Save water, skip the burgers

 

Sena Christian, in “Growing Heavy,” explains that many of California’s farmers, in order to cope with the ever-decreasing water supply, are putting their resources into their most valuable food crops, which also happen to be the most water-intensive. But many of the state’s most water-intensive field crops are not even destined for human consumption, but rather go to feed a vast expanse of water-guzzling livestock. The lack of mention of livestock in the article left out a significant portion of where agricultural water in California goes. Dairy and beef production use far more water than crop production in the state; thus, changes to the livestock portion of California’s agriculture would make a much larger impact than concentrating efforts on select food crops.


As a former resident of California, I can name dozens of ways my household was told to conserve water. However, we were never told to watch what we ate, even though changing our eating habits would have a much larger impact on conserving water. You can save more water by not eating a hamburger for lunch than by giving up showering for several months.


Carolyn Koestner
Saratoga Springs, New York