When we think about fourth of July, we think about meat. Hot dogs, burgers, ribs – a celebration of protein. We’ve always been told that our bodies need protein, and lots of it, and in the U.S.A., “protein” is synonymous with “animal products.” Not necessarily true. Our protein quota can be met very nicely by a whole food, plant-based diet, and even though it does not hurt to delight in a juicy burger every once in while, it’s worth looking to our plate to save a few gallons of water per day. Agriculture uses 80% of California’s water supply, and producing what you eat can require a surprising amount of water.

Let’s see how much water a plate containing a good 8 ounce steak, grilled potatoes and asparagus would require to produce:


The number next to the plate above represents the direct and indirect amount of water required to produce your food plate, based on U.S. data from the Water Footprint Network. (Images and data from LA Times)

Numbers aside, hope you enjoy the holiday weekend! And if you do go for a nice yummy steak, which we all know many of you will, take a shorter shower and or flush efficiently. Little steps can go a long way!