Food: How Many Calories in a Worm?
that it matters to anyone but a robin, but how many calories are in a
worm? How does anyone figure out the answer to a question like this? We
didn't know, so we consulted with Cynthia Hale, a forest ecologist and
graduate student at the University of Minnesota. Cynthia's educated estimate
for an average worm having a dry weight of 33 mg is 0.7 nutritional calories.
How she figured it out might matter to YOU, so Cynthia explained her calculations:
the information I got off the nutritional label of a bottle of protein
powder, I learned there are 3.75 Calories per gram of protein. I already
* 1 Calorie (capital C) used in nutrition = 1,000 Kcalories (Kcal).
* 1 Kcal = 1 calorie
* A calorie
(small c) equals the amount of energy (in the form of heat) needed to
raise the temperature of 1 gram of pure water one degree C (for example,
from 14.5 C to 15.5C).
- The average
dry weight of one of my earthworms was 33 mg, or .033 grams.
So .033 gr X 3.75 Cal/gr = .124 Cal/worm
Only 60% of the worm is protein. So, .124 X.60 = .07 Cal / worm.
(Note: Because a worm has other molecules, like starches
and sugars, that contain calories, you could increase this a tiny bit
if you wanted to.)
- .07 Cal/worm
X 1,000 Kcal/Cal = 70 Kcal/worm