Monday, March 21, 2011

Nate Silver: "How to Beat the Salad Bar"

For those who rely on salad bars for meals or snacks, make sure to read “How to Beat the Salad Bar” in yesterday’s New York Times by numbers guru Nate Silver.

Silver does a price analysis of the per pound charge of salad bar ingredients compared to what they would cost if bought separately.

“Of course salad bars provide for a certain measure of convenience,” Silver writes, “but the ingredients I crosschecked were, on average, 70 percent more expensive at the salad bar than on the shelves.”

To get more bang for your buck, Silver advocates loading up on higher-priced ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts and mesclun greens. Cheaper vegetables such as carrots and cucumbers make your salad very, very expensive.

Consider me old-fashioned, but I think any convenience provided by a salad bar is severely mitigated by other people’s fingerprints and saliva spray, ingredients which Silver doesn’t tabulate into his calculations.

Click here to read Silver’s quick analysis.

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