The Water And Protein Equation
By now you should know that I am actively promoting the benefits of insect protein. If edible insects were not a dietary factor in many parts of the world, it probably wouldn’t matter. However, the fact remains that the human body requires protein to maintain health. Fortunately there are several different sources of protein available to use on Earth.
But how much water does it take to produce each of them?
I mention water simply because it is a precious commodity. I remember several years ago attending a meeting of a local valley-wide group that struggled for the better part of a day to define its mandate. The common thread that ran from one end of the valley to the other was pavement. A major highway provides us with access to and from our region. However, there was – and still is – another more important thread that binds us all together here. It happens to be a body of water in the form of a river.
The mandate eventually became a focus on preserving the quality of the water that passes through the valley. We knew back then that water equates to life and that all living things need it in order to survive. It is also why there is such a focus on water conservation at certain times of the year here. You probably also live somewhere where sprinkling regulations exist and these are meant to keep from depleting the supply of water to your community.
It is with water conservation in mind that I want to share with you a list of comparables.
The question is this:
How much water is required to produce 100 grams of different kinds of protein?
1 – Beef, 2,200 litres of water
Cattle top the list and actually require more water to produce 100 grams of protein than all the other types on the balance of this list combined. It is a massive amount of water when you start to look at ranches with hundreds and thousands of head of cattle. Yes, I still eat hamburgers and red meat but not nearly as much as I used to.
2 – Eggs, 313 litres of water
Surprisingly, chickens – laying hens to be precise – consume a fair deal of water during the course of their lives. For 100 grams of protein from eggs to be produced, 313 litres of water was required.
3 – Soy, 180 litres of water
Ground crops are notorious for using up a lot of water in order to grow and produce enough come harvest time. While soy is considered a great protein alternative to beef, especially for those who are shifting their diets to plant-based foods, a fair deal of water is still needed to produce 100 grams of protein. The upside is that this is considerably less than what is needed for the same amount of beef protein.
4 – Crickets, 1 litre of water
The winner here happens to be my preferred source of insect protein, the cricket. Farming crickets takes far less space than all the other sources of protein on this list. That is also why these little critters require far less water.
Need More Information?
For additional details on the benefits of crickets and edible insects, why not download my eBook on the subject? Titled “The Foodie Guide To Farming Insects For Protein” you will learn how to start and maintain your own cricket farm in the space of a small closet. My eBook is available from Amazon.
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.