What is a lifetime supply of melon?


The answer to this question is a fairly simple maths calculation. Since my daughter’s favourite type of melon is a canteloupe, I’ve tried to work out what a lifetime supply of canteloupe melon might be:

How much melon ‘should’ I eat in a day?

Canteloupes can grow up to 5kg (or 5,000g) in weight. And, according to the NHS, one portion of melon is a 5cm slice, or a piece that weighs about 80g (although, I’m fairly sure that my daughter could eat loads more melon than this in one sitting!).

To work out how many portions I could cut from one melon, I simply divided the weight of the largest melon by the weight of one portion: 5,000 / 80 = 62.5

So, there are 62.5 portions in one large melon.

How long is a lifetime?

According to the Office for National Statistics, the average life expectancy at birth in England is 79.5 years for a boy and 83.2 years for a girl.

I was going to do my sum assuming that a person could eat one portion of melon every day. But current guidlines in the UK are that babies should drink only milk for the first six months of life and should only start to try solid foods from six months onwards.

So, I decided to calculate a lifetime supply as being the number of melons you would need if you were a girl who was going to eat one portion of melon every day of your life from the age of six months.

Doing the maths:

Firstly, I needed to work out the number of days in a lifetime. So, I subtracted six months from 83.2 years and multiplied the result by the average number of days in a year (365.25):

(83.2 – 0.5) x 365.25 = 30,206.175 days in one lifetime

Next, I calculated what weight of melon would be eaten over that many days. To do this, I multiplied the number of days in a lifetime by the weight of one portion of melon:

30,206.175 x 80 = 2,416,494

Wow! That’s a whopping 2,416,494g or 2.4 tonnes of melon!

Lastly, I converted this into the number of whole melon fruits I would need in order to cut that many portions. So, I divided the total weight of melon portions by the weight of one whole fruit. And I assumed that I always chose the biggest, 5kg melons at the market:

2,416,494 / 5,000 = 483.2988

So, by my calculation, a lifetime supply would require 484 melons.

(And then you’d have about three-quarters of a melon leftover…)

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