Now The Water Footprint!

August 28, 2008

We had the carbon footprint, but now its the water footprint that is threatening to constrain how we make food.

Water Footprints Make A Splash | Worldwatch Institute.jpg

from: Worldwatch
(click image for full story online)

 

The water footprint concept is introduced because of the overall shortage of water that is expected as a result of the growing population and the changes in eating habits.

Some of the interesting examples given in the article are:

it is estimated the 4,645 average liters of water that Britons consume daily leads the country to import 62 percent of its water sources

livestock production requires the most water resources in the food chain. One hamburger, for instance, needs 2,400 liters of water on average.

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Low Foodmile Snacks

March 2, 2008

We in South Africa and probably in much of Africa look at the Food Mile concept as a novelty which doesn’t really effect us – maybe wrongly. Now following low fat and low calories snacks we have Low Foodmile snacks

UK snack firms focus on food miles.jpg
from BakeryandSnacks.com

The article discussed Boot’s (sandwiches) and Walkers (potato crisps) are trying to increase the content of raw materials grown in Britain in response to their consumer’s perceived needs. Of course the effect on the environment is much more complex than just changing a raw material supplier but its a start.

Probably the concept is difficult to implement where the consumer is driven first and foremost by the amount of food they can access for the spending power they have -worry about the impact on the environment is more appropriate to the wealthier consumer who worries about things like organic food, natural additives and ethical trading.

I will probably publish a bit about Foodmiles and related environmentally focussed issues on my African Agribusiness Issues Blog as there is much discussion of the concept.