Exploration Hub

Farm to Table: The Metals That Bring Food To Our Tables

July 14, 2020

One thing that surprises most people is how important mining is to the food industry. From tending to the plots of land used to grow produce, to processing the food and shipping it to retailers, the entire process uses an entire range of metals:


Step 1: Farming

The herds get animal feed, which contains manganese.

This then helps in fertilizer production. The manure is collected and then processed with potassium, before being shipped out to farms and other industries, which will then be used to tend the soil and encourage produce growth.

Step 2: Put a lid on it


Time to think about food processing.

We see a heavy use of metals such as nickel in the machinery used to process and then manufacture food. This is not even including the metals used as plating in the cans or containers, as well as elements such as Sodium, that will be used as a flavour enhancer.

 Step 3: Going places

Done with getting the goods ready? It is time to hit the road.


Coal and iron are used to make the manufacturing plants that the produce is shipped to and from, and the trucks that the food is loaded on to. They are also used to make concrete, which allows the trucks to travel thousands of miles on the road, highways, and bridges to get to their destinations.


Copper and zinc make up all the tiny bits and bobs that hold machinery and transport together, allowing for a seamless transition from fresh produce to getting to a retailer.

Step 4: Dinner is served


The kitchen you have been meticulously setting up and taking care of for years is a prime example of how lost humans would be without the resource sector. Your appliances, the kitchen sink, and even the plastic containers in your kitchen are made from zing, nickel, and iron.


When it’s time to cook? Every single thing you reach for in the kitchen has had its origins in mining: from diamonds sharpening your knives, to silver and coal particles used to purify your water.



Time to set the table. Your serving spoons may be made from silicone. To make sure that the food is presented beautifully, you’ll be using your best chrome-plated tableware.

It is widely known that copper conducts heat five times better than iron and even twenty times better than stainless steel. Thanks to the excellent heat conductivity properties, the heat spreads more evenly in copper cookware than in traditional pots and pans. It is also used because preparing food on surfaces made with copper alloys may prevent food poisoning, as it help to kill bacteria.



Well, that must be everything. Bon appetit! Could you pass the salt?






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