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Top Ten Water Wasting Foods With The Biggest Water Footprint

by Andrew Ciccone October 07, 2016

“You are what you eat.” A common phrase used to describe your health and wellbeing. Today this phrase is tweaked to “Your Water Footprint is what you eat.”

Of course, water is required for food production. No matter what. However, are we truly aware of the foods we eat and the impact that has on our water supply.

The global average water footprint of our food is truly remarkable. While, the water footprint varies from country to country - there is a relative average.

And, as a society we can find ways to save water by re-evaluating our daily diet.

Top Ten Water Wasting Foods (gallons per lb)

  1. Beef- 1,847 gallons per lb
  2. Nuts- 1,086 gallons per lb
  3. Lamb 1,049 gallons per lb
  4. Pork - 717 gallons per lb
  5. Butter - 665 gallons per lb
  6. Chicken - 518 gallons per lb
  7. Beans - 486 gallons per lb
  8. Eggs - 391 gallons per lb
  9. Vegetable Oil - 283 gallons per lb
  10. Cereal / Grains - 197 gallons per lb

Here’s a great water-footprint calculator to learn more about our water-footprint.

So how does this relate to our water footprint? Food and drink make up about half of our water footprint. Animal agriculture water consumption can range from 34-76 trillion gallons each year (Cowspiricy). Therefore, if everyone cut their meat consumption by one-half that would mean that one-half less water would be used. Now, I’m not tell you to become vegan overnight or anything, as that would be highly unrealistic for most people. However, eating less meat can make a big impact on your water footprint and the overall water usage for the planet.

What is the grand scheme of this? We do not need to be eating this much meat. To start improving your water footprint, try having a Meatless Monday or have one Vegetarian meal a day. Eating a whole foods, plant based diet is beneficial for your health, your water footprint, and the environment as a whole.


Andrew Ciccone
Andrew Ciccone


Andrew Ciccone, VP Branding & Media Strategy - Andrew's long strange marketing trip began after graduating from Syracuse University with a BS in Marketing. Andrew then developed his marketing prowess when he moved to Madison Avenue big boys Young & Rubicam, Backer Spielvogel, and Grey Advertising. He went on to get a Masters in Corporate Communications from Baruch College, then went on to start his own agency in 2011 - Hudson Valley Public Relations. Andrew has earned a reputation for creative, smart, innovative campaigns that get results. Andrew's spare time is devoted to sailing regattas, family fun and film. To date he has penned four screenplays.

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