Banana and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Data and Observation
For this experiment, I used raw banana (1 cup mashed; 225 g) as example. The second law of thermodynamics states that “the entropy of an isolated system which is not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.” In this case, the system is the banana. As seen from the first column in Table 1, the organisms eating the product gains 10% of the total energy left from the producer or consumer above its trophic level which means 90% is lost when the product is consumed. By observation, we can see that the energy gained and lost decreases as we go across the different trophic levels. This suggests that an organism belonging into the fourth trophic level must eat ten times more to acquire the same energy as the once that belong to the third consumer.
Table 1. Energy lost and gained by the consumers across different trophic levels from eating a raw banana fruit.
Considering the amount of energy in producing foods based from animals and plants, I think that we should eat products found at the lower trophic levels. The entropy is high at the higher levels and thus we must go down the trophic level.
“Raw Bananas.” (2007, October 25). NutritionData. Retrieved Oct. 25, 2007 from http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001-01c20Tm.html