Here in CA there’s always talk of the drought. Or, rather “The Drought”. We are told to shorten our showers; urged to let our lawns die or replace them with drought resistant plants; turn off the faucet; allow our yellow to mellow,etc.
And that’s all good. I’m all for conserving where we can and help lessen the strain on our water reserves. Because, according to the people who know this stuff (aka the Scientists), our water tables in the Golden State are being rapidly depleted.
Yes, we did have an amazing rainy winter. And because of that there still is a lot of snow in the Sierras that will melt and flow into our streams, rivers and reservoirs. This is great news, but we need a lot more rainy winters to make a huge, long-term impact.
So because we’re good stewards of our planet we continue doing what we’ve been advised to do and helping our state with water conservation! But there are other things we can do that will help even more.
And it’s all about what we choose to eat. See, every food source has a “water footprint”. This is how many gallons of water it takes to produce one serving of the food.
I don’t know about you, but I never really equated how much water it took to produce food. I mean, I go to Safeway or the farmer’s market and buy stuff. It’s just there for me. I don’t garden (very well or very much) so have no clue about what fruits, veggies, cows or pigs require.
Lucky for me there are people who study this stuff and can help simpletons like myself.
In the October 2015 issue of the Nutrition Action Newsletter there was a great infographic (see below) identifying the water footprint of 15 food items provided by www.waterfootprint.org
I was surprised to learn it takes 464 gallons of water to produce on serving of beef. One serving is not a steak, it’s not a pound, its 4 ounces. I don’t know the math, but how many 4 ounce servings can you obtain from a cow? Yeah, wow.
But you like meat, right? You like steaks and burgers. And while it sucks that it takes that much water to make a chicken or the egg that’s a bummer because these things are tasty. I get it. But even if you don’t entirely change your eating habits, you can still make a difference.
You’ve heard of Meatless Monday, right? It’s a very simple way to eliminate meat one day a week and increase your fruit, veggie, legume, bean and grain input at the same time! Brilliant! Bean and rice burritos for dinner. Veggie and rice soup for lunch. Oatmeal, cereal or avocado toast for breakfast.
Who knows, you may like it enough to do it more than just Mondays.
Now go run!