To Eat is to Drink

When we import food from California, we are also importing what’s left of their water.

Use this “water footprint” calculator to see how much water is required for every bit of food you eat.  Look especially at the water footprint of protein.

Of course not the full volume of water listed as the “cost” of any particular meal is wasted as some goes back into the atmosphere as water vapor or into the ground water or local stream from irrigation or animal urine.

Even so, the water has to be there for growth, washing and other processing. And so I have stopped my grumbling about all the outdoor things I cannot do today because it is raining on Goose Creek.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. When we live in our RV, I make 30 gallons of water last 5 days. At home in Los Angeles County, i have flow controls on all the sinks, so the flow is very slow. We are all starting to ditch the lawns and plant succulents, etc. But agriculture is a huge dilemma!
    I wish the article you linked to wasn’t written in grey font on black background. With my poor vision, I couldn’t read it. The charts and graphs made it look very intriguing to me.