WHEN it comes to printing up a label for all the kinds of pizza a fast-food restaurant sells, you have to wonder if it's really worth the effort. Will it cost so much for labels that the price of the pizza will go up? Let's say, for example, that a pizzeria sells pizza in three different sizes with 10 different toppings.
And let's say that restaurants were required to have ingredient labels on the food wrappers of each box. How many boxes would it need?
The United States Department of Agriculture says 300, but when the National Restaurant Association put out that figure, letters came pouring in.
People weren't interested in the labeling idea itself - they wanted to point out that the figure was wrong.
One budding math genius wrote that anyone who could count knew that 858 boxes with labels would be needed.
Another said 1,028, and yet another, 3,072.
Obviously, there are many combinations with 10 different toppings and three sizes. But what about double mushrooms or double pepperoni?
And does a double order mean yet another box with yet another ingredient listing?