5 Foods which has more water footprint than what we expect!!

The food we eat has come all the way from seed through cultivation and finally processing and delivery. Some foods throughout its life cycle consume lesser amounts of water while some other food items consume very huge amounts of water i.e they have got gigantic water footprint.
Water footprint is the virtual water which has gone into various processes of food from cradle to grave. On an average, an American consumes 6000 litres of virtual water per day which is triple that of an Indian.



According to International Coffee Organisation, 9.078 billion kilograms of coffee consumed in coffee year 2015/16 (Oct. 2015 to Sep. 2016). 1 cup of coffee needs 140 litres of water for growing, processing, transportation and brewing. Coffee unlike tea is to be transported through very long distances. The water footprint of Coffee is greater than that of Tea, wine and even Beer.

water footprint


Pork is the most widely consumed meat in the world, followed by poultry, beef, and mutton. Among Meat, beef accounts for 24% consumption worldwide. It takes 15,415 litres of water for 1 kg of beef to be served to you. Also, meat has got highest energy footprint among all foods which is 75 times higher than the energy required to produce corn. Globally, 105,915,500 tons of meat eaten until May according to Theworldcounts.
The virtual water consumed by Chicken is the least among meat. The order of water footprint form high to low is Beef cattle-sheep-pig-goat-chicken.

water footprint


While coming to the food products like hamburgers, pizzas they are no way exempted from the list of foods which are consuming lots of water. While one pizza margherita (725 gram) takes 1260 litres of water, an ubiquitous hamburger takes 2400 litres of water.
When it comes to bread, it takes about 1600 litres for 1 kg. One kilogram of wheat gives about 790 gram of flour, so that the water footprint of wheat flour is about 1850 litre/kg. One kilogram flour gives about 1.15 kg bread, so that the water footprint of bread is 1608 litre/kg.



Chocolate consists of 40% cocoa paste (with a water footprint of 24,000 litre/kg), 20% cocoa butter (34,000 litre/kg) and 40% cane sugar (1800 litre/kg), we can calculate that chocolate has a water footprint of about 17,000 litre/kg.
That is a 100 gram Chocolate what we eat is made by using 1700 litres of water at various stages.


Milk and its products

Milk and milk products are very common food products in our daily life. These products also got very high amounts of water footprints. It takes 1000 times more virtual water to produce same quantity of milk. It means 255 litres of water is consumed to get 250 ml of Milk. Butter takes 5553 litres of water for 1 kg assuming 872 gram/litre of fat content in butter. One kilogram of whole milk gives about 95 gram of cheese, so that the water footprint of cheese is 5060 litre/kg.

Sources: Waterfootprint.org, GDRC.org

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