Monday, March 23, 2015

Meatless Monday loves World Water Day

When resources are running low, and the earth is being depleted at an exponential rate, we have to start thinking about the choices we are making.

Meat products take incredible amounts of water to produce, whereas as vegetables take far less. Which is the better choice when it comes to sustainability? If we want to sustain life on this planet, we need to make choices that will benefit us in the long-term. The sustainable choice is to opt for the plant based diet.

Why does meat take so much more water to produce than plants? Well, animals are higher up in the food chain than plants. So first, we need to grow all of the grain and plants that cattle eat. Once all of that water is used to produce the grain, we then feed it to cattle. Cattle have to eat a lot of grain. Add in all the extra water that cattle have to drink, and this adds up to a huge amount. In reality, we could just eat the grain and plants used to feed the cattle and a whole step would be taken out of the process!

This inefficiency can be seen in whats called the feed conversion ratio. The ratios are 7:1 for beef, 5:1 for pork and 2.5:1 for poultry. These numbers represent the amount of feed needed to produce an output of beef. For instance, 7 units of feed are needed to produced 1 unit of beef. These units of feed can consist of corn, soybeans, wheat, etc. All of which are edible to humans. Instead of using water to grow all of this feed, that is then fed to cattle only to produce a small amount of food, we could simply eat the plants ourselves. A fraction of the water that it takes to produce cattle, could go towards producing enormous amounts of plant based foods that we could consume.

Meatless Monday is the perfect way to participate in World Water Day, because it because it decreases our water footprint. You don't have to be a vegetarian to make sustainable choices when it comes to food. Knowing the facts and making smart choices through out your day is the best way to incorporate sustainability into your life.

Try going Meatless every Monday!

Happy World Water Day!
- Jackie
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