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Agriculture and Feeding a Growing Human Population

Amelia Pierce, Jordan Manahan, Kyle Andruczk


Agriculture includes crops, livestock, the sale of farm equipment, distributing food, and food

Traditional Agriculture refers to the idea of growing crops or livestock on a smaller scale of
production to only provide for a few people. One technique used in this type of farming is
called slash-and-burn farming. This is when a small plot of trees is cut, and burned to provide
organic material for the soil. This type of farming was popular for many years until population
rose and took over the areas that were available for it.

The more in demand the product is the more land is needed to produce it. Most of these crops
are grown in long rows so it is easier to harvest them. Farmers can choose to mono crop, plant
one crop, or use polyculture, planting many types of crops.


q= CpmΔT:

C= heat capacity of water

M= mass of water

ΔT= change in temp of water

The purpose of this lab is to provide a calorie count for several different types of foods, and to
study how much energy they give off.


Beef Jerky will have more energy than the almond or the popcorn. This is because it contains
more meat, which is mostly protein, and protein is one of the main factors for energy.

3 paper clips support stand

cork ring clamp

soda can with pop tab thermometer

piece of jerky butane lighter

almond 500-mL beaker of water

popped corn kernel 50-mL graduated cylinder

pipe cleaner foil

glass stirring rod tape


1) The calorimeter was assembled

a) The Ring Stand was clamped to the Support Stand.
b) The balance was used to measure the mass of the empty can and recorded in the
spot labeled “Mass of the Empty Can”
c) The soda can pop tab was bent perpendicular to the can.
d) The graduated cylinder was used to measure 50mL. That water was poured into
the soda can.
e) The mass of the soda can now with 50mL of water was taken and recoded in
“Mass of the can + water”.
f) About one-third of the tape was used to secure the square of foil over the
opening of the can.
g) A small hole was poked to insert a thermometer into the soda can until the end
was submerged.
h) To prevent the end of the thermometer from touching the bottom of the can, a
pipe cleaner was wrapped around the thermometer where the thermometer
meets the foil.
i) The glass stirring rod was slid into the top of the ring, through the pop tab, and
through the top of the opposite side of the ring so the calorimeter now hangs on
the ring clamp by the soda tab.
2) The initial temperature of the water in the can was recorded as the “Initial Water
3) One end of a paperclip was straightened.
4) The larger end of the cork stopper was set down against the lab bench.
5) One end of the paper clip was inserted into the center of the top of the cork.
6) The popped corn kernel was attached to the paperclip.
7) The mass of the popcorn, cork and paperclip was taken and recorded as the “Initial
Mass of Food and Holder.”
8) The cork was placed under the soda can and the height of the ring clamp was adjusted
so that the popped corn kernel was near to, but not touching the bottom of the soda
9) A lighter was used to ignite the kernel.
10) The popcorn was burnt until the fire extinguished, then the temperature was recorded
as “Final Water Temperature.”
11) The mass of the food holder and burnt food was taken as the “Final Mass of Food and
12) The stirring rod was removed to release the soda can from the ring clamp. The foil cover
was removed and discarded.
13) The water in the can was discarded.
14) Fresh water, foil, and paper clips were used each time and the above procedure was
repeated with an almond and beef jerky.
15) The data sheet was used to complete the calculations for the energy content if 1 gram
of each food type.

Mass Mass of Mass Initial Water Final Water Change in

of the the Can of the Temperature Temperature Water
Empty +Water Water (oC) (oC) Temperature
Can (g) (g) (oC)
Corn 17.2 g 67.2 g 50mL 21oC 24oC 3oC
Almond 17.2 g 67.2 g 50mL 20oC 52oC 32oC
Beef 17.2 g 67.2 g 50mL 22oC 83oC 61oC

Initial Final Mass Mass of Thermal Energy Calorie per

Mass of of Food Food Energy (g) of Content per Gram
Food and and Burned (g) Food (kJ) Gram (kJ)
Holder (g) Holder (g)
6.2 g 6.2 g .3 g .627 2.09 kJ .5 Calories
6.4 g 6.4 g .7 g 6.688 9.55 kJ 2.28
6.7 g 6.7 g 1.8 g 12.749 7.08 kJ 1.69

Analysis and Conclusion:

According to the calculations of the group, the almond has the most calories out of the three
varieties of food. This means, my hypothesis was rejected. The objective of this experiment
was to observe how much energy is created when food is burnt, then convert that energy into
calories. Based on the background info, these foods were first created by farmers. It is also one
of the economies major goals to provide foods with high calorie contents with low quantities.
The result I expected was for the beef jerky to be the food with the highest calorie content.
According to this experiment, that was not the case. The results indicate that the almond
actually had the most calories out of the three foods; that is the main difference between my
expectations of this experiment and the actual outcome.

As a result of the lab, I now know that beef jerky is not as efficient as I thought it was. In fact,
almonds are more efficient then the jerky. I thought, because of its higher fat content, the
almond would be less efficient. I compared my results with Jordan Yeager’s and her group. They
received very different results. Their Popcorn had a calorie count of .118 which, when
compared was less than our results. Their almond also burnt with less of a calorie count then
ours, 1.80 calories. Finally, their beef jerky burnt with more calories than ours. Theirs burnt
with 2.19 calories. Overall, their experiment results were not identical, but they were in the
general vicinity of ours, so I am very confident in my teams research.