Diet change – a solution to reduce water use?

Aug 04, 2014
Shifting to a meat-free diet would secure adequate food supply for an additional 1.8 billion people without increasing the use of water resources.

Eating less meat would protect water resources in dry areas around the world, researchers at Aalto University have found.

Reducing the use of animal products can have a considerable impact on areas suffering scarce , as requires more than other agricultural products.

- Diet change together with other actions, such as reduction of food losses and waste, may tackle the future challenges of food security, states researcher Mika Jalava from Aalto University.

Growing population and climate change are likely to increase the pressure on already limited water resources and diet change has been suggested as one of the measures contributing to adequate food security for growing population.

The researchers assessed the impact of diet change on global water resources over four scenarios, where the was gradually reduced while diet recommendations in terms of energy supply, proteins and fat were followed. The study published in Environmental Research Letters is the first global-scale analysis with a focus on changes in national diets and their impact on the blue and green water use of food consumption.

Food supply for growing population

Global population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, adding over 2 billion mouths to be fed to the current population, according to the UN. By reducing the animal product contribution in the diet, global green water (rainwater) consumption decreases up to 21 % while for blue water (irrigation water) the reductions would be up to 14 %. In other words, by shifting to vegetarian diet we could secure adequate food supply for an additional 1.8 billion people without increasing the use of water resources. The potential savings are, however, distributed unevenly, and even more important, their potential alleviation on water scarcity varies widely from country to country.

Regional differences

The researchers at Aalto University found substantial regional differences in diet change potential to reduce water use. In Latin America, Europe, Central and Eastern Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, diet change reduces mainly green water use. In Finland, for example, turning into a meat free diet would decrease the daily green water use of a Finn over 530 litres but at the same time resulting nearly 50 litres increase in blue water use. In the Middle East region, North America, Australia and Oceania, also blue water use would decrease considerably. In South and Southeast Asia, on the other hand, diet change does not result in savings in water use, as in these regions the diet is already largely based on a minimal amount of products.

Explore further: China's hidden water footprint

More information: "Diet change—a solution to reduce water use?" M Jalava et al 2014 Environ. Res. Lett. 9 074016. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/9/7/074016 . Published 31 July 2014

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rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (1) Aug 05, 2014
" In other words, by shifting to vegetarian diet we could secure adequate food supply for an additional 1.8 billion people without increasing the use of water resources."

Why would I want another 1.8 billion people anyhow? Do these researchers believe food is the only thing 1.8 billion people will consume?

Suggest the researchers:
1. Stop.
2. Take a breath.
3. Look at the big picture.
4. Realize that 1.8 billion extra people will consume additional resources that will dwarf the effects of water consumption.
5. Realize that if people are not going to be asked to control their reproductive rate I will not consider for a moment changing my diet.

IOW - GFY

And since so many people think it's OK to have more and more babies, I'm looking forward to a big juicy steak wrapped in bacon tonight.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (2) Aug 06, 2014
Hey rockturd, mummy must really regret when you were born, she left the baby at the hospital and brought home the turd.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2014
Hey rockturd, mummy must really regret when you were born, she left the baby at the hospital and brought home the turd.


Wow you're hilarious. Your capacity for humor is matched only by your capacity for logic.

IOW non existent.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (2) Aug 06, 2014
Yep rockturd... hilarious, but mummy still cries herself to sleep every night having to raise a turd.
You must have been one ugly baby for her to make such a mistake.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (2) Aug 06, 2014
I'm looking forward to a big juicy steak wrapped in bacon tonight.

So, rockturd boasts about eating meat, an industry that produces more GHGs than transportation or industry. While he is not stuffing his ugly a-hole though, he is braying about man made climate change. Mummy must be so proud of her turd.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2014
[ an industry that produces more GHGs than transportation or industry.


An industry that produces more GHG's than industry eh?

Wow, you're dementia is really starting to take hold and you're really starting to slip.
supamark23
5 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2014
@rockwolf - until we can raise living standards (esp. education and infrastructure) in the 3rd world, they're gonna keep on having lots of kids. On the, uh, "up" side, their child mortality rate is also high so not all those kids live. It's both cultural and pragmatic - have enough kids that some live to be adults and take care of their parents in old age, as well as earning money for the family on the farm or in a factory. It simply isn't as simple as saying, "hey, quit having so many kids the Earth can't support 'em."
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Aug 06, 2014

"For an additional 1.8 billion people..."
Would that equate to "for 3 billion people already here?"
antigoracle
1 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2014
[ an industry that produces more GHGs than transportation or industry.


An industry that produces more GHG's than industry eh?

Wow, you're dementia is really starting to take hold and you're really starting to slip.

Here you go rockturd.
http://content.ti...,00.html
Now run, like a nice turd, to mummy and let her read it to you.

rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2014
@rockwolf - It simply isn't as simple as saying, "hey, quit having so many kids the Earth can't support 'em."


Yup I know. It's not that easy. But switching to vegetarianism isn't going to solve all the issues related to having 1.8 billion more people. Water scarcity is but one problem. Switching diets is a band-aid solution to a single symptom of a much larger problem. If we did that what further remedies would be requested of us in 50-100 years when another 1, 2, 3 billion people on the planet? Make everyone eat algae to accommodate people and their silly notion that they need to breed relentlessly?

Saw a documentary the other day, this Somali woman in a refugee camp complaining there was no water for her and her 8 kids. What do they expect? They live in an arid region and it never occurs to them that maybe, just maybe they're over-consuming the available resources.

