Friday, 18 March 2011

Chicken? Or Beef?


March 22 is World Water Day. So a simple pop-quiz: If you want to plan a water-wise menu which would you choose:
  1. Chicken or beef?
  2. Potato or rice?
You might be surprised how great a water divide exists between these two simple options which are such common menu planning decisions. For the answers check out National Geographic's Hidden Water Use Tool. (Or scroll down below for the quick answers!)

You might also want to run these food-related comparisons:
  1. Apple juice or orange juice?
  2. Wine or beer?
  3. Tea or coffee?
Remember though: sustainable menu choices are not as 'simple' as just what conserves the most water. Although water is a critical issue, energy use from packaging, production and transport, support of small-scale and local growers, and use of chemicals and pesticides are also important. The complicated nature of food choices can make your head spin, but the more you know, the better decisions you can make.

Answers:
  • Chicken is the more water-wise choice, consuming 1,773 L of water per 0.5 kg, compared to beef at 6,810 L of water per 0.5 kg.
  • Potatoes trump rice at 1,250 L less water per pound. Potatoes take approximately 450 L of water per 0.5 kg while rice consumes 1,700 L per 0.5 kg.

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