Saturday, December 10, 2022

These foods use the most water

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28 edibles compared

These foods use the most water

Water consumption is so different: The same amount of water that is needed for one kilo of coffee is enough for 190 kilos of tomatoes.


Too little rain has fallen across Europe for five years. Experts speak of the worst drought in 500 years.

We need less water: the per capita requirement for drinking water in Switzerland was around 472 liters per person in 1990; in 2015 it was 307 liters. However, this does not include the water that was used abroad to manufacture the imported products. In the OECD statistics, we Swiss are among the most economical water consumers.

The water from the tap makes up only a small proportion of this. “A large part of the daily water consumption is due to the food we eat: the so-called virtual water consumption,” writes the comparison portal, which researched the virtual water consumption of 28 foods. Two thirds of all virtual water consumption is used for food production, one third for the production of consumer goods.

Water consumption for growing food per kilo from

Environmental polluters cocoa, coffee and meat

Cocoa and coffee in particular consume a lot of water: Cocoa has the highest water consumption at 27,000 liters per kilo, followed by coffee at 21,000 liters and beef at 15,490 liters.

Compared to the amount of water used for coffee, cocoa and meat, the water consumption of vegetables is negligible: At 110 liters per kilo, tomatoes are the most economical food. Also include carrots (130 liters), potatoes (210 liters), green lettuce (240 liters), strawberries (280 liters), cucumbers (350 liters), lemons (360 liters), milk (600 liters) and apples (700 liters). to the foods with the lowest water consumption.

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A small calculation makes the difference particularly clear: For the same amount of water that is needed for one kilo of coffee, you can use 190 kilos of tomatoes, and for one kilo of cocoa even around 245 kilos!

Shower for over a year

If you want to protect the environment, you can reduce your meat consumption. One meat-free day a week is enough, as the sample calculation shows: With an average per capita consumption of eleven kilos of beef (Swiss average) per year, a consumer who goes without meat for one day per week can save 1.57 kilos of beef. With the 24,275 liters of water saved, you can take a hot shower every day for over a year.

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