By the numbers: Food for thought


While you’re recovering from Thanksgiving feasts and looking ahead to another month of holiday gorging, chew on these numbers:

702 million pounds
The amount of sweet potatoes grown in 2006 in North Carolina, the nation’s largest producer. Other heavyweights include California (381 million pounds), and Mississippi and Louisiana (200 million pounds each).

Number of cranberries in a pound; 3,333 cranberries in one gallon of juice; 33,333 cranberries in a 100-pound barrel.

Nearly one-half
The amount of the nation’s potatoes grown in Idaho and Washington in 2006.

272 million
The guess-timate of turkeys raised in the United States this year.

The year the Detroit Lions started their football-on-Thanksgiving tradition. The Lions have played on Thanksgiving Day ever since, with the exception of six seasons between 1939 and 1944.

1,866,000 pounds
The amount of green house gas and carbon dioxide emitted during the Lions-Packers game on Thanksgiving, from electricity, gas and water used, and emissions from the travel of the fans and the Packers. But the Lions’ Ford Field became the first NFL stadium to hold a 100 percent carbon neutral game, the Thanksgiving Day game. The team worked with Carbon Credit Environmental Services to plant 150,000 trees as a carbon sink, theoretically offsetting the day’s emissions.

How many times the Framingham and Natick high schools in Massachusetts have played a varsity football game on Thanksgiving day.

16 million
Number of adults playing fantasy sports in 2006.
Get a life.

20 billion
Number of letters, packages and cards the U.S. Postal Service delivered between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. The busiest mailing day last year was Dec. 18, with more than twice as many cards and letters processed that day than any given day’s average.

Average value per acre of Ohio’s farm real estate on Jan. 1, 2007, up nearly 9 percent from the year before. The value of cropland increased 10.7 percent and pasture land, 17.5 percent. Since 2003, the average value of Ohio’s cropland has gone up 42.5 percent; pasture land, 44.6 percent.

22 percent
The proportion of total 2006 sales for jewelry stores in December.

.5 percent
The likelihood I will receive jewelry from my husband for Christmas.

100 percent
The likelihood Santa Keith will give me a book for Christmas. Much better than jewelry.

More than 303 million
Projected U.S. population as we welcome the New Year. This compares with less than 90 million in 1908.
(Editor Susan Crowell can be reached at 800-837-3419 or at

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