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Fun Facts: Flora, Fauna and Food for Thought
Its The Bees Knees
- A hive of bees flies over 55,000 miles to bring you one pound of honey. A honey bee can fly 15 miles per hour.
- Honey bees must tap two million flowers to make one pound of honey. Each worker honey bee makes 1/12th teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
- Honey bees visit 50-100 flowers during one honey collecting trip.
- Bees have been producing honey from flowering plants for at least 10 million years! And maybe even as long as 20 million years!
- Flowers and other blossoming plants have nectarines that produce sugary nectar. Worker bees suck up the nectar and water and store it in a special honey stomach. When the stomach is full the bee returns to the hive and puts the nectar in an empty honeycomb. Natural chemicals from the bee's head glands and the evaporation of the water from the nectar change the nectar into honey.
- In one day a honey bee can fly 12 miles and pollinate up to 10,000 flowers.
- Honeybee workers must visit 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey.
- An acre of trees can remove about 13 tons of dust and gases every year from the surrounding environment.
- Almost a third of the worlds total land area is covered by forests.
- Some tissue-making machines can produce as many as 6000 feet of toilet tissue every minute out of trees.
- About 1.5 million tons of ground cocoa beans from the tropical tree are used each year to make chocolate and cocoa products. Thats greater than the weight of more than 300,000 elephants!
- Every year in the United States each person uses the equivalent of one tree, 100 feet tall and 16 inches in diameter, to fulfill their wood and paper needs.
- Thirty to 40 gallons of sugar maple sap must be boiled down to make just one gallon of maple syrup.
- Many farmers grow more than just grains, vegetable and livestock. Some farmers grow trees. This is called a woodlot. A woodlot is not an original forest, because the timber has been cut down before. Sometimes the trees in a woodlot have been cut down four, five, ore even six times. After the trees have been cut down, the farmer lets them grow up again, until they are big enough to be harvested once more.
- Not only is the wood on woodlots good to sell to timber companies to make paper, etc., but the timber can also be useful on the farm. The farmer can cut down the timber and use it to build fences, barns, or other buildings. Some farmers grow specialized woodlots that are used for a specific purpose. A woodlot may be used to harvest maple syrup or as a Christmas tree farm.
- In a years time a dairy cow produces 1,500 gallons or 6,000 quarts of milk. A Jersey cow will give as much as 3 to 4 gallons or around 16 quarts of milk each day.
- Dairy cows provide us with milk and milk by-products like cheese, butter, and ice cream. In addition, milk is also used to manufacture glue, paint, and plastics.
- Straight from the cow, the temperature of cows milk is about 97 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The average U.S. dairy cow produces 22.5 quarts of milk each day. Thats about 16,000 glasses of milk per year enough for about 40 people. One cow can give 200,000 glasses of milk in a lifetime.
- It takes approximately 1.4 gallons of milk to make 1 gallon of ice cream.
- Cheese was first made over 4,000 years ago in Asia.
- A cow has 4 stomachs. They are: the rumen, where the food is first stored, the reticulum where food that has been more thoroughly chewed is stored once the cow has chewed the cud and has swallowed it; the omasum where extra water is squeezed out, and finally the food goes to the abomasum. Some of the digested food is then stored in the cows udder where it is made into milk.
- Cows are ruminants or cud-chewing animals eating hay, corn, soybeans, grass, wheat, and ensilage. Each cow eats 20 to 25 pounds of grain, 40 to 60 pounds of ensilage, 30 pounds of hay and drinks about 15 to 25 gallons of water a day.
- Cows are sedentary animals spending up to 8 hours a day chewing the cud while standing still or lying down to rest after grazing. When going to be milked, a certain cow in an established herd always leads the others with the weaker and older cattle trailing behind the group.
- A typical, full grown Holstein cow weighs about 1,400 pounds and produces 60 pounds of milk per day.
- One day's production is 2.6 pounds of butter or 7 gallons of milk or 6 pounds of cheese.
- A dairy cow consumes 35 gallons of water, 20 pounds of grain and concentrated feed and 35 pounds of hay or silage (a mixture of corn and grass) in just one day.
- It usually takes about 20 minutes for a cow to be milked. On average a cow is milked 2 to 3 times a day.
- Hamburger meat from a single steer will make about 720 quarter pound hamburger patties. That's enough for a family of 4 to enjoy hamburgers each day for nearly 6 months.
New Ways to Help the Planet
- Farmers and ranchers provide food and habitat for 75% of the nations wildlife.
- Plant and animal biotechnology have resulted in new antibodies for immunizations. Agriculture has also contributed to research that has helped develop surgical techniques and pharmaceuticals that help save lives.
- Ethanol and new bio-diesel fuels made from corn, soybeans and other grains are beneficial to the environment and helps contribute to energy independence for the U.S.
Agriculture is Part of Your Life
- Products we use in our everyday lives come from plant and animal byproducts produced by America's farmers and ranchers: - Health care: Pharmaceuticals, surgical sutures, ointments, latex gloves, x-ray film, gelatin for capsules and heart valves.
- Construction: Lumber, paints, brushes, tar paper, dry wall and tool handles.
- Transportation: Fuel, lubricants, antifreeze, tires and upholstery.
- Manufacturing: Adhesives, solvents and detergents. Printing: Paper, ink and film.
- Personal Care Products: Shampoo, cosmetics, lotions, finger nail polish and toothpaste. Education: Crayons, textbooks, chalk, desks, pencils and paper.
- Sports: Uniforms, baseball bats, leather equipment and shoes.
5 Servings of Fruits & Vegetables A Day
- Onions contain a mild antibiotic that fights infections, soothes burns, tames bee stings and relieves the itch of athletes foot.
