"Let nothing human be alien to me"- Terence

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Absurd Follow-Up

Below, I talked about the Saudis donating 1013 tons of dates to the World Food Program in Yemen.  This is a good thing- Yemen's food shortage is reaching a crisis point, and foreign governments are not doing enough to help, something that is morally and strategically unbelievable.  My point in posting below, though, was because I was literally* gobsmacked at the enormous amount of dates.

Coincidentally, I was at the grocery store this afternoon and while in the produce section weighed out a pound of dates.  It came to about 18 dates to a pound.  I don't know if these were wholly representative of dates or not, but I'm going to assume they were.  I'm just going to be American-centric and assume it is a short ton.  So, 18 times 2000 times 1013 = 36,468,000 dates (margin of error: 4 dates). 

To put that in perspective, that is just an enormous amount of dates.

*Not literally

(EDIT: First sentence originally said "pounds" instead of "tons".  Thanks to comment below for catching that.)


  1. Someone has a nice date-supplying contract with the WFP. Still, 36,468,000 dates, divided by the population of Yemen - 22,917,485 (thank you Google) - equals only 1.6 dates per person.

    PS. Typo in first sentence: tons not pounds, I presume.

  2. Yeah, but if you round that up to two dates...

    And, although my obsession with this will end, oh, today, it would be an interesting look at the machinations of relief efforts to see just how these will be distributed- where they go, how many get diverted, etc. For some reason I think that would be more tangible- and tangibly delicious!- than illustrating the same with money.

  3. I Googled "average weight of dates" to try and find out that EXACT info yesterday! It was, however, a short-sighted plan- you can imagine what came up...Not good on a school computer.