21 June 2011

Water For Chocolate

Something else to consider about making ecological choices regarding food consumption: how much water does it take to produce?

Some scientists from the Netherlands wrote a report on the issue that includes this chart:
I know, I know, the print is tiny. I was shocked to discover that the item with by far the highest water footprint is ... chocolate, at 24,000 liters of water per kg.

The comparisons between items might be slightly more meaningful if they were organized by serving size rather than by weight, but still, after chocolate, meats are most of the the biggest consumers of water. In decreasing order:

Beef 15,500 liters/kg
Cheese 5,000 liters/kg
Pork 4,800 liters/kg
Olives 4,400 liters/kg
Chicken 3,900 liters/kg

Coffee, I'm relieved to discover, requires only 140 liters of water per 125 ml cup -- very low in comparison to meat and cheese (but how much per kilo?) but still nearly five times the water footprint of tea, at 30 liters per 125 ml cup.

I feel the need for more information, but I will be considering this information next time I'm contemplating a chocolate bar.