11 April 2011

My Dinner's Journey

1500 miles or 2400 km. This is the average distance that food travels to be on a table in the United States. I've been thinking about how to represent this. Right now I've run a few stats.

In some ways, this is an homage to Walter di Maria's Broken Kilometer.

I thought about string or thread. A spool of thread of 550 yards is 503 meters or about 0.5 km. That would be 4800 spools.

A 2x4 is typically 8’-0” long. Laying 2x4s on end would require 990,000 2x4s.

I did a CAD drawing on 8.5x11 paper. It was purely lines spaced very close together. Each line was 9 53/64” long, which is 0.25 meters. 4 lines was 1 meter. Each page hold
s 100 m. Thus 24,000 pages (12,000 sheets, double sided) are needed to represent 2400 km. A ream is 500 sheets. That means 24 reams.

None of these felt right. It should be food representing food. So I have arrived at spaghetti. Spaghetti has a consistent size, and the packaging works well with the modular method of display of the quantities. A randomly selected one pound box of thin spaghetti contained 728 pieces. Each piece on average is approximately 0.25 meters. Therefore each box is 182 meters. 13,187 boxes equals the 2400 km.

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