Food Loss, Waste & Water: Call 911 on these shocking statistics
Between harvest and retail, approximately 14% of the world’s food is lost, and throughout retail and consumption, approximately 17% is wasted. At the same time, 811 million people go without food. This food loss and waste contributes to an unstable climate and catastrophic weather events like droughts and flooding. Crop yields are significantly impacted, food nutrition is decreased, the supply chain is disrupted, and food security is at risk due to these changes. All of this indicates that the reduction of food lost and waste requires immediate action.
What we however, forget to take into consideration is that no food can be produced without water. These two resources are absolutely necessary for human survival. Many people don’t think about the part water plays in the production of the food we eat, when it comes to our meals. The production of 199.8 million litres of water is needed every second to generate enough food to feed the entire planet’s population.
Food accounts for roughly 66 percent of our overall water intake. Our water footprint, or how much water we use, is largely concealed. Because we cannot see the water that is used to produce the finished goods, it is difficult to visualize.
How much water does our food contain?
- A loaf of bread requires about 908.5 litres of water to make
- 174 litres of water is required to manufacture one small cooldrink
- A tiny serving of chips requires 45 litres of water to make
Meat uses the most water
Meat requires the most water to produce per kilogram than any other food category. From planting the animals’ food to providing the water they drink to the final production of meat, water is used throughout the process.
- The production of one 500g of chicken uses 518 litres of water
- The production of one 500g of pork uses 718 litres of water litres
Water is a true constant in our lives and in a world where everything we come into contact with, frequently changes. It might be simple to forget how essential water is to our daily lives.