We are all aware of the importance of water consumption in our daily lives. With water stores depleting the world over, one of the sustainable goals of the UN is clean water and sanitation.
Climate change, increasing water scarcity, population growth, urbanization are challenges for water sufficiency. As per an estimation (www.who.int), by 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas.
If we need to have adequate drinking water to maintain good health, we need to understand the impact of our food habits on water availability and make better food choices. Here are some of them –
- Eat less meat. Beef has a very high water footprint (consumes 1800 gallons per pound). Pork and chicken too consume a lot more water than vegetarian foods.
- Choose pastured-meat. Pastured-meat uses less water resources than factory-farmed meat. In other words, free roaming poultry and animals from a farm will use much less water and are better for human health than the meats bulk-produced in factories where birds and animals are caged.
- Use less processed foods. Processing of foods (especially ultra-processing of foods like chips, soft drinks, refined snacks, etc.) uses more water than eating natural foods like fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid food wastage. When food is wasted on your plate, the water that is used to prepare and process that food also goes waste. Take smaller portions on your plate so that you minimize food waste.
- Eat organic foods. These foods minimize water pollution caused by pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
- Use whole grains like millets which need less water for harvest.
Reference – https://www.watercalculator.org
(World Water Day falls on March 22 every year. This year’s theme for WWD is “Groundwater – making the invisible visible”. www.unwater.org)
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