Friday, February 27, 2009

You Know You're Married to a Mathematician When

the Dancer makes a casual comment at lunch about the huge number of potatoes there must be out there waiting to be processed. Husband gets on his cell phone/web browser (he's also a technophile) and finds the number of potatoes in tons processed every year, and extrapolates that to pounds and even number of potatoes based on the average potato size (which he also looks up.) He's always interesting to be around. :)

2 comments:

Elephantschild said...

When I was a kid, the set of encyclopedias resided in the dining room, for just such dinnertime conversations.

Now, it's an iPhone!

Gino said...

Geez! You could have warned me. I would have saved my notes.

Let's see. The comment The Dancer made was (approximately): "I'll bet there are at least a million potatoes that haven't been made into anything."

So, how many potatoes get consumed per year? 325.30 million tonnes

How many potatoes is that? 16 / 13.25 per pound

So, how long do potatoes last between harvest and processing? For industrial processing (frozen french fries, potato chips,...) it's probably only a couple days. For potatoes you buy at the supermarket, probably around a month.

So, we've got 325,300,000 * 2000 = 650.6 billion pounds of potatoes consumed annually. Divide by 365. 1.7 billion pounds of potatoes consumed daily. That's 2.2 billion potatoes consumed daily.

So, somewhere between four (4) and 65 billion potatoes extant at any given time.

BTW, Elephantschild, no iPhone here. Windows Mobile all the way. :)