All this week, we’re exploring the values that keep humans healthy on this big blue ball wrapped in its safety blanket of 20.95 percent oxygen and just a dash of water vapor most of the time.
Today, our Tuesday Quiz returns, exploring a theme so common that the three-word phrase “Our Daily Bread” keeps popping up in the titles of books, magazines and movies.
Thousands upon thousands of sermons have been preached on those three little words — basically arguing that, at the core of our faith, God wants each of us to have the physical sustenance we need to live fulfilling lives.
Now, two British scholars are giving us “The Atlas of Food,” which is a terrific resource for teachers, preachers, small-group leaders, students and pretty much anyone who wants to understand the larger significance of our daily br… — well, to be honest, our daily hamburger, pizza, nachos, chicken and, oh yes, that cup of coffee that may be starting your day right now.
In the introduction, Erik Millstone and Tim Lang tell us that we may still be focused on the world’s oil economy as the key to planning for our future — but, they argue, global power already is moving into the hands of food traders, retailers and land-owners who control the production and distribution of the stuff that our neighbors must have to survive, whether they’re using oil or not.
The authors write: “The irony is that enough food is produced on this planet to feed everyone adequately, IF it were to be shared uniformly. But, some over-eat while others are malnourished.”
So, today, let’s see what we know about worldwide patterns of food.
HERE’S TODAY’S CHALLENGE:
This is a classic multiple-choice quiz. Make your choices — and don’t peek at the “ANSWERS” below until you’re ready.
1.) Food is essential for life, but for some it costs more than others. For some families worldwide, money spent on food makes up 75% of household spending. Rank these countries from most to least in order of the portion of their money spent on food.
2.) Millstone and Lang tell us that as countries industrialize, more people are living sedentary lifestyles than ever before, while eating diets high in meat and dairy products. Obesity is increasing worldwide, and obesity-related diseases like diabetes are on the rise. Which countries have the highest rate of diabetes?
A. Germany, Bulgaria, Singapore
B. USA, Pakistan, Thailand
C. Iceland, Japan, South Africa
3.) An increase in technology has allowed scientists to genetically modify crops. Genetic modification allows the cross-breeding and strengthening of crops, but can also have negative effects on the larger food-chain. Which 3 countries are world leaders in the production of Genetically Modified (GM) crops?
A. Spain, Russia, Japan
B. Australia, Sweden, France
C. USA, India, Brazil
4.) For almost half the world, land is the main source of both food and income. In recent Western history, we tend to think of agriculture as a male-dominated task, but in other places and times this may not have been the case. In how many countries world-wide do females currently dominate the agricultural work-force?
D. It’s a trick question, males dominate agriculture in all countries.
5.) While producing more food than ever, with the help of better technology and the cultivation of high-yielding crop breeds, many varieties of crops and breeds of domestic animals have become extinct. There were at one point 1,311 breeds of domestic cattle in the world. About what percentage of cattle breeds are currently recognized as endangered or at critical risk?
6.) The total value of agricultural exports produced around the world in 2005 was $852 billion. Which region is responsible for almost half of this trade value?
B. North America
C. South and Central America
7.) For some countries, agriculture is the bread and butter of the economy. For which nations is agriculture the most important portion of the country’s economic output? (Rank in order of importance, from most to least)
A. Central African Republic
8.) There are almost 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the US, and there are thousands more around the globe. More people than ever before have the option to buy Big-Macs, but the sandwich doesn’t come at the same cost to everyone. Rank these countries from most to least hours of work (on average) required to buy a Big Mac.
IN THE ONLINE VERSION OF TODAY’S QUIZ, when you’ve got your answers
ready — click on the link below and the answers will appear. If you’re
taking this Quiz via RSS feed or an Email version, the answers are
next, so stop reading here — until you’re ready.
1.) D, A, E, B, C. Perhaps not surprisingly, as one of the wealthiest nations in the world, the U.S. spends the least on food as a proportion of household spending (only 14%). The UK spends 22% of household money on food, followed by India at 50%, Rwanda at 72%, and Tajikistan at a whopping 75%.
2.) A. More than 10% of the population in Germany, Bulgaria, and Singapore have some form of diabetes. In countries like Thailand and Japan, in contrast, people have maintained a traditional diet of fruits, vegetables, and cereals (grains) and the rate of diabetes is much lower (less than 7.4% of people have diabetes in Japan, less than 2.5% in Thailand).
3.) C. The US devotes more than 54 million hectares of land to the cultivation of GM crops. Brazil has more than 10 million hectares and India follows with just under 7 million. Other lead producers include Argentina, Paraguay, China, Canada, and South Africa.
4.) B. Women make up more than 50% of the agricultural workforce in 30 countries, largely in Africa and the Middle East.
5.) B. Roughly 50% of cattle breeds are officially recognized as endangered or at critical risk. Of the original 1,311 breeds, about 5% are already extinct, and 15% are not at risk. The status of the rest of the breeds is officially unknown, although some of these may be endangered as well.
6.) D. Europe was responsible for 47% of the $852 billion. Asia exported 18% of the value, North America made up 16%, South and Central America traded 11%.
7.) From most to Least: A, D, C, B. For the Central African Republic, agriculture makes up more than 50% of the country’s economic output. (For Afghanistan, agriculture is over 30%; for Brazil it’s less than 10%; and China’s economic reporting is not as detailed, but China’s total falls between 10% and 30%).
8.) B, A, D, C. In Moldova, you’d have to work 4.1 hours to have enough money to buy a Big Mac. In the Ukraine it’s 3.3, in Turkey 1.4, in Sweden only 0.3.
THANKS to Megan Crumm, an occasional editor and contributor to ReadTheSpirit, who wrote today’s quiz based on data reported in the “Atlas of Food.”
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK! You can do this
anytime by clicking on the “Comment” links at the end of each story.
You also can Email ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm. We’re also reachable on Facebook, Digg, Amazon, GoodReads and some of
the other social-networking sites as well, if you’re part of those