How much water goes into your food?

Growing everyday food items requires a surprising amount of water.


In the American West, around 90 percent of all consumptive water use goes to agriculture. But you might be surprised just how much water it actually takes to make what you eat.

Take a bacon cheeseburger, for instance. All told, that juicy morsel requires nearly 13,000 glasses of water, more than 800 gallons. Most goes into producing the beef, which has a water footprint many times greater than almost any other agricultural product. And though that can change depending on where and how the cattle are raised, on grass or grain, in pastures or feedlots, the meat in that patty takes a lot of water, no matter how you slice it.

Vegetarians aren't off the hook, though – a single almond grown in drought-plagued California requires over a gallon of water.

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