Commute Communion #9 – Walnuts, Almonds, and Water Cost
Holy cow, I’ve read it from a number of sources now. I am still having trouble believing it. It takes nearly 5 gallons of water to make one walnut.
That’s a staggering amount to me. Though I suppose it takes 3 gallons for a single tomato. Those are relatively juicy so you feel like they’ve retained a bit that didn’t evaporate.
Almonds take 1 gallon of water per almond. Let that sink in. Those tiny little buggers requiring a gallon each.
I don’t know where most of the world’s walnuts are grown, but something like 90% of the world’s almonds are grown in California.
I can’t imagine why, seems like a strange thing to grow in what feels like a desert.
This isn’t to say these are our biggest issues, but they dwarf the amount of water used by all people in LA. Talking years of water burned through in a single year.
And I’d be remiss for ignoring farm animals. It takes 18 HUNDRED gallons of water for a single pound of beef. So the next time you are looking at the meat aisle just imagine how many more years that could have supported water needs in the state.
Milk comes in at 122 gallons per pound, fwiw.
The “water cost” of food fascinates me. And seeing how we export A LOT of the food we make, we are literally sending our water to places it won’t return in a long, long time.
More on the topic, with pictures, hooray: