food, glorious food

How Much Water Does Your Produce Cost?

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Us drought-hardened Californians have all seen the sobering statistics by now. When you learn that it takes 850 gallons of water to produce 8 ounces of beef, it can make even the most enthusiastic carnivore want to spit out his steak sandwich and consider vegetarianism. Once you factor in the bread and avocado involved in your steak sandwich, however, you’re looking at over 1,000 gallons of water to make one lunch! What if you cut out the meat and the bread and ate only Imperfect fruits and veggies? This question got us thinking and inspired us to take a deep dive into the water footprint of the some of the produce in your box and explore some easy ways to make sure that none of that water goes to waste!


  • Water Footprint: Tomatoes require .95 gallons per ounce or about 5-6 gallons per tomato.
  • Fun Fact: California grew 91% of the tomatoes in the US in 2014.
  • Waste Tips: Whether you’ve grown too many, or gotten too many tomatoes in your box, there are lots of ways to keep them from going to waste! Slow roast them at 225 F for 3 hours to create the ultimate sweet and savory spread, or make a big batch of tomato sauce and freeze it! Winter you will love your spring and summer foresight!


  • Water Footprint: Require 2.26 gallons per ounce, or about 72 gallons per head.
  • Fun Fact: California grew 21% of the cabbage in the US in 2012.
  • Waste Tips: Anytime you’ve got extra cabbage around, get fermenting! Sauerkraut and kimchi are surprisingly easy to make (helpful microbes do all the work!), last almost indefinitely, and are full of healthy probiotics and nutrients to keep you energized all year long.


  • Water Footprint: Kale requires 2.6 gallons per ounce, or about 15 gallons per head.
  • Fun Fact: Much of the kale grown in California comes from the Imperial valley, a desert area between the Salton sea and Mexico.
  • Waste Tips: Throw extra kale leaves into your next smoothie! This is a great way to get picky eaters to eat healthy greens and if you incorporate fresh fruit you won’t even taste the kale.


  • Water Footprint: Grapefruit requires 3.74 gallons per ounce, or about 44 gallons per grapefruit.
  • Fun Fact:  California grew 15% of the grapefruit in the US in 2012.
  • Waste Tips: Once you’ve exhausted every way to cook with grapefruit, clean with it! Save your peels and throw them in white vinegar to create a fragrant and effective natural cleaning solution.


  • Water Footprint: Avocados require 9 gallons per ounce, or over 126 gallons per avocado!
  • Fun Fact: California grew 88% of the avocados grown in the US in 2012.
  • Waste Tips: Keep avocados from going to waste by storing them properly! If you want to speed up the ripening process and eat them sooner, store them in a paper bag alongside other ripening fruit like a banana or apple. If you want to slow down ripening and make them last, put them in the refrigerator. Once you’ve cut or mashed avocados, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap to keep the surface from oxidizing and turning brown. A squeeze of citrus juice also helps slow oxidation and make cut avocados last!

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