- Archeologists have found evidence that humans have enjoyed eating apples since 6500 B.C. Each of us eats more than 19 pounds of apples annually.
- Grapes are one of the oldest cultivated fruits. They have been around for more than 8,000 years.
- Americans eat about 125 pounds of potatoes a year, about half from fresh potatoes and half in processed foods.
Don't Be Sheepish
- There are 914 different breeds of sheep in the world. There are 35 breeds in the U.S.
- Wool is a natural fiber grown from sheep.
- The steps to making some of your favorite clothes:
- Sheep are sheared in the spring, their wool is removed in one piece called a fleece.
- Next, the fleece is washed in big tubs to remove dirt, grease and grass, this process is called scouring.
- The clean, dry wool is then carded. Carding means to comb the wool to straighten the fibers.
- The next process is called spinning. This is when the wool will be spun into yarn.
- Finally, the yarn is knitted or woven into fabric.
- It takes a combine 9 seconds to harvest enough wheat to make 70 loaves of bread.
- Americans consume 1.12 billion pounds of popcorn a year.
- Soybean oil is the most widely used edible oil in the United States; you can find it in mayonnaise, salad dressing, process cheese products, dessert frostings and much more.
- Peanuts are not actually nuts. Peanuts, like soybeans, are members of the legume family.
- There are 340 million M&M's produced daily.
You May Find this "Corny"
- One bushel of corn will sweeten more than 400 cans of pop.
- There are about 600 kernels on each ear of corn.
- Farmers grow corn on every continent except Antarctica.
- Each tassel on a corn plant releases as many as 5 million grains of pollen.
America's Bread Basket
- Each American consumers, on average, 53 pounds of bread per year.
- Assuming a sandwich was eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it would take 168 days to eat the amount of bread produced from one bushel of wheat.
- A family of four could live for 10 years off the bread produced by one acre of wheat.
- One bushel of wheat will produce 73 one-pound loaves of bread.
- In 1997, Kansas's wheat farmers produced enough wheat to make 36.5 billion loaves of bread, or enough to provide each person on earth with 6 loaves of bread.
- Farmers receive approximately 5 cents (or less) from each loaf of bread sold.
- Pigs can't sweat. Pigs have no sweat glands, that is why they roll around in mud to cool off.
- Heart valves from hogs are used to replace damaged or diseased human heart valves.
- A pig can run a 7-minute mile.
- A baby pig, or piglet, weighs about 3 1/2 pounds at birth and will double its weight in just 7 days.
- George Washington liked ice cream so much he reportedly had a bill for $200 for ice cream one summer.
- The first ice cream cone was made, served, and eaten in New York City on September 22, 1886. The maker, Italo Marchiony, was granted a patent on his cone mold in 1903.
- Abe Lincoln's mother died when the family dairy cow ate poisonous mushrooms and Mrs. Lincoln drank the milk.
We Depend on Each Other
- Farmers use computers designed and built in cities to track market information, maintain balance spreadsheets, and monitor weather satellites.
- The environment and everyone in it benefits from research on biodegradable plant products that break down easily in landfills.
- Agriculture land provides food and habitat for 75% of the nation's wildlife. Deer, moose, fowl and other species have shown significant population increases in the past several years.
- Genetic engineering with plants and animals has resulted in new antibodies for immunizations. Other research has developed surgical techniques and pharmaceuticals from agriculture that help save lives.
- Ethanol and new bio-diesel fuels made from corn and other grains are beneficial to the environment and promote energy security.
- Soy crayons have been created to replace toxic petroleum-wax crayons, soy crayons are sager to use, brighter in color, and less expensive to produce.
- One acre (43,560 square feet) of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons.
- Soybean oil is the most widely used vegetable oil. It is found in margarine's, salad dressings, canned foods, sauces, bakery goods, and processed fried foods.
Crazy about Cotton
- U.S. textile mills presently convert over half ot the cotton they use into clothing.
- The majority of cotton is used for men's and boys' clothing, with jeans, underwear, and shirts topping the list.
- If all of the cotton produced annually in the U.S. were used to make one product, such as blue jeans, it would make 5 Billion pair.
- One bale of cotton can produce 1,217 men's t-shirts or 313,600 one-hundred dollar ($100) bills.
- Cotton's home uses range from bedspreads to window shades. It is by far the dominant fiber in towels and washcloths. Cotton is also popular in sheets and pillowcases.
- Industrial products containing cotton include wall coverings, book bindings, and zipper tapes. The biggest cotton users in the this category are manufacturers of medical supplies, industrial thread, and tarpaulins.
- Cotton is a food crop. Almost 200 million gallons of cottonseed oil are used in food products such as margarine and salad dressing. Cottonseed and cottonseed meal are used in feed for livestock and poultry. And even products such as toothpaste, ice cream, and the paper money used to buy them contain by-products of the cotton seed.
- The Cotton Belt covers the southern half of the United States, reaching from Virginia to California. Texas is the top cotton-producing state, harvesting about one-third of the crop each year.
The Food We Eat
- In 1996, each American consumed an average of 77 pounds more of commercially grown vegetables than in 1970, 63 pounds more grain products, 54 pounds more fruits, 32 pounds more poultry, 10 gallons more milk lower in fat than whole milk, 20.5 pounds less red meat, 73 fewer eggs, and 17 gallons less whole milk.
- It takes just 40 days for most Americans to earn enough money to pay for their food supply for the entire year. In comparison with the 129 days it takes the average American to earn enough money to pay federal, state and local taxes for the year.
- More than 96 billion pounds of edible "surplus" food is thrown away in the U.S. Each year. It is estimated that almost 27% of our food supply is wasted.
- Americans are eating about 14 pounds of turkey a piece each year, more than double the rate 20 years ago.
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