What does Toxicologist think of Chemical Hazard?

of High Risk %
HI % by Risk Level of Specific Chemical

MeThink: 5kg Rice for 2 days Not Enough?

According to this article, yes.

Waiting in line outside a warehouse last weekend to buy government-supplied rice was Julieta Casanova, 60, who lives with her two children and eight grandchildren in Tandang Sora, a slum outside of Manila.

“We can’t survive without rice,” Casanova said. The government rations the rice to five kilograms per person, which Casanova said would last two days.

So if the author of the article is not mistaking about 5kg rice per household or per person, I wonder how someone can eat 1.25kg rice per meal in 2 days? (Assuming 4 meals in 2 days).


Picture: Ice Cream Waffle

In Cameron Highland, taste yummy!

Picture: Nasi Lemak

Cameron Highland 09.11.2007, originally uploaded by micpohling.

Mikko’s favourite food :)

Food Item and its Calorie: Fruits

source: FAO Stat

OECD and Malaysia: Wine and Vermouth Trade

Export and Import on Wine and Vermouth in terms of million USD for OECD countries and Malaysia, 2004:

In year 2004, United Kingdom imported USD 4 280 000 000 of wine and vermouth product, top of the list. This is followed by United States, Japan and Germany. On the other hand, France exported USD 6 975 202 000 wine and vermouth product to the whole world. Second rank Italy managed to do half of France’s amount. Australia and Spain ranked 3th and 4th place in the wine and vermouth product export.

source: FAO Stat – Trade

OECD and Malaysia: Tobacco Trade

Import and Export on Tobacco in million USD for OECD countries and Malaysia, 2004:

Japan is the top importer for tobacco product, followed by Italy, Spain and France. On the other hand, Netherlands is the top exporter for tobacco product, followed by United States, Germany and United Kingdom.

source: FAO stat – Trade

Rice (Part II): Crop Yield and Price


Top 3 rice crop yield:

Albania, Egypt and Australia (hmmm, the rich and developed nations do not neccessarily be producing higher yield with the help of R&D and technology?)

Malaysia: 3325.9 kg/Ha [2004]

Bottom 3 rice crop yield:

Republic of Congo, Democrat Republic of Congo and Malawi. (phew*sigh relief*, Malaysia is not in the list)

Top 3 rice producer price:

Japan, Turkmenistan and Zimbabwe. It is not surprise to know that Japanese produces very expensive rice: scarcity of the land pretty much tell the whole story.

Malaysia: USD190.00 per tonne [2003]

Bottom 3 rice producer price:

Brazil, Suriname, and Russia. Just compare the price between the top (Japan) and lowest (Brazil). It is such a huge difference!

More on Rice:

Part I: Production, Import, Export

Part III: Consumption 

source: FAOStat

Rice (Part I): Production, Import, Export

Top 3 rice producer:

China, India and Indonesia

Top 3 Area harvested for rice:

India, China and Indonesia.

Top 3 rice importer:

China, Nigeria and Bangladesh.

Top 3 rice exporter:

Thailand, India and United States.

More on Rice:

Part II: Crop Yield and Price

Part III: Consumption

source: FAO FAOStat

OECD and Malaysia: Alcohol Consumption

1. Wine:

Luxembourg consumes highest amount of wine, followed by France and Italy. I also learned it recently from my brother-in-law Portugese enjoy wine a lot, especially he is telling me from the place he is now, Porto.

2. Beer:

Ireland, Germany and Austria. Well, not surprised at all. What could be surprised is that Japan is not consuming much beer, even though their beer vending machine and convenient store is everywhere. Sideline for this: the breakdown of alcohol consumption in Japan for last year (from Japan Times):

3. Spirit, or distilled beverage:

4. Total alcohol beverage:

Overall, Luxembourg, Ireland and Germany consume a lot of alcohol beverage. It would be interesting to correlate it to the alcohol-related disease and crime level among these countries with alcohol consumption.

source: Finland Statistic Department, World Figure 2003

Gene: Don’t like to Eat Greens?

Source: Don’t eat greens? It’s all in the genes, 17-09-2006

In the new study Mari Hakala and Paul Breslin, of Monell Chemical Senses centre in Philadelphia, suggest that a dislike of certain vegetables has evolved in some people because their ancestors lived in areas where eating them was potentially damaging.

Glucosinolates, chemicals in vegetables such as broccoli, turnips and horseradish, can partially block the uptake of iodine into the thyroid gland. The element is vital to growth and sexual development. Among people with low iodine intakes — mainly in areas far from the sea, such as the Andes in South America — vegetables containing glucosinolates would increase the risk of stunted growth and mental retardation.

The findings showed that there were two versions of the gene, one sensitive and one insensitive. People with two sensitive genes found broccoli horribly bitter, while those with two insensitive ones enjoyed it.

The findings will be published this week in the journal Current Biology.

