'Eat Less Water': How your diet can have a big impact on water use and waste

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Water is part of nearly every aspect of the farm-to-table supply chain. So how can people eat food that takes less water to grow, clean and prepare? 

Florencia Ramirez, author of “Eat Less Water,” found that one way to cut water consumption is by buying organic and seasonal food, whether at farmer’s markets or your local grocery stores. 

But even before making those trips, Ramirez says that the main priority should be cutting down on food waste because food that ends up in a landfill wastes a lot of water. 

She says, “We waste anywhere between 30 to 50% of our food here in the United States. And I know every single week, I'm always trying to figure out ways of how I can reduce my waste. … For me, that means planning meals, so I know exactly what I need to buy. It means organizing my kitchen so that I'm not losing food.”

Ramirez adds, “If you're throwing away a loaf of bread, for example, because it got lost in the refrigerator, that's 400 gallons of water that it took  to grow the wheat to create that loaf of bread.” 

She explains that not everything in the kitchen cabinet needs to be organic, but that there is power in the collective. And if you and your neighbors do a little bit more, then it’ll make a big impact on worldwide water systems. 

Author Florencia Ramirez says if you and your neighbors do a little more to buy organic and seasonal food, then it could make a big impact on water systems around the world. Courtesy of Liz Otterbein