Eating Lower on the Food Chain

Eating Lower on the Food Chain

It takes a lot of water to produce the food we eat, the energy we use and all the things that we buy. Use our water saving tips below to reduce your water use by making better food choices. You’ll find lots of ways to shrink your water footprint.

Find out the water footprint of your food. Learn about the water footprint of your food with the Water Footprint of Food Guide. It might be higher or lower than you think.

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Eat more vegetables. It takes an enormous amount of water to produce animal products like meat and dairy, because livestock and poultry in the US eat large amounts of water-intensive feed – usually corn and soybeans.

Try Meatless Monday and go vegetarian one day a week. It could significantly lower your water footprint.

Farm Animal

Choose pasture-raised products: When you do eat meat, dairy and eggs, opt for pasture-raised products. It’s better for you and the planet, and grass (as opposed to corn and soy feed) is less likely to be irrigated so is less reliant on blue water resources.


Avoid processed foods: A lot of water goes into processing foods. Opt for more fruits, vegetables, leafy greens (like spinach and kale) and whole grains.


Drink one less cup of coffee per day, or – if you really need your caffeine fix – go for tea instead, since coffee has one of the highest water footprints per pound.


Don’t go nuts. They’re a good, nutritious source of protein, but nuts are major water hogs. Regarding milk, soy and oat milks have smaller water footprints compared to nut milks that have a relatively high water footprint. Cow’s milk typically has the biggest water footprint.