Introduction: Finding the Density of Food You Eat

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If you ever used an online calculator to find the volume to weight of a particular food, like Online Conversions, you will see that is does not always list the food item you are looking for. You can find your own food density unit, easily, to do your own conversion, or database.

You would want to do this if you were making a recipe or converting a recipe. Like....

Step 1: Go to USDA Database

First step is to go to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

and type in the item in the keyword box and choose what food group it is in. 

For example...
Keyword - Carrot 
Food Group - Vegetables and Veg Products

Step 2: Choose From List

The next page you see, you have to pick from a list of how the food item is in what form. Is it raw, cooked, whole, sliced, canned, frozen, etc...

For this Example... for carrot there are 19 choices, today we will stick to Carrots, raw. Now hit submit at the bottom.

Step 3: Choose the Cup Amount

On the next page you will find another list, this time you choose from a list of the amount of food item you choosed from. Stay with the cup measurements, there may be a few to choose from.

 For this Example of Carrots, Raw - there are three cups to choose from
- 1 cup chopped   128 g
- 1 cup grated 110 g
- 1 cup strips or slices 122 g

These are America cups so they have a value of 237 mL
and we are after the weights of the cups in grams.

Step 4: Find Density of Food

Ok, now take the American cup, 237 mL, amount which the USDA gave you and the weight of the amount in grams, and divide grams by 237 mL, to find the density of the food
Density = weight/volume

For this Example of Carrots, Raw...
1 cup chopped  128/237 = .54 g/mL
1 cup grated       110/237 = .464 g/mL
1 cup strips or slices   122/237 =  .515 g/mL

If you select one of the amounts and submit it on the next page you will get the Nutrition value, but we are only after the density value, our job is done with the USDA site.

Step 5: Use Density Value in Calculator

You can now take that density value and goto the online weight-to-volume calculator to find out the weight amount for your recipe. As I had to do in my instructable...

For this Example...
I want the weight of two Metric cups of chopped or sliced carrots. Metric Cup = 250 mL
Input .54 into the Density box,
Input 500 into the 'Convert what quantity?' box,
Choose milliliter in the 'From this' List, and choose grams in the 'To this' list,
You will get the Results of 500 milliliter = 270 grams

Now you will have 270 g of sliced carrots instead of 2 cups of carrots
You can now weigh out the amount of carrots you need before you clean or chop them up for your recipe.