Toni’s Tip #14: What’s the Water Footprint of your Favorite Food?

Tip #14 | What’s the Water Footprint of your Favorite Food?

By Toni Julian, health advocate, author & creator of Toni’s Protein Meals

While we are savoring our steamed artichoke, drinking a glass of wine or taking a delicious bite of tri-tip, our minds may wander about how much protein or how many calories we’re eating, or if we still have room for a little fruit tartlet that’s calling your name! But do we think about how much water is actually required to produce our favorite veggie, the beverages we drink or even the livestock raised to provide our protein? I am confident you will be as surprised as I was when you finish reading this!

As you know, California experienced a severe drought, followed by a swing of ongoing rains, overflowing dams, flooding local neighborhoods, mud slides in the mountains and park closures. My husband and I tried taking a hike on Mother’s Day and I was sad to see the number of beautiful fallen oak trees from the storms. It left me wondering if we are still “officially” out of the drought, but either way, as a fellow foodie, it made me curious about how much water is needed for our food supply.

Because agriculture uses 80% of our water resources in California, you’ll be surprised, truly surprised, about how much is specifically required to producing your favorite foods. Now at the risk of delving in too deep, you should know water usage can be direct, or indirect. Direct is considered rainwater, and indirect would be utilizing irration methods and groundwater.

Here are a few examples of the amount of water required, based on U.S. data from the Water Footprint Network.

It takes:

28 gallons of water to produce 8 ounces of wine

43 gallons of water to produce 8 ounces of milk

45 gallons of water to produce 8 ounces of blueberries

72 gallons of water to produce 8 ounces of avocado

99 gallons of water to produce one 6 ounce chicken breast

106 gallons of water to produce just ONE ounce of beef!

This puts a new perspective on the foods that we eat, doesn’t it? For me, it makes avoiding waste even more important, knowing the valuable resources it takes to produce even one piece of fruit! Now imagine how much water is required for all three or four foods on your plate at dinner tonight.

Curious for information? Check out

If you missed it last week, check out my article Save Your Greens, to reduce the water footprint of your precious produce!

Please share this with your friends who are interested in stepping up their awareness!

From my heart to yours,




Toni Julian is a nationally renowned health advocate, nutrition adviser, fitness expert, and author of BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time, as well as a 50-something mom of four!  She is the 2017 recipient of the Top Women of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, and is on the board of directors for NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners). Toni is also the creator of TONI’S ultra-convenient, protein meals, a complete and healthy hot protein meal that’s ready in minutes. Get yours at Sigona’s! Visit



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