More information from other article:

In the new work, researchers were able to show that different genetic versions of this same receptor, known as hTAS2R38, specifically determine people’s perception of plants that synthesize glucosinolates. In their experiments, the researchers divided a test array of vegetables into those that contain glucosinolates, such as broccoli and turnips, and those that do not contain known glucosinolates. The researchers found that individuals possessing two copies of a “sensitive” version of the hTAS2R38 gene rated the glucosinolate-containing vegetables as 60% more bitter than did subjects possessing two copies of an “insensitive” version of the receptor gene. In comparison, individuals possessing one copy of each version of the gene rated the bitterness of glucosinolate-containing vegetables at an intermediate level.

The researchers found that the differences in bitterness perception by the “sensitive” and “insensitive” hTAS2R38 groups reached statistical significance for six vegetables: watercress, mustard greens, turnip, broccoli, rutabaga, and horseradish.

OECD and Malaysia: Irrigated and Horticultural Land

Irrigated and horticultured land in OECD countries and Malaysia:

Netherlands has highest irrigation land area (16.7%) compared Denmark (10.6%) and Italy (9.4%). Since irrigation will require a lot of water (land area that is artificially supplied with water), it would be interesting to note the water consumption for these countries on agriculture.

On the other hand, Malaysia has the highest percentage on horticultural land (17.6%) with the area 57.8 thousands square km. Apart from Spain, Italy, Portugal and New Zealand, most of the OECD countries do not have sizeable horticultural land.

Update: horticultural land is also referring to the permanent crops land, and borrowing the definition from CIA Factbook: permanent crops – land cultivated for crops like citrus, coffee, and rubber that are not replanted after each harvest; includes land under flowering shrubs, fruit trees, nut trees, and vines, but excludes land under trees grown for wood or timber.

source: Finland Statistic Department, World 2003.

OECD and Malaysia: Arable and Pasture Land

Arable and Pasture Land in OECD countries and Malaysia:

Denmark has the highest percentage of arable land covered in the country, followed by Germany and France. On the other hand, Iceland has the least land available for crop growing purpose.

On the other note, New Zealand, a country famous for her sheeps and pasture, has 51.7% of total country’s land as pasture. This is followed closely by Australia, United Kingdom and Ireland.

source: Finland Statistic Department, World 2003.

World: Top 15 Country on Highest Number of Sheep

  1. China: 143.8 million
  2. Australia:  99.3 million
  3. India: 61.8 million

Total sheep in top 15 countries: 655 573 656, or roughly 64.0% of world total sheep count.

source: FAO, GLiPHA 2003.

Math! How much CH4 is released by Sheep around the World?

Cow is not the only ruminant livestock which produce CH4 gas, though it is a major one. Other livestock is generating CH4 as well, and I shall check up each one of them (if I could find the neccessary information :P). How much of CH4 is emitted throughout these livestocks each year?

For time being, let’s look at sheep. After some googling, 2 claims for sheep (so far) are found.

Claim#1: Individual sheep emission rates were highly variable and averaged 19.5 ± 4.8 (SD) g CH4 per sheep per day. (source here)

Thus, a sheep can produce 7.12 kg of CH4 per year.

And, claim#2: New Zealand`s 70 million sheep create 350 million methane gallons daily. (source here)

70 million sheeps for 350 million gallons methane, 5 gallons CH4 per sheep per day, or equivalent to 18.93 L of CH4.

Divide by standard volume molar (22.414 L/mol), the weight of CH4 produced by sheep per day = 0.844 mol x 16 g (CH4 molecular weight) = 13.51 g per day.

In a year, a sheep is producing 4.93 kg CH4. And this value is lower than the claim#1.

As of year 2003, there is around 1 billion, or 1 024 070 182 sheeps (not including the sheep for milk) around the world. Thus, the total annual CH4 emission by sheeps for:

Claim#1: Total CH4 = 1 024 070 182 x 7.12 kg = 7.291 million tonnes.

Claim#2: Total CH4 = 1 024 070 182 x 4.93 kg = 5.049 million tonnes.

Apparently sheep is not emitting much CH4, compared to cow/cattle.

source: FAO, Global Livestock Production and Health Atlas

Math! How much CO2 is released by Dairy Cow?

Yes, I did it on CO2 emission by human being, CH4 emission by dairy cow, and this time: CO2 by dairy cow! Yes, dairy cow, just like any other animal being, do respiration, and exhale CO2 as well.

From this paper, the lactating cows are emitting 6137 ± 505 L CO2 per day (before correcting the gas emission from manure) or 5756L (value#1) per day (after substraction of CO2 emission from manure). The value of CO2 emission from some other references is cited in the same paper as well: 4940L (value#2), 5396L (value#3) and 6515L (value#4) per day.  These 4 values will be used to calculate how much CO2 is released by all the dairy cows in the world in 1 year and is shown with the table below:

And compared this value to human being on earth (as of year 2007), human population is breathing about 1362 million tonnes (case#1) or 2618 million tonnes (case#2) CO2 per year. By comparing the numbers here, dairy cow is pretty much catching up with human being, even though their number 0.238 billion is far less than human population, 6.6 billion.

