Carbon “ You will die but the carbon will not; its career does not end with you. It will return to the soil, and there a plant may take it up again in time, sending it once more on a cycle of plant and animal life. ” -Jacob
There are many allotropes (differing structural configurations of an element) of carbon, one of them being the hardest substance known to man – diamond, and the softest – ceraphite (very similar to graphite)
Carbon is currently recognized as the fourth most abundant substance in the universe, ranked by mass.
Carbon has the highest melting and sublimation point of all elements
Carbon’s unique structure gives it the ability to create many different polymers (almost an infinite amount of variations of polysaccharides can be formed). This is the reason Carbon is the element that is the basis of life.
Also known as saccharides,or sugars,are vital in the many functions of living things. They provide the means of energy storage and transfer and are necessary for the immune system, fertilization, growth and more. Carbohydrates are the most common source of energy for living things. These organic compounds always contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in a ratio of one part carbon, one part oxygen, and two parts hydrogen. Pasta, bread, potatoes, cereal, beans, and rice all contain high amounts of carbohydrates.
The term “carbon footprint” concerns environmental friendliness and pollution and refers to carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Carbon emission (usually in the form of CO 2 ) is the main contributor to global warming. Heightened levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere alters its function, causing it to absorb more heat and reflect less UV rays. The food industry as a whole has become aware of this and many companies have taken measures to reduce their carbon emissions in hopes of slowing down this negative effect.
Believe it or not, the food industry is one of the largest contributors to global warming. The concept of food miles is used in determining food’s environmental impact. Basically, it states that there is a relationship between the average number of miles that food travels from the farm to the plate and climate change.
The carbon cycle describes how the billions of tons of carbon are cycled between the atmosphere, the ocean, living things and non-living things. Carbon gets exchanged through decomposition, respiration, fermentation, photosynthesis, weathering, combustion, and sedimentation. Surprisingly, the ocean contains the highest amount of carbon as sediment. This carbon is known as inorganic carbon because the compounds have no carbon to carbon or carbon to hydrogen bonds.