Chapter 7: Relative Heaven
Footnote: Body Fuel
The basic needs of any two human individuals seldom differ by more than a factor of two. Generally, the energy requirement of the human body in a northern temperate climate is taken to be around 8.64 megajoules per day.
The energy content of honey is 12,400,000 joules per kilogram. My body requires 8,640,000 joules of energy per day. This energy could therefore be supplied by 698 grams of honey. Honey costs (in 1994) £2.28 per kilogram. The cost of my daily energy needs from honey would therefore be £1.59. That is 94% of the £1.69 daily personal food budget with which state welfare provides me. This leaves me with 10p per day.
Even John the Baptist could not live on honey alone. He needed also the fat and protein provided by eating locusts. Therefore, with the 10p per day I have left, I must buy all my body's fat, protein, vitamin and mineral needs. I don't actually know the price of locusts at Sainsbury's.
The energy content of refined sugar is 17,000,000 joules per kilogram. Refined sugar costs 59p/kg (in 1994). My daily energy could therefore be supplied by 508g of sugar. This would cost 30p, which is only 18% of my personal budget. This would leave me with £1.39 per day to buy my body's protein, fat, vitamin and mineral requirements. However, refined sugar is devoid of the balanced set of other vital ingredients which honey contains. Undiluted with other things, refined sugar does not provide energy in a form suitable for natural assimilation by the body.
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©Nov 1994 Robert John Morton