World: Top 15 Country on Highest Number of Dairy Cow

Top 15 countries on the number of dairy cow according to FAO 2003. India has almost 40 million dairy cow, almost double the number of Brazil, the second highest dairy cow owner in the world.

Total number of dairy cow in the top 15 countries is 145 475 926, while total dairy cow around the world is 237 928 359. Thus, the top 15 countries accounted 61.1% of total dairy cow in the world.

source: FAO, GLiPHA 2003

Math! How much CH4 is released by Dairy Cow?

After cattle/beef cow, now let’s move on to dairy/milking/lactating cow. There are few papers found on the data of CH4 emission by dairy cow.

  1. According to this paper‘s finding (paper#1), dairy cow is measured releasing 587 ± 61.3 L CH4 per day. And compared to the values obtained from other references cited: 420L, 500L, 552L and 560L.
  2. According to this paper (paper#2), the lactating Holstein dairy cows produced 458.7g CH4 per day.
  3. According to this paper from India (paper#3), (i) the milking crossbred cattle produced 106.4g CH4 per day while (ii) the milking indigenous cattle emitted 98.57g CH4 per day.

According o FAO’s statistic, there are 237 928 359 (238 millions) milked cow around the world in 2003.  Thus, the total CH4/methane emission by dairy cow around the world with the summary of all the number above is listed in the table below:

source: FAO, Global Livestock Production and Health Atlas, 2003

Math! How much CH4 is released by Cattle/Beef Cow? (Part II)

More CH4 emission by cattle or beef cow is found! Thefore, I shall continue from the previous post from here.

Claim#3: according to this paper, beef cow produces 262L CH4 per day.

1L CH4 weigh about 0.714g. Thus, the weight of CH4 in 262L CH4 gas is about 187.03g per day.

Or 68.26 kg per year.

Claim#4: from this paper (citing another referecence), “…the average daily CH4 emissions predicted from this SF6 technique (11.6 ± 0.7 L h-1) were similar to those measured using open circuit respiration calorimetry (12.9 ± 0.7 L h-1)”.  

So 2 very close numbers are obtained: (4-a) 11.6L per hour and (4-b) 12.9L per hour. Total CH4 by weight in a year:

Thus, CH4 annual emission by weight is (4-a) 72.54kg or (4-b) 80.67kg.

Claim#5: CH4 from livestock in India is listed in this paper. Methane gas emitted from various type of cattles can be found, and the summary is listed in the table below.

Thus, CH4 emission is (5-a) 36.31kg and (5-b) 32.95kg. Noted that the value here is comparitively much lower than the other value from claim#1-4.

To calculate the total CH4 emission from 1.33 billion cattle/beef cow around the world in 1 year:

Claim#3: Total CH4 = 1.33 x 10^9 x 68.26 kg = 90.78 million tonnes.

Claim#4-a: Total CH4 = 1.33 x 10^9 x 72.54 kg = 96.48 million tonnes.

Claim#4-b: Total CH4 = 1.33 x 10^9 x 80.67 kg = 107.29 million tonnes.

Claim#5-a: Total CH4 = 1.33 x 10^9 x 36.31 kg = 48.29 million tonnes.

Claim#5-b: Total CH4 = 1.33 x 10^9 x 32.95 kg = 43.82 million tonnes.

Combining all the claims found so far, the summary of total CH4 emission by cattle/beef cow in year 2003 is listed in the table below:

Math! How much CH4 is released by Cattle/Beef Cow?

Math time again! :)

This time, I am set out to find how much CH4 is released by cow, or cattle around the world. Total cows/cattle in the world, according to FAO, in year 2003 is around 1 331 526 305. Note that this number does not include the dairy cow, or the cow for milking purpose.

Next, the quantity of CH4 gas emitted by a cow/cattle is searched. So far there are 2 claims, and may be more will be found in the future.

Claim#1:  according to wikipedia,

An average cow is thought to emit between 542 litres (if located in a barn) and 600 litres (if in a field) of methane per day through burping and flatulence, making commercially farmed cattle a major contributor to the greenhouse effect.

Let’s say the adult cow emits 550L of CH4 per day. Divide by standard volume molar (22.414 L/mol), the number of mole of CH4 is 24.538 mol.

Thus, the weight of CH4 = 24.538 x 0.016 kg = 0.3926 kg per day.

Or, 143.3 kg CH4 per year.

Claim#2: according to US Enviromental Protection Agency,

An adult cow … emitting only 80-110 kg of methane (annually).

It is noted that claim#1 is almost 43% higher than claim#2, if the value of 100kg per year is assumed.

Therefore, total CH4 released by cattle/cow annually in weight for year 2003 is:

Claim#1: Total CH4 = 143.3 x 1 331 526 305 = 190.81 x 10^9 kg = 190.81 million tonnes.

Claim#2: Total CH4 = 100 x 1 331 526 305 = 133.15 x 10^9 kg = 133.15 million tonnes.

More livestock’s impact on environment can be read from UN’s news release and the report.

source: FAO, Global Livestock Production and Health Atlas.

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