Originally created 08/13/97

Small portions



Caffeine rush

We all know that coffee, tea and Coke contain caffeine, but Mountain Dew? Sunkist Orange Soda? Dr Pepper?

Last week, the advocacy group the Center for Science in the Public Interest asked the Food and Drug Administration to require that foods be labeled with their caffeine content.

Consumers can find out how much caffeine a particular product contains by calling the manufacturer's 800 number listed on the product, according to the National Food Processors Association.

But in the meantime, the center released a partial list of foods and their caffeine content, which can vary a lot within food categories.

As a point of reference, keep in mind that an average cup of brewed coffee contains 135 milligrams of caffeine; an average cup of tea, 50 milligrams.

This list contains product, followed by serving size, followed by number of milligrams of caffeine:

CHOCOLATES & CANDIES

Hershey Special Dark Chocolate Bar, 1.5-ounce bar, 31

Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar, 1.5-ounce bar, 10

Coffee Nips hard candy, 2 pieces, 6

Hot chocolate, 1 cup, 5

DRINKS

Josta, 12 ounces, 58

Mountain Dew, 12 ounces, 55

Surge, 12 ounces, 51

Diet Coke, 12 ounces, 47

Coca-Cola, 12 ounces, 45

Dr Pepper, regular or diet, 12 ounces, 41

Sunkist Orange Soda, 12 ounces, 40

Pepsi-Cola, 12 ounces, 37

Barqs Root Beer, 12 ounces, 23

Barqs Diet Root Beer, 12 ounces, 0

7-Up or Diet 7-Up, 12 ounces, 0

Minute Maid Orange Soda, 12 ounces, 0

Mug Root Beer, 12 ounces, 0

Sprite orDiet Sprite, 12 ounces, 0

Fishing for value

Buying seafood today can be confusing. With more than 325 commercially available species of fish and seafood sold in the United States, according to the National Fisheries Institute in Arlington, Va., even knowledgeable seafood lovers can be overwhelmed.

The key to finding great fish values is knowing which species are in abundant supply in any given season.

The United States imports about half of its seafood, including much of the shrimp, lobster and tuna. On the other hand, about 35 percent of domestically caught seafood, including salmon and king crab, is exported around the world.

So what should you look for this summer?

August marks the peak season for Alaskan seafood, including coho salmon, sold for $5 to $7 a pound, reports Morey Fish Co., a full-line seafood distributor based in Minneapolis. Snow crab is another good value this time of year, generally priced from $4 to $5 a pound. Interest in blue marlin continues to build - it has a texture similar to tuna and swordfish but, at about $6 a pound, it's less expensive.

Garden delight

Imar Hutchins is one serious and fruitful vegan. This tall, intensem 26-year-old co-owner of Delights of the Garden restaurant, near Howard University in Washington, has just released his fourth book, 30 Days Delights of the Garden (Four Winds Press, $15.95). It's a cookbook with recipes for both cooking and ... would that be rawing? And it's a 30-day plan that Mr. Hutchins calls "a whole-life handbook for taking your eating habits and quality of living to a new level and taking charge of your body." Available at health-food stores, and by mail (add $4 for shipping and handling) from Four Winds Press, P.O. Box 250559, New York, N.Y. 10025.