Learning how to conserve water has become a lifestyle change. Let’s look at it in terms of a diet; a diet is a temporary set period of time where we deprive ourselves of something, a lifestyle change is a permanent new way of thinking and becomes a natural part of our everyday routine. Water conservation is a lifestyle change that Californians must embrace if we are going to survive and prosper during this ongoing water crisis. Today we are going to look at new concepts of water conservation in the kitchen – habits we can all incorporate into our daily routine.
One of the first things to consider is the food we are consuming. All food production incorporates water to produce, but some takes more than others. Beef production, for example, is one of the largest water consumers out there; it takes almost six times more water to produce one gram of beef protein than it does a gram of protein from other plant-based sources such as lentils or beans. There are even some restaurants in California that have limited beef on their menu now and some have even taken to not serving beef on certain days of the week, in an effort to conserve water.
Another change we are seeing in our kitchens is the way food is being prepared. Cooks are steaming more and boiling less, using cold water instead of hot to fill pots, recycling used water for plants and landscaping, defrosting food in the fridge instead of in water and even scraping food off plates instead of pre-rinsing them. One restaurant chef in Big Sur gained notoriety by actually rigging up an air compressor to blow food off plates before putting them in the dishwasher. Obviously this isn’t something a home cook would do, but the ingenuity speaks to a greater commitment of water conservation.
The type and quality of food we are seeing is changing as well; if you’ve noticed in the grocery store lately, many fruits and vegetables are noticeably smaller than they were before the drought. They also tend to ripen at a much faster rate and if not eaten quickly, can be wasted. The upside of this is that their flavor is much more concentrated. When fruit doesn’t receive an abundance of water during the growing process, their cells won’t retain water, which means that they will be smaller, but more intensely flavored. Dry-farmed fruits and vegetables is actually a preferred method for some growers to gain better flavor. So when you see those smaller fruits and vegetables in the produce section, don’t pass them up – they are most likely delicious.
We realize that water conservation in our kitchens is probably a drop in the bucket in the overall scheme of things, however it does make a difference. Choosing the right water filter is another great way to conserve water; check out our LINX high-efficiency drinking water system. It is just one more way to help residents gain some control over a situation that they have no control over. This is going to be a long-term issue for Californians, so committing to a water conserving lifestyle now will definitely make a difference in the long run.