I do empathise with those people of course but when do you say "Whoa, wait a minute, lets think this thru"
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2014
cont'd

As Otto has made clear on many occasions the reason most people have such large families is at the behest of their affiliated religion, usually for hidden, nefarious objectives. While true that it may be prudent to have many children to offset losses due to a high mortality rate, we need to educate these people that a new paradigm is available to the willing for a better life at a more sustainable reproductive rate with the assistance of developed countries to create the living conditions for increased survivability. This way millions of mothers would not have to bury many children to see a few survive.

Although not exactly politically correct, and guaranteed to garner fiery criticism population control really is the best hope for our species, especially if want to continue living on a natural earth as opposed to one that merely supports our existence through artificial systems and constructs.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (2) Aug 06, 2014
cont'd

The other often overlooked issue is the rising status of many people. While it is fantastic news that more and more people are rising up out of poverty worldwide, the accumulation of wealth is necessarily attached to increased demand on resources and production of waste.

If a person suddenly finds themselves in an improved economic situation, they won't want to live in a shanty anymore, they'll want a house. If they walk, they'll want a motorcycle. If they ride a motorcycle, they'll want a car. It's only natural, almost everyone does it. (Some people do abide by their vow to poverty)

So the population is simultaneously increasing in numbers and wealth, which accelerates the demand on resources and the creation of waste beyond what population growth alone would accomplish. That's the scary part.

Even at our current population, if the rest of the world lived at the average, American middle class, wasteful and gluttonous lifestyle the earth could not support it for long.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2014
The researchers first should have asked: How is it possible that someone eating beef in Alberta Canada could affect water levels on the other side of the world?

or

Why do we have an economic situation, where in a beef producing province we not only import beef but we export beef as well? Does it make sense to ship beef from Alberta halfway around the world to then buy beef from another corner of the world? What a fantastic waste of money and resources to redundantly ship frozen good across the planet not to mention the emissions and other associated refuse.

Of course the answer is that the current system makes quite a few people enormously wealthy while keeping other masses of people poor and under control while still others content and quiet.

But instead they will just cast blame at the average joe, shaming them into submission for lacking humanity and compassion.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2014
Ah, the rockturd reveals its true self. So typical of an AGW Cult turd - Do as I say, not as I do.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (1) Aug 07, 2014
Ah, the rockturd reveals its true self. So typical of an AGW Cult turd - Do as I say, not as I do.


Please explain your obsession with turds. What is it that makes you so passionate about shit?
Do you eat it?
Bathe in it?
Rub it all over your body?
Do you like to hide in outhouse holding tanks so it can rain down on you?
antigoracle
1 / 5 (1) Aug 07, 2014
I flush turds, which is exactly what I would do to you, back to that cesspool of ignorance from whence you floated out. Perhaps you would save me the trouble, but that would be too much to hope for, since shameless turds like you only exist to spread your stink.
Arties
Aug 07, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (1) Aug 07, 2014
I flush turds, which is exactly what I would do to you, back to that cesspool of ignorance from whence you floated out. Perhaps you would save me the trouble, but that would be too much to hope for, since shameless turds like you only exist to spread your stink.


Antigoracle just loves shit. He eats, sleeps and breathes it. That's why he thinks about it so often. He just adores shit.

Are you threatening me? I highly doubt you would try it if we met face to face. Would you like to do that? I could give you your comeuppance that you sorely need.
antigoracle
3 / 5 (2) Aug 07, 2014
No rockturd, you're confusing me with your mummy, she's the one who left the baby at the hospital and brought the turd, you, home.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) Aug 07, 2014
No rockturd, you're confusing me with your mummy, she's the one who left the baby at the hospital and brought the turd, you, home.

Anti G. Apologies for the mark up. Was an accident. I don't usually rate for personal discourse on nothing but shit...(unless it's just plain funny)

However, I DO find it sorta funny that you 2 are slinging the product of what we eat - in the comment section of an article ABOUT what we eat...
antigoracle
1 / 5 (1) Aug 08, 2014
Well, I'm not here for your amusement Gyre and I call em' as I see em'.
Hear that rockturd...hmmm... seems the turd floated back to the bottom of its cesspool of ignorance.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) Aug 08, 2014
Well, I'm not here for your amusement Gyre...

Oh, but you are...
antigoracle
1 / 5 (1) Aug 09, 2014
You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fcked up maybe, but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) Aug 09, 2014
You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fcked up maybe, but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?

Not funny.
Amusing...
Big difference.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (1) Aug 09, 2014
Norway has 380,000 tonnes of fish destined for Russia that will now rot. Perhaps Norway can send them to the Obama's White house so he can host $27,000 plate dinners for every voter. It will save a lot of water which would otherwise be wasted washing the wrenched stink of NATO/USA politics into the North Sea
italba
5 / 5 (1) Aug 10, 2014
@kochevnik: Do you think that Obama is to blame for Ukraine situation?
italba
5 / 5 (1) Aug 10, 2014
If the troll's party is over, I would like to say that, luckily, we are not forced to choose between meat and vegetables only. Fish production from aquaculture surpassed meat production since 2010, and it's growing more. Fishes do convert their food to proteins with a much more efficient ratio than cattle or pigs, and the environmental impacts of aquaculture are generally less harmful than intensive terrestrial animal production. Depending on the aquaculture kind it could have a environment impact too, but it can be done in a very environmentally sustainable way.
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Aug 10, 2014
@kochevnik: Do you think that Obama is to blame for Ukraine situation?

Obama is just a face on a much larger and more complex machine...

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