Proper nutrition and sustainable consumption will bring many benefits for the planet.
According to recent studies, eating less meat can save up to 10% of the water consumed for food production.
“The idea is that if you choose a healthy diet – regardless of that, vegetarian or you eat meat is not only a beneficial effect on the condition of your body, but also will have positive consequences for the environment because they decrease the amount of water consumed in food production,” says Dr. Davy, the Vanir of the joint research centre of the European Commission in Ispra, Italy.
Water consumption in the manufacture of food products (local or imported) is in the UK in terms per capita 2 757 litres per day. For comparison, in Germany it is 2 929 l, and in France – 3 861 L.
The transition to a balanced, healthy diet that includes meat products, would reduce this figure 11-35%.
The diet in which meat is replaced by fish, and animal fats vegetable oils (so-called pescetarians diet), reduce consumption of water at 33-35%.
With a vegetarian diet that excludes fish, meat and animal fats, water losses will decrease by 35-55%.
The state of drinking water supplies on the planet and so alarming, but the situation is deteriorating with the increase of population, change of lifestyle and climate change.
Familiar to many of us appeals less to stand under the shower and turn the water off while brushing your teeth is a desperate attempt to reduce water consumption.
But few of us think about the huge amount of water that is spent in the cultivation of meat breeds of cattle. The production of oil, sugar and fat also requires large water resources, while growing vegetables and fruit much more efficiently and economically.
“If you look at many countries, it appears that consumption 3 000 – 4 000 liters of water per day per capita is a common indicator. It is unthinkable volumes when compared with the amount of water that every day we spent at home,” says Dr. Vanir.
“The figures were broadly similar in the three countries, confirming the idea that people in Europe eat too much red meat, sugar and fat, neglecting fruits and vegetables,” he added.
Research conducted in the UK, Germany and France, was published in the journal Nature Sustainability. They were based on data on water consumption for the existing and recommended diets to local conditions.
The study authors say that encouraging people to switch to healthy eating should not be limited to appeals, but also include financial incentives, such as increasing tax for manufacturers of products harmful to health, with the aim of increasing demand for healthy food.
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