SCIN 139 Lab 5



Download and read the “.pdf” file before completing this answer sheet for Lab #5.  The ‘pdf’ is the lab. This MS Word ‘.doc’ is the answer sheet.  You are to fill in the answer sheet and submit it for grading under Assignments.


Lab Activity – Diet and Agricultural Demands


As described on page 3 of lab (.pdf):



In this exercise, you will investigate how your own diet affects the agricultural demands of a country. You will do this by monitoring your food and drink intake for 3 days, and recording it on the attached activity sheet. At the end of this time, you will add up the number of calories consumed and find the average amount for each day. Most of your packaged food should come with some type of caloric guidelines. If it does not, a fairly complete listing of the calories of various foodstuffs can be found at or another similar site.


As best you can, you need to categorize the calories as coming from either plants or animals. For some things, this will be easy. A steak or a glass of milk clearly fall into the animal calories category, while a bowl of rice or a side dish of beans fall into the plant calories category. But what about plate of spaghetti with meat sauce? For this, you should try to separate the meat sauce into the amount of meat and the amount of tomato and other vegetables and then decide of calories for both. If you are in doubt, put the calories in the plant calories category. If you do this, you then need to realize that your land usage estimate might be lower than it actually is. After calculating your average caloric intake and estimating the amount of land that is needed to provide your daily intake, answer the questions on the activity sheet.



Once you are finished filling in the table (available on page 3 of this document below), answer the questions that follow. All of page 3 and 4 will be graded, including the table and remaining 4 questions at the end. 


  Day 1 – Calories Day 2 – Calories Day 3 – Calories
Item Plant Animal
Item Plant Animal
Item Plant Animal
Yogurt 115  
yogurt 15  
Bagel 71  
beries 30  
berries 30  
yogurt 115  
Caesar Salad   150
salad 150  
chicken   150
Tomato soup 182  
Chicken broth   30
Potato soup 30  
Snacks &
  327 150
  295 30
  216 150


Average plant calories [(Day 1 + Day 2 + Day 3)/ 3] =         694

Average animal calories [(Day 1 + Day 2 + Day 3)/ 3] =      230

Average calories (Avg plant + Avg Animal)  =                     924


Land usage = Avg. Plant Calories 694 x .00016 acres/calorie + Avg. Animal Calories 230x .00082 acres/calorie  =  .29964 acres




1) How does your average consumption of calories compare to the current American average of 2700 calories per day?


I consume way less than the 2700 calories a day. I try to get at least 1200 a day but

this past week has been a very busy week that I just have not even had time to eat

real food. I like to try to eat as healthy as I can and workout so for me to consume

1200+ is a lot of work for me




2) There are 314 million people in the U.S. If all of them ate like you did, how much land would be required for farming? Given the average American’s caloric intake, which translates to  1.03 acres per person, how much land is required to meet America’s food consumption?

There would not be much land needed because as people have said “I eat like a

rabbit.” I know that obesity in the world would go down because I am a very

healthy person and eat small meals usually 5-8 meals a day but do not consume 2700

calories. I don’t even consume 1200 a day so I know that land would be a very small





3) China has 1.2 billion people. There is a total of 2.37 billion acres of land in China, of which only 710 million is of agricultural quality. If all of the Chinese had a diet like yours, how much land would be needed?  If all the Chinese had the diet of the average American how much land would be needed?  Is it realistic for them to eat this much, given their land limitations?


No it is not realistic, given their religion and what they eat and their resources the

land would not be high and the reason it isn’t is because of their resources, what

they eat, and how they eat. Also exercise plays a big role in diet and food

consumption so if they walk everywhere then that will cut calories.





4) Why does it take so much more land to raise a calorie of animal-based food than plant-based food? (Think back to the first lab). In light of this discrepancy, do you think we face a food production problem or a food consumption problem?


I do think we have a food consumption problem and the reason being is because

people in American are meat eaters. Hints why we have such a high obesity rate in

America. There are certain types of meats that are good like chicken and poultry

(but chickens don’t take much land just a pin and a barn). A lot of people are not

big plant type eaters.


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