The Incredible Edible Egg
Do you care as much about water conservation as you think you do?
Living in California during a drought, we all got a quick education on the many ways that water is consumed. Signs with some variation of the “If it’s yellow, let it mellow…” meme hung in public bathrooms statewide. Californians became experts on how many gallons of our precious H2O were being used every year to water golf courses (nearly 8 trillion gallons!). We all learned that it takes a gallon of water to produce a single almond and that, as the nation’s number one farmer of this lucrative cash crop, America’s growing obsession with almond milk was severely impacting our state’s water supply. In fact, it was the drought that enlightened, not just Californians, but conscientious Americans around the country to the fact that 80% of our national water supply is consumed by agriculture.
This last factoid has huge implications in light of the reality that 40% of the food we produce in America ends up in the garbage. To make that as clear as possible: 32% of our annual national water consumption is used to create trash.
Just let that sink in.
In an age of environmental consciousness, we all try to to do the little things that we’ve learned can help conserve water. We install low-flow showerheads and toilets. We turn off the faucet while we brush our teeth. We use drought resistant plants in our lawns and gardens which we make sure to water at night to reduce loss from evaporation. But then, we go and negate all our efforts by sending hundreds of gallons of water to the landfill every trash day.
Food waste is a farm-to-fork issue and, as consumers, we have the greatest ability to create epic change because 44% of that waste happens at home. What’s even better is that the solutions are just plain delicious and, with a little awareness, we can choose tasty treats over trash every time. Take something as simple as the egg. It takes 55 gallons of water to produce a single egg.
Yeah. 55 gallons.
Scenario: You’re at the supermarket and notice that the mix for those office party cupcakes calls for three eggs so you buy a dozen because, even if they have a six-pack available, it’s usually only a few cents more for the full dozen and your budget-conscious brain tells you to opt for that. Fast forward a few weeks, long after those cupcakes have been devoured by your co-workers. There in your fridge sit six neglected eggs. Sure you used the three for the cake mix and managed to scramble three more into an omelette for a Sunday Funday brunch but the other half of that well-intentioned dozen remain there on the shelf, taunting you as their use-by date gets closer and closer.
Solution: You have two paths to take here.
- Ignore the problem until you’re forced to chuck those six eggs in the trash — -and the 330 gallons of water used in their production goes right along with them.
2. Rise to the challenge to curb your food waste and reinforce your commitment to conserving water:
Use. Those. Eggs.
Short on time? No problem. Throw (well, gently lay) them in a pot of water and boil them up. This handy video gives you a quick and easy guide to getting the perfect boil for your tastebuds — -from a two-minute soft boil to a ten minute hard boil. Any savvy kitchenite will tell you that older eggs boil up better anyways and, once cooked, you can keep them in the fridge for a quick and handy protein snack or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, try one of these 29 Tasty New Ways to Eat Hard-Boiled Eggs.
Yes, it’s really that simple to reduce food waste. In just ten minutes or less you can keep about a pound food out of the landfill and make sure that 330 gallons of water doesn’t go to waste, all while choosing from 30 different delicious ways to enjoy those eggs. The only real question here is: why on earth wouldn’t you take option #2?
Learn more about how you can join in the fight against food waste at www.savethefood.com and follow along on my personal mission to educate and engage Americans in the battle on Facebook and Instagram.