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How much water goes into the production of a 200g (7 ounce) piece of grilled chicken breast?
You might be surprised to hear that it's over ten litres… in fact, it's closer to 440 litres of water (116 gallons).
Shocked? How about this one: how much water does it take to produce just glass of beer? Let's assume it's about 240mL (8 ounces), which is on the small side for Australian standards (this is slightly less than a 285mL middy).
Answer: Nearly 60 litres of water go into making your beer!
Water consumption is an aspect of food production that we often forget about, perhaps because we're so busy enjoying our food and drink to stop and think about its environmental impact.
An interactive tool for the L.A. Times can help you measure the direct and indirect amount of water required to produce your dinner, opening user's eyes to the water footprint of, say, a steak, as opposed to a plate of lentils.
The website uses data from the Water Footprint Network, United States. Food items are assumed as fresh (unfrozen) and do not include the footprint for cooking (when applicable).
While the water footprint of foods will likely vary between countries, regions, food producers and brands, it's a useful way to increase your awareness, and can help to inform your decisions when it comes to choosing how best to eat for the health of the planet.
Conserving what little water we have access to is one of the most important ways you can combat our climate change issues. In an increasingly drier world, all water consumption needs to be mindful.
A key concern surrounding climate change is the increased stress placed on the world's water supplies. It makes sense if you think about it: with rising temperatures and a changing weather pattern, droughts are set to increase. Not only that, but our water-hungry lifestyle and a growing world population means that H20 is quickly becoming the planet's most valuable resource, creating "water stress". To ensure a supply of healthy and fresh water to ourselves and to future generations, it is important that we become water-wise now.
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