Why Waste Matters: Water

One of the real problems with wasting food is that we also squander the embedded resources. Mainly, oil and water (and I have found a way to mix the two here).

While I usually focus on oil, water is increasingly coming to the fore. To wit, this fascinating Dutch study that tallies foods’ water footprint. In addition to finding the water footprint of a city or nation, the study also calculates it for individual foods.

On page 54 of the study, we learn that chocolate, with 24,000 liters of water needed per kg, is among the worst offenders. We also get further evidence for eating chicken or pork instead of beef, and for fruits and vegetables instead of any meat.

Lest this idea prompts green fatigue (‘What other footprints do I need to worry about??’), here’s some free advice: Have a beer–only 75 litres per 250 ml glass! Or some water…

Note: This Guardian piece prompted today’s post. And don’t forget to check out this UK report, which found that the water embedded in the food Britons throw away equals 6% of total UK water needs.

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