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Ag Experiment #4 Flaming Peanut

Copied from Daily Oklahoman

Have you ever heard someone say that a particular kind of food, maybe cheese or french fries, contains a lot of calories. Here's what that means.

You'll need:

  • Peanuts
  • Fire-proof surface (an old metal pan or a clean brick)
  • Paper clip
  • Large wooden match
  • Ag Ed teacher

Do this:

  1. Bend the paper clip so it makes a stand to hold the peanut.
  2. Put the stand on the fire-proof surface and push the peanut into the top of the stand
  3. Ask the teacher to watch as you strike the match and light the top of the peanut as if it were a candle

What happened?

The nut starts flaming and burns for several minutes.

Why does a nut burn?

It contains oil, which burns well. The oil in the peanut is considered energy. Calories are a measure of energy. A single peanut contains about 4 calories of energy. You saw the energy being released through the flame on the peanut.

Where did the nut get the energy?

From the sun shining on the leaves of the bush. The nut plant stored that energy in the oil in the nuts. And when you set the energy free by burning the nut, the warmth that the flame made was...stored sunlight energy.

Questions to think about:

  1. How do calories effect livestock feeds?
  2. Would you want high or low calorie levels in feeds?
  3. Do you think different grains contain different levels of calories?

Try this:

Do this same experiment with different seeds and grains. Discuss your findings with the class.

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