According to Guardian, “Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world’s population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages.”
Currently omnivores are getting about 20% of protein from animals (i.e.chicken, duck, pork and beef, etc.) and animal byproducts (dairy milk, dairy cheese, etc). We will need to drop down to 5% in order to feed an extra 2 billion people expected to habitate the planet in 2050 according to the Stockholm International Water Institute.
Americans have an expectation and fear that they’re not getting enough protein in their diets. However studies show that Americans consume too much protein following the Standard American Diet. Heavy meat and dairy-laden diets require a lot of digestion on the part of the body. Water helps the digestive process in the human body which is why Americans are instructed by the FDA to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day.
Following a plant strong, vegetarian diet, you will be consuming much more vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, and grains which naturally contain a lot of water already in the plant. The closest you can consume the plant in its natural state, the more water you will find it contains. In other words, raw foods contain the highest amount of digestive enzymes and water. After that would come cooked plants and vegetables.
For an interesting experiment, find a friend with a juicer and watch them juice a cucumber or watermelon. You’d be amazed at the amount of water and juice that the fruit or vegetable is made up of.
Start small with cooked vegetable meals like stir-fries. Plants have a lot of protein. If you are looking for something to replace meat like chicken with try tofu. Tofu is very porous and can be dressed up with a marinade or spices and goes great in a vegetable stir-fry. If you put the stir-fry over some whole grain rice or whole grain noodles then you’ve got a fantastic meal complete with proteins and carbohydrates.
If we start now making simple changes like substituting tofu for chicken and eating more vegetables so we don’t need to drink as much water for digestion, perhaps by 2050 we could change the statistics and not need to heed such a strong warning.
We can get our water from a plant strong diet which comes directly from a (wishfully) unprocessed environment leaving more water for our own food crops. This would mean less need for bottled water to drink to aid in digestion which would mean less plastic left to decompose in landfills and would leave less of a carbon footprint contributing to global warming. Global warming is why we have droughts which affects our animals and crops. If we didn’t have to feed so many crops to animals to keep them alive so we could consume them and profit from them, then there would be more crops for us to eat and more water in those crops for digestion in our bodies. It’s a circle that could start and never stop if only we could break the cycle.
The circle of change will start with you making a commitment to chose a vegetarian lifestyle. Take a step in the right direction and you won’t have to drink 8 glasses of water a day. You just have to eat it!