Did You Know Agriculture Produced These 6 Items?

Agriculture is the most significant and important industry in the world simply because it is responsible for feeding, clothing and housing our growing population. Agriculture is vital to sustain all walks of life, but agricultural products and resources are utilized in a variety of different ways that often go unnoticed. Here are six items agricultural products created you may not have known about.

1. Crayons

From art classes to recreational fun, crayons are one of the most widely-used coloring products in the world, and they are directly related to agriculture. Soybeans are an important ingredient for the production of crayons. In fact, one acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons. The production of soybeans ensures there is no shortage of crayons available on store shelves.

Farmers in 29 different states across the U.S. grow over two billion bushels of soybeans each year. The soybean oil from one bushel of soybeans can make 2,112 crayons. Image from: Odyssey

2. Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty, located on Long Island, New York, was gifted to America in 1886 by the people of France. Since the early 1900s, the statue has become a tourist destination and has since been modified to allow tours. The elevators in the Statue of Liberty use a soybean-based hydraulic fluid, an agricultural product, to take tourists from the pedestal to the crown. Without elevators, the climb to the top is strenuous. It takes 354 steps, equivalent to 20 stories, to reach the crown of the Statue of Liberty and is only recommended for people in good physical health.

Blog Post Statue of Liberty
As a hydraulic fluid in elevators, the soy biofluid worked better than the previously used mineral-oil-based formulations, especially in terms of lubricity and biodegradability. Image from: CNN Library

3. Sports

Baseballs are made with wool. Footballs are made from cowhide. The food you eat on game days is a direct result of agriculture. Sports, the actual games themselves and all the watching/viewing parties use many agricultural resources and products to make game days possible.

One cowhide can produce approximately 10 footballs. Image from: Digital Trends

4. Toothpaste

Hopefully everyone uses toothpaste at least twice a day. Toothpaste is a necessity—and it’s made from agricultural products. Sorbitol, a common ingredient in toothpaste, is produced from corn sugar dextrose and is used in toothpaste as a low-calorie, water-soluble, bulking agent. Next time you reach for your toothpaste, remember agriculture plays a vital role in having pearly white and clean teeth.

While most sorbitol is made from corn syrup, it is also found naturally in some fruits, such as apples, pears, peaches and prunes. Image from: 1Dental.com

5. Allergy and Cold Medicine

Allergies affect over 50 million people in the United States each year. One billion people in the U.S. suffer from a cold at least once a year. The majority of these people rely on cold and allergy medicines to make it through the day when they’re experiencing symptoms. A common ingredient in most cold and allergy medications is pseudoephedrine. Most of the pseudoephedrine produced for commercial use is derived from yeast fermentation of dextrose in the presence of benzaldehyde, which occurs naturally in many foods, such as almonds, apricots and apples. Without agriculture producing foods of these types for the extraction of benzaldehyde to create pseudoephedrine for medicine, many people would suffer yearly from colds and allergies.

Medicine Herbs
According to Alternative Medicine, over half of all medical schools are now offering courses that include the study of plants as medicine. Image from: Financial Tribune

6. Cosmetics

Have you ever heard mascara is made with bat guano? While that is not true, some cosmetics are crafted with guanine, a crystalline material that is shimmering or light-diffusing and found in crushed fish scales. Most mascaras, nail polishes and lipsticks contain guanine, an agricultural product, and wouldn’t have the same consistencies, nor performance, if this product was to be eliminated.

New Cosmetics
Cosmetics are the bridge between the barn and the runway. Image from: Glamour

There are so many areas that agriculture impacts and it’s exciting to know what all has an agricultural background. To learn more fun agricultural facts, visit any of the websites listed below for a positive, exciting learning experience.