Monday, August 17, 2015

The solution to California's drought:
if you eat beef, don't wash
– video

from The Guardian
Would you stop showering if it meant that was the only way you could keep eating beef? California's ongoing drought needs radical action. But in a state dependent on water-hungry meat production, it would be politically dangerous to suggest eating less beef. Activists the Yes Men collaborated with comedy video website Funny or Die to produce a spoof campaign encouraging California's hipsters to skip showers for beef. Did it fool anyone?


from Business Insider

One chart sums up the real problem in the California drought — and it isn't almonds
You might've heard that if there's one food you shouldn't be buying in the middle of California's drought, it's almonds.

Compared with many other nuts and veggies, almonds seem particularly wasteful, requiring a whole gallon of water per nut.

But what about the foods we eat that aren't nuts or vegetables?

I'm talking about meat.

Red meat, in particular. From raising the cows to washing and processing the meat, burgers and steaks require far more water per ounce than a handful of nuts do.

This chart, from a presentation made by University of California Davis professor Blaine Davis, makes the difference pretty clear:

Those arrows point to "forages" and alfalfa — crops raised almost exclusively for feeding farm animals. In California, the largest milk-producing state in the US, the vast majority of these animals are cows. "Forages" include the fields that get watered for cows to graze on and the corn and other irrigated crops that later get churned into cow feed.

Both of these use way more water than the almonds and pistachios shown near the top of the chart.

The difference is even more dramatic when you think about how much water is required to produce just one ounce of each food.

A whopping 106 gallons of water goes into making just one ounce of beef. By comparison, just about 23 gallons are needed for an ounce of almonds (about 23 nuts), the Los Angeles Times reported recently.

So stop with the almond shaming, and start eating less red meat.

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