A Worthless Unit

All sciences have always defined their units. It is known exactly what we mean by 1 meter, a second or a temperature degree. Only one science has not defined its unit: economics.

Mister Celsius has defined his scale by setting boiling water to 100 degrees and freezing water to 0. Convenient. Now we know: that is warm, that is cold.

Napoleon has introduced the Meter, todays unit of distance – at least on the European Continent. Of what use is a yardstick that says 76 centimeters today and 78 centimeters tomorrow? That is exactly how money is supposed to work: even the unit itself depends on the mood of the day. What a worthless unit. Time for a different one, one that gas been defined at least somehow. But how can we define our unit of value?

Sunflower Oil

A unit of value for Bottle of Sunflower OilRainbow Trading needs to be usable worldwide. People just have to understand how much something can actually be. A kJ (kiloJoule) -the official SI unit for energy- has never become popular. Afer many years, people still don’t know whether 500 kJ is a lot or not. It says nothing.

We start off with a common household product: sunflower oil. If you only have some other oil, no problem, its energetic value will be different but you will not notice.

100 gram sunflower oil is the foundation for our definition:

  • 100 gram is 1 Green – if recyclable
  • 100 gram is 1 Blue – if not recyclable
  • the energy in 100 gram sunflower oil is 1 Red. That is: 3400 kJ or 810 kCal.

We will use this unit to give some examples of the values of food and fuels.