The Holy Grails of Veganism - Ocean Gen x Saving the Grace

Overview

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  • What we eat affects our planet – 70% of global freshwater withdrawals are for irrigation for agriculture. 

  • An average UK citizen’s water footprint from the food they consume is 2757 litres of water a day.

  • The holy grails of veganism: the avocado and almond aren’t innocent either as both plants are particularly thirsty

  • It’s time we came back to our roots and ate local and seasonal. 

You may be reading this sat on your commute whilst holding your second cup of black coffee of the morning washing down your avocado on toast that you had for breakfast. Yet blissfully unaware that your mornings food consumption already tallies up to 620 litres of water that was used to produce what you gulfed down in a few minutes. Unaware of the ‘who’, ‘how’, and ‘where’ of the production of your food. 

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We are so fortunate that our wish is our command when it comes to food. A global supply chain is more than a network of transport links, but a connection of people, place and resources. But one resource of all is under threat – water. By 2030 demand for water is expected to be 40% greater than supply without changes in behaviour, with 70% of the demand coming from irrigation for agriculture. What we eat affects our planet. 

An average UK citizen’s water footprint from the food they consume is 2757 litres of water a day. Much of the water used to produce food that you never ate. 99% of the water related to meat production is used to feed the animals resulting in a mammoth 15,400 litres of water for 1 kg of beef. However, veganism is certainly not the answer for everyone, nor should it be prescribed but it is important to recognise the impact of meat production on the environment. 

The holy grails of veganism: the avocado and almond aren’t innocent either as both plants are particularly thirsty. As with anything it is a complex map of food choices but it’s time we came back to our roots and ate local and seasonal food. 

There should be not be one prescriptive way of eating. It is what suits the individual, yet we should be taking in to the account the environmental impact as well as the nutritional value of our food. It’s only so good if you have healthy body if we have an unhealthy planet. It’s time we woke up, smelt the coffee and started eating with a conscience. The world’s water depends on it. 

*(1 Avocado 320 litres of water, 1 slice of white bread 40 litres of water, 2 x standard cup of coffee 125 ml 260 litres of water)

Written by Emily Broughton, Saving the Grace

To see the article on Ocean Generation click here.