Nutrition and Industry:
The hard truth about rocks and minerals.
If you are what you eat, then humans are part mineral! That's because we eat minerals everyday, like salt and calcium. Minerals are very important to the life of plants and animals. Most plants get minerals from the soil. Animals and humans get minerals by eating vegetables and meats. You get minerals from meat because the animals eat plants and get the minerals; then we eat them!
The fact is, every product we use comes from an animal, plant, mineral, or a combination of the three.
Minerals and rocks are very important to us in other ways as well. If you're holding a pencil in your hand right now, you're holding a mineral because graphite is used to make pencil "lead". If you brush your teeth, you use minerals because fluoride comes from the mineral fluorite. Farmers use minerals in fertilizers to make plants grow better.
|Do you remember the pig who built his house of bricks, the one that the wolf couldn't blow down? Well, that was one smart pig because he used a product made from sturdy rocks. Concrete is all around us under our feet, and it is made from rocks and minerals, too. Granite and marble are other building materials that have been used for thousands of years to construct buildings and artwork.|
|Quartz is a common mineral, but a very important one. Quartz can be separated into silicon and oxygen. From silicon, crystals can be grown. These pieces of pure silicon crystals are used in the electronics industry. The " brains" of computers are made with this silicon. Solar calculators also use it. Quartz crystals can generate energy, as you can see. The way they do that is when a small electrical current is put through a crystal, it vibrates and makes electricity to run electronics.|
|Iron is a mineral ore used to build things like cars and steel. Steel itself can be used to form buildings and bridges.|
|Most importantly, rocks break down and mix with organic material to form soil which allows us to grow plants for food and other uses.|
Go back to the Mining Tunnels!