Just about everything we eat contains "virtual water," or water that goes indirectly into the production of food. In fact, water that goes into the agricultural industry accounts for 70 percent of water consumption worldwide -- and you might be surprised to find out just how much H20 goes into making some of our favorite foods.
According to a report by the GRACE Communications Foundation, which "develops . . . media strategies that increase public awareness of the relationships among food, water and energy systems," the average global water footprint for producing one dozen eggs is 636 gallons. Here are the average global water footprints of some other popular foods.
1. One slice of pizza
According to the report, a single slice of pizza takes 42 gallons of water to produce. That's because 18 gallons of water goes into the flour, 21 gallons into the cheese, and 2.5 gallons just for the sauce.
2. One glass of wine
The water footprint of wine comes mostly from the water it takes to grow grapes and works out to be about 29 gallons of water per four-ounce glass of wine.
3. A pound of lettuce
It takes 30 gallons of water to grow a pound of lettuce, which might seem like a lot, but vegetables actually take much less water to produce on average than animal products.
4. A loaf of bread
Unfortunately, wheat is a pretty big water suck. A full 288 gallons can go into producing a single loaf of bread. Between 1996 and 2005, wheat production accounted for 15 percent of the total water footprint of all crops around the world.
5. A bar of chocolate
The report points out that 3,170 gallons of water goes into making a pound of chocolate, but that's a pretty unreasonable portion size. But since a Hershey bar weighs 1.55 oz, it works out to be that one bar still contains 317 gallons of water.
You can check out more water footprints here. But keep in mind that these are global averages, so some products could contain more or less water here in the United States.
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