Perhaps in this time of worldwide rice shortage, there are worse things I can do with my time than visit freerice.com, where one is quizzed on vocabulary and “for each word you get right, [the sponsors] donate 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.”
It took me about 8 minutes to get the sponsors to donate 1000 grains, which got me wondering how long it would take me to get a cup of rice donated.
Nominally, 1 cup of rice = 7,200 grains (I counted 10,000… well, sorta… I counted about 300 to 400 grains (say 350) in 1/2 tb.sp., i.e. ~2500 in 1/4 cup, i.e. 10,000 in a cup! and yes, that’s a typical Friday night for me.)
This means I have to “play” at freerice.com for more than an hour for the sponsors to donate one cup of rice. While I do have a lot of free time, I don’t particularly want to spend hours being quizzed on vocabulary.
I’d rather, for example, spend my time calculating how many grains of rice are produced a year: The world produces 600,000,000 tonnes of rice x 0.65 grain/paddy x 1000 kg/ton x 4 cups/kg x 10,000 grains/cup = 15,600,000,000,000,000 grains of rice produced per year worldwide. That is to say, about 2,400,000 grains of rice/capita, or 240 cups/capita/yr. Suddenly I feel bloated — maybe I should’ve had less chicken biryani for dinner.
Now, consider this: every year since 2001, the world has consistently produced more transistors than grains of rice–for example, this year we’ve produced 900,000,000 transistor/capita– even as we’re sure transistors aren’t as yummy as rice.
Oh, one more fun fact: rice has 40,000 to 50,000 genes (compared to 20,000 to 25,000 in humans.) Look it up.