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Counting Calories? First, We Need the VALUING WATER INITIATIVE

Canadian Lawmakers Want Calories Disclosed in Chain Restaurants . . .
But Not the Water Consumed to Produce Those Calories?

By John Devine

The CBC recently ran another story regarding government regulators who are requiring restaurant chains (those possessing over 20 outlets) to disclose the calories-consumed for each menu item.

The Awakening News will defer whether the taxpayer is getting enough “bang for the buck” with such a regulation, which includes only part of the restaurant sector. That angle will be addressed another day.

To give credit where it’s due, this restaurant rule does do more to educate the citizens, thus allowing individuals to make more informed decisions on what and how much to eat.

However, the editors of the Awakening News, focusing on the big picture, suggest that the AMOUNT OF WATER consumed during manufacturing to produce all those calories should also be announced on all food items as well. That information could be posted online and added to the labels on packaged snacks and foods, soft drinks, beer, wine—you name it.

As we’ve previously reported, National Geographic reports that 1,182 gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of milk, and 1,799 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. We’re still working on confirming the water requirements to raise one pound of farm fish. Everything needs to be taken into account.

It appears that, more and more, the citizens are becoming increasingly aware of the serious decline of our natural resources, which includes fresh water as well as salt water.

Remember when Heinz (ketchup and condiments) left Leamington, Ontario? Many have heard that the Heinz relocation, part of which, oddly enough, reportedly moved to often arid California, was for accessing cheaper labour (perhaps so, to a point). But you have to wonder why Heinz would leave such a water-rich area known across the world for its fine tomatoes and head toward a comparative desert state that’s fighting off drought nearly around the clock.

As many know, French’s moved in and is now producing condiments from the very same Leamington region, a town along Lake Erie that apparently can sustain the demands to produce such food items. Let’s hope that French’s proves to be a good steward of the area’s water (irrigation practices, etc.) and keeps its workers and the general public informed.

Meanwhile, Canadians can “answer” billionaire investor Warren Buffet’s decision to close his Heinz plant in Leamington by buying more of French’s products and food products made by smaller operations and sold at farmer’s markets, for example.

That being said, all producers of the food we consume need to assess and make public how much fresh water is required to make their products—what it takes water-wise to make all those calories we consume, that is.

One has to ask: Would consumers be as quick to buy California walnuts if the amount of water consumed to produce one pound of walnuts was disclosed? The quantity of water could be rather shocking.

Logically, French’s and other growers/processors of food would have an interest in knowing how many gallons of clean ground water it takes to make their particular products, and would help make the public aware. Those ratios are important for proper stewardship of nature’s water supplies, so the value of water is not taken for granted in the mad rush of doing business.

Even wasting the food on one’s plate (and in more serious situations, such as when dairy producers dump out large amounts excess milk, or when fruits and vegetables are thrown away before they reach the marketplace over silly regulations) has cost our world possibly trillions of gallons of fresh water each year.

So, disclosing accurate water-consumption data to produce our food, to manufacture goods, etc. could very well be the best way to educate citizens and allow them to participate in improving the world’s ability to sustain an ever-growing population. That can be done by making more intelligent decisions based on a much better collection of water-usage data. We could call if the “Valuing Water Initiative.” Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

Money is not real wealth, nor is it the actual basis of wealth. Rather, it’s an offshoot of the world’s real wealth—our innate “God-given” resources—starting with water, then, in approximate order: air, soil, crops, minerals, energy sources etc.

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