From steak to mangoes, here are some water-hogging foods


With California’s drought worsening, there has been a growing focus on the amount of water needed to produce certain foods.

So how do foods typically eaten by Americans stack up? The selected foods in the graphic provide a representative example, based on a report published by the UNESCO Institute for Water Education. See the full interactive version of the graphic here.

Cutting food derived from animals from our diet can significantly help water conservation efforts, water management expert Arjen Y. Hoekstra says in a recent report.


Animal products generally have a larger water footprint than crop products per weight and nutritional value, according to the data.

So what are some thirsty foods? Beef, pork, lamb, chickpeas, lentils, peas, goat, mangoes and asparagus.

Less thirsty crops? Cabbage, strawberries, onions, lettuce, carrots, eggplant, grapefruit and tomatoes.