Consider the Water Impact of the Food You Eat

How Does Your Garden Grow? And Use Water?

By Don's Early Light, Donald J. Brix, Ph.D.

Have you ever thought about the amount of water required to produce and deliver the food we eat? It turns out that not all foods are created equal in regard to their water impact on the environment.

With 7 billion folks on the planet now, and growing fast, the following water crumbs might be worth thinking about a bit more as you fill your shopping cart:

  • Lettuce          23   gallons
  • Tomato          23       "
  • Potato            24       "
  • Wheat            25       "
  • Carrot            33       "
  • Apple             49       "
  • Chicken        815       "
  • Pork           1630       "
  • Beef           5214       "

Trust me, I don't make up this stuff. These numbers were compiled by the University of California Agricultural Extension. Even if their numbers are off by a large percentage, the escalation that begins with "chicken" is still remarkable. It's a dramatic reminder that the true costs of our dietary choices extend far beyond what we shell out at the grocer's check-out aisle.

Stay tuned and good eatin', Don

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