Of late there certainly has been a lot of print delegated to how much water farmers and ranchers use to provide town folks with three meals a day. I think my urban friends who are suffering along with those of us in agriculture in this interminable drought are beginning to be inconvenienced enough to start lashing out at the hand that feeds them. Just the other day I was reading an article that caught my eye in one of my farming magazines. The author must practice voodoo mathematics for I know of no other way that he could arrive at the preposterous figures that he used to make a case of why almond farmers use too much water to make this very healthy food available to the public. This charlatan that works on the theory that most people who see something in print think it’s the Gospel knows he doesn’t have to defend his figures to the gullible public. He can say that it takes a gallon of water to raise one nut and that it takes 1,800 gallons of water to put one pound of beef on your dinner table and no one questions him.
I want to do a little number crunching and then let you folks out there be the judge. Cattle will drink about one gallon of water per day per hundred weight, so a 1,000 pound steer will drink 10 gallons of water per day. Then again, when they’re out on the range and the grass is green they may drink half that amount. Let’s say our steer is harvested in 720 days (2 years). He will have consumed about 7,200 gallons of the wet stuff. If we use voodoo math we will multiply 1,000 pounds X 1,800 gallons per pound of weight = 1,800,000 gallons this this steer will have to drink in 720 days. The poor steer will have to drink 2,500 gallons of water per day, or 2.5 times his body weight. I believe most would consider this animal cruelty of the first order.
On that account, if we all want to eat, then part of the process is to just add water. The question then becomes: how much? I suggest that because water is an expensive part of raising our food, our farmers and ranchers will use it in a very miserly fashion. I hope most of you will come to the conclusion that in order to eat you will cast your vote for the person that raises it, knowing we have more credibility than voodoo mathematicians.
Before closing, I do have a wonderment: why is it that I never hear a word about the water used to make wine, which is not necessary for your health?