From Drought to Table

7ad060f8bde111e2924b22000aaa05e0_7When it comes to food shopping – and meal choices – we have learned to base our decision on seasonal, local produce in all the colors of the rainbow. Well guess what, right now that might just not be good enough. If you live in California, or anywhere else in the United States, for that matter, we have to consider the impact that the current drought has on agriculture that currently consumes 80% of all the water used in the State. You’d be surprised how much water it takes to grow a slice of avocado, three tangerines or a bunch of grapes. Come and cook with us!

The California drought is serious enough that that it can no longer be ignored. If you’re like me, you’ve switched off your sprinkler system and warily look as your yard is turning from a lush spring-green into a sad dry brown. Yes, brown might be the new green, but it still looks neglected and to the point that we’re seriously considering some fake grass options. When it comes to food, switching off the water is not really an option. But it’s good to know that level of water use necessary to product different vegetables and fruits. Here is how much water is being used to produce the average weekly portion consumed in the US based on data provided by the New York Times and collected from the Agricultural Issues Center at the University of California, Davis and the Pacific Institute:

Average Portion Gallons of Water
4 Glasses of Milk

143.00

1.75 oz of Beef

86.00

3 Mandarins

42.50

Bunch of Grapes

24.00

16 Almonds

15.30

2 oz of Rice

15.10

3 and 1/2 Walnuts

7.00

2 Slices of Bread

6.40

An Orange Slice

6.20

1/3 of an Egg

6.00

Sliver of Avocado

4.10

1/3 of a Head of Lettuce

4.10

1/3 oz of Turkey

4.10

2 Peach Slices

3.30

A small Lemon Slice

2.90

4 Broccoli Florets

2.20

Six Pistachios

2.10

2 Olives

1.40

A thin Slice of Melon

1.10

A small Plum Slice

1.00

An Onion Slice

0.75

A small Piece of Fig

0.71

3 Baby Carrots

0.70

Four Peppers

0.66

A Potato Slice

0.62

A Tomato Slice

0.54

3 Celery Stalks

0.52

3 Garlic Cloves

0.51

2 Strawberries

0.51

A Tiny Pear Wedge

0.51

A Cauliflower Floret

0.49

A Sweet Potato Slice

0.44

An Apple Slice

0.39

A Cabbage Leaf

0.39

A Tiny Grapefruit Wedge

0.34

A Sliver of a Date

0.29

Tip of California Asparagus

0.22

A think Kiwi Slice

0.15

An Artichoke Leaf

0.12

A Half Raspberry

0.08

A Blueberry

0.04

With this in mind, let’s skip the green leafy lettuce salad and tangerines and have a mix of roasted carrots, cauliflower and sweet potatoes and an apple along with the rest of dinner tonight. Come and Cook with us!

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