Monday, July 18, 2011


I was watching the Daily Show the other day and saw the Fox News blurb about how her fast food meal was the equivalent of eating a live raccoon.  Really?  Avoiding the issue that they're probably trying to send subtext, I went fact checking.  Fortunately, someone had already done the math for me.

"Starting weight: 15 lbs (range for adult raccoons appears to be 10-50)
Weight excluding hide, head, intestinal contents, etc.: 7.5 lbs
Remaining weight after subtracting 1.5 lbs (20% of 7.5 lbs) from bone = 6 lbs
At 20% body fat, 1.2 lbs (545 g) of fat
At 60% muscle, 3.6 lbs (1634 g) of muscle
At 75% water weight in lean muscle, there would be 0.9 lbs ((409 g) of protein
At 9 calories/g for fat and 4 calories/g for protein, there would be 4,905 calories from fat and 1634 calories from muscle
Estimated grand total: 6,530 calories in a whole raccoon"

However, I'm not willing to believe your average raccoon is only equivalent to 8 Chipotle chicken burritos without beans or sour cream. While there's less math involved, I find this breakdown more compelling.

"Nope. Racoons have way more calories than that (at least adult ones). Granted, the gentleman did specify a live raccoon, which would require more energy to digest. Raccoons (apparently) weigh in at about 3.5 - 9kg for an adult. 85g provides about 217kcal. Let's say the raccoon to be ingested by Mrs. Obama is on the low end, say 5kg. 5000g / 85g is about 59. So, 59 * 217 is 12803kcal. And that is for a modestly sized raccoon! Even if this raccoon is feisty in the extreme and puts up a hell of a fight, the most you are likely to expend during fisticuffs is 257kcal (165lb 30y/o male fighting the raccoon for 20 minutes). Let's also say that your body expends 10% of the energy provided by the live raccoon in question to work extra hard at digesting the raw meat (as opposed to easier-to-eat-and-digest cooked meat). That still leaves about 11306kcal (12803 * .9 - 217) unaccounted for!"

If you distrust my gut calorie reaction, raccoon is listed on calorie counter. One (1) pound of meat is about 1100 calories, so a 5KG/11 pound racoon...12100 calories. More like 12 burritos. That gels with my expectations.

Did I mention Fox is full of dicks? I don't know how many calories are in a dick. But one of my favorite articles ever was the Straight Dope's determination of calories in semen. Enjoy today's nutrition information.

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