Why What You Eat Matters for One of the World’s Most Precious Commodities
More commonly known as water.
As we have discussed recently in our One Health series, nothing is more important to our own health or the health of our planet.
From drinking our 8-10 glasses a day to how we use water to grow our crops, water is quite literally the staff of life.
With World Water Day quickly approaching (the celebration will happen Tuesday March 22nd!), we thought this would be an ideal time to talk once again about why water matters and how our diet has a direct impact on the issue of water.
Why Water Matters…
Did you know that…
- Only about 2.5% of Earth’s total water supply is fresh and drinkable? So even though there’s a lot of water out the earth’s oceans, not much of it is useable for practical purposes.
- There are over 900 million people who don’t have access to clean water.
- Almost 3.5 million people die each year due to water sanitation and hygiene issues.
- The meat industry takes a large chunk of the clean drinking water; to prepare a steak dinner for two uses approximately 1,500 gallons of water, just for the meat portion of the meal alone. (that same amount of water is enough for two people to take a 10-minute shower every single day for a full month!)
Since the average American eats 144 hamburgers a year, our appetite for meat (and therefore water) does not appear to be diminishing any time soon.
Water is a big issue…and what we eat has a clear and dramatic effect on the situation.
Enter, World Water Day.
So…what exactly is World Water Day?
Established in 1993, World Water Day is an annual event that always occurs on March 22nd.
It’s a day set aside to focus on the importance of freshwater as well as to advocate for the long term sustainability of its resources.
It symbolizes a moment where we think about water–one of the planet’s most precious (but often underappreciated) commodities.
How can you celebrate World Water Day?
- Learn More About Water. The United Nations (UN) has an entire website devoted to World Water Day, full of facts and helpful tips for water conservation. Check it out!
- Be Mindful. When taking a shower or brushing your teeth, pay attention to the amount of water you are using. Think of different ways you can contribute and conserve.
- Go Meatless for a Day. As we discussed in a recent post, the most important contribution you can make to help conserve water resources is to move towards a plant-based diet. Given that so much water needs to be dedicated to meat production, a shift to a plant-based diet will have a direct and dramatic impact on water consumption.
If you’re not ready to permanently adopt a plant-based diet, why not, at least, go meatless on World Water Day and try out this great Gazpacho?
This delicious recipe has a very low ‘water footprint’ as it is made from two ingredients among those that take the LEAST amount of water to grow (tomatoes and cucumbers).
What We Need to Remember
So in honor of World Water Day, let’s decide to never take water for granted again.
Water consciousness should not be a ‘one day of the year’ event; being mindful about your water consumption should be a part of your daily routine.
And always remember that what you eat will ultimately have the MOST impact on your water conservation efforts!