A few posts ago, I wrote about what virtual water is, and gave some suggestions for small dietary changes that can reduce water use. Of course, the chart I posted wasn’t detailed enough to cover every possible food, so I found this PDF online, which goes into a lot more detail about virtual water. Did anyone catch the really, truly horrible news on page 4? Chocolate uses 24,000 liters of virtual water to produce a single kilogram. That’s nearly double what it takes to produce beef! Clearly, any sincere effort to reduce water usage would probably include giving up, or at least reducing, chocolate consumption.
If you love chocolate as much as I do, that has to be about the worst bit of news about virtual water you could possibly encounter. If you don’t love chocolate, I don’t even want to know you.
So, how to cope? Thankfully, there are other desserts that don’t incorporate chocolate, but can still feed your sweet tooth. Check out this recipe, which I got from my mother, which is very low on its virtual water use:
Frozen Fruit Soup
12 oz orange juice
5-6 mandarin oranges, separated into slices
Assortment of fruit, to taste (for maximum virtual water savings, I recommend diced pears, diced peaches, and other seasonal produce, depending on your location and time of year)
2/3 cup sugar
Dash of salt
Mix all in a large mixing bowl. Pour into single-serving dessert cups, and freeze. Remove from refrigerator 5-6 hours before you eat. It’ll make a slushy, sweet, fruity dessert.
Hope you appreciate the recipe I’m sharing. It certainly won’t meet your most severe chocolate cravings (what can?), but it’ll satisfy your sweet tooth, save some water, and even help you eat healthier, too.