During the time we have on this planet Earth, our Mother Earth, what types of footprints do we leave behind?
For the past several years now, the big thing is to keep a healthy diet and balance with exercising. A healthy diet saves a lot of precious fresh water. Research conducted in more than 43,000 areas in France, the UK, and Germany on national dietary guideline to the current actual food consumption to see if there would be any difference of water footprint. Three types of diet patterns were used for research: For the diet we have today, it requires between 11 ~ 35% of water; for a healthy pescatarian diet it would be 33~55%; for a healthy vegetarian diet it would take 35~55%.
Definition of water footprint is the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce goods consumed, food in this case. Food product group consumed between regions and socio-economic factors within regions. Our diet analyzed takes into account of total daily energy and protein requirements plus maximum daily fat amounts - based on the dietary guidelines for every food product group specific recommendations given according to age and gender.
Research has found a direct correlation of eating healthy could substantially reduce the water footprint of people’s diets. One of the factors that water footprints depend on is the socio-economic factors: age, gender, and education level. Interesting correlations between both water footprint of specific foods and the impact of the result on overall water footprints.
Animal products have a higher water footprint. Women that have a healthy diet are mean less sugar, crop oils, meat and animal fats, and more vegetables and fruits. An intensive livestock production system brings on many negative impacts to the planet’s resources and ecosystems.
Scientists provide useful tools for policy makers at various levels by downscaling national water footprints to the lowest possible administrative boundaries within a county. This method could also be applied to other footprints assessments like carbon, land/ energy footprints related to food consumption.