Whether pouring milk on your cereal or biting into a fresh apple, most people know that the food we eat each and every day comes from hardworking farmers and ranchers. But you might not realize just how much agriculture affects other aspects of your everyday life. Take a look at some of the lesser-known reasons agriculture is so important:
Your Morning Routine
The toothpaste you squeeze on your brush to clean those pearly whites contains sorbitol, which is produced from the corn sugar dextrose. It’s used as a water-soluble bulking agent. Many cosmetic products benefit from agriculture, too. Corncobs are finely ground and used to make cosmetic carriers, and corn is also used in different forms in everything from lipsticks to powders. Corn can also be found in shampoo and conditioner.
The soft T-shirt in your closet and the stylish pair of denim jeans are both thanks to a cotton farmer. One bale of cotton can make up to 215 pairs of jeans. And the indigo plant provides the rich blue color. Some companies still use indigo dye to color the jeans.
Other agricultural fibers used to make clothes include hemp and wool.
Keeping It Clean
Agricultural products such as corn and soybeans are found in a number of cleaning agents. Several laundry detergents and carpet shampoos contain soy, while Windex and some hand soaps have corn in them.
One of the most common aspects of agriculture that many consumers forget about is fuel. Ethanol is a corn-derived oil that is used in gasoline to power cars, helping you get to where you need to be. Corn starch is also used in the production of tires to help the rubber from sticking to the molds.
Fun and Games
Next time you sit down to color your favorite picture, consider this – colorful crayons can be made using soybeans. In fact, just one acre of soybeans can produce up to 82,368 crayons.
Sports teams and organizations also rely heavily on agriculture. In basketball, hardwood is used to make the floors for the courts, while footballs are made using leather from cows. Leather is also used to make baseballs, and lots of different sports rely on turfgrass growers and landscape professionals to make their fields suitable for play. Cotton is used to make teams’ uniforms, and several different types of wood are used to make baseball bats.
Next time you pick up a favorite book, thank the forestry industry for providing materials to make paper. The ink that’s used to print the words can be made from soybeans using soybean oil.
The acoustic guitar used by your favorite musician was made from lumber, and some traditional instruments still have strings made from horsehair or animal intestines.
The classroom is full of agricultural products, from pencils to textbooks to desks. Did you know that one tree can make approximately 170,000 pencils?
Learn more about farming in the United States, what’s specifically growing in your state, and more ways agriculture affects everyday life at farmflavor.com/united-states-agriculture.