Beef uses 50 times more water than vegetables, 40 times more than root crops, 9 times more than grain

June 8, 2015

From Table 3, page 411: “The Water Footprint of Some Selected Food Products from Vegetable and Animal Origin” – Total water footprint (wfp) of beef is 15,415; vegetables is 322; starchy roots is 387; cereal is 1,644.
Calculation:
15415/322 = 47.8 so beef’s wfp is about 50x higher than vegetables;
15415/387 = 39.8 so beef’s wfp is 40x higher than starchy roots;
15415/1644 = 9.37 so beef’s wfp is 9x higher than cereals.

 

Mesfin M. Mekonnen and Arjen Y. Hoekstra, “A global assessment of the water footprint of farm animal products,” Ecosystems 15 (2012): 401–415, accessed June 30, 2014, doi:10.1007/s10021-011-9517-8

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