Today we learnt about the concept of secret water. Secret water is the water that is used in the produce of things we buy, consume and eat. A T-Shirt for example uses a gigantic 2700Litrse of Water. That’s not just because cotton is a water thirsty plant, it is also the fact that many of the cloths we but today are exported around the world from growing the cotton in Alabama, weaving and dying the cotton in India to assembling the shirt in China, where labour is cheap!! If we have to look at our complete footprint we also need to account for its entire water footprint including the water that it polluted as a result. The dying and bleaching of cloths is a fabulous example of how factory pollution can contaminate water in eco-system far from source.
We then looked at food, some foods like pulses ( demonstrated in the perfect pulse challenge)and locally grown, in season vegetables use considerably less water to produce that food like meat and dairy. This is why!! If we consider, the average lifespan of a cow, perhaps 3 to 5 years before being ready to slaughter and consume. In that time, the cow will consume 8kg of grain per day x 365 days per year x 3 years = 8959 kg of grain during its life. Can you imagine how much water would be used to irrigate the grass and grain to feed that cow who will in turn, feed maybe 200 people at most?? Now lets think about a different world, where everyone is vegetarian and the holy cow is toppled from the food pyramid. Instead of us eating the cow, we would eat the grain that was supposed to feed the cow. With almost 9 thousand kilograms of grain, can you imagine how many more people this would feed. The water footprint of 8960kg of grain would be shared between more than 20000 people meaning less water per meal and more water for all!! Eating more vegetarian food, we not only save water and lower our carbon emission; it is a more efficient use of energy. Add to that the often inhumane conditions that many animals are farmed under, vegetarian food like legumes become an ever more logical solution to feeding us all, as well as being kinder to the environment and animals