5 California-friendly Foods

Ethical eats that won’t suck you dry.

Whether or not you live in California, your food choices can make a significant impact on how much water is consumed there. That’s because the Golden State grows a huge portion of our country’s food. But not all eats are equal. Some have a relatively tepid impact on the state’s dire water supply while some thirsty treats threaten the global food supply and our way of life.

Here are five commonly California-grown culinary commodities that go easy on the water supply.

1. Carrots and Tomatoes


Both take less than a gallon of water per ounce, which is relatively awesome. California grows 91% of the country’s tomatoes and 81% of our carrots.

2. Lettuce

lettuce treat you

Sure, we’ll let you continue munching those baby mixed greens. California supplies 74% of our lettuce, and at a mere 0.85 gallons of water per ounce, this light and luscious leaf features a karma-cleansing splash of phyto-nutrients.

 3. Chicken

Eggs before Chickens

Of course it’s hard to be satisfied with a simple crunch. While water consumption obviously goes up as you climb the food chain (just look at people), chicken is the most resource conservative creature out of all our commonly eaten flora.

4. (What About the) Beef?

Sorry to say it, but beef is the worst: your succulent patty consumes 106 gallons of water per ounce. And while beef cattle are grown all over the country, much of that cow-fluffing alfalfa is grown right in California. To make things right, go free range. Pasture-raised cattle taste better and keep their water footprint lower and local.

5. Beer

it's tasty

Ironically, beverages are some of the least thirsty foods around. California produces around 3 million barrels of craft beer a year, more than any other state. And beer sucks up less than 2 gallons of water per ounce of brew.

*Thanks to the LA Times for food and water consumption statistics in California.