram|Alpha. Your BMR is the estimated number of calories (energy) your body expends when at complete rest—in other words, your daily caloric needs just to operate your vital organs, nervous system, muscles, and skin. BMR varies based on your age, gender, height, and weight, and needs to be recalculated whenever one of these factors changes. As your physical activity increases through routine movements, and exercise, the number of calories your body needs increases. More »

July 2, 2009– 10

Here at Wolfram|Alpha, we’re loosening our belts for the 94th annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, a U.S. Independence Day tradition that draws participants and audiences from all over the world. At this year’s event, two-time champion Joey ”Jaws” Chestnut, from San Jose, California, will face off against six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi, from Nagano, Japan, in the quest for the famous Nathan’s Mustard Belt. We’re getting hungry just thinking about all the numbers at the World Cup of hot dog eating contests. More »

June 16, 2009– 13

Wolfram|Alpha has the powerful ability to compute complex data into insightful outputs that can be helpful tools in our everyday lives. One area where this is most evident is the Wolfram|Alpha collection of food and nutrition information. Users have marveled over how quick and easy it is to analyze nutrition information for their favorite homemade recipes, and compare nutritional values of everything from dietary staples to those occasional indulgences. More »

June 8, 2009– 32

There’s new data flowing into Wolfram|Alpha every second. And we’re always working very hard to develop the core code and data for the system. In fact, internally, we have a complete new version of the system that’s built every day. But before we release this version for general use, we do extensive validation and testing.

In addition to real-time data updates, we’ve made a few changes to Wolfram|Alpha since its launch three weeks ago. But today, as one step in our ongoing, long-term development process, we’ve just made live the first broad updates to the core code and data of Wolfram|Alpha. More »

June 6, 2009– 9

You see the work of the Wolfram|Alpha developers every time you query.

We thought you would enjoy hearing some of them describe their roles and share their thoughts about the Wolfram|Alpha project.

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