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How much water does it take to produce 1kg of meat?

What is water for the supply chain?

Water is an indispensable chemical compound for living beings, in scientific terms it is defined as a chemical compound made up of two hydrogen atoms bonded to an oxygen atom. The chemical structure is very simple and appears to be an odorless, colorless and tasteless compound. However, its presence on Earth has contributed - substantially - to the formation of living beings, in all their forms and facets.

In other words we can simply say that water is the essence of life. This is why it becomes an indispensable and irreplaceable element in the agri-food supply chain. To produce one kilo of beef you need 15,000 liters of water, it seems like an exorbitant number, yet the preference towards traditional farming translates into a - substantial - wink towards attention to the environment.

How is water used in farming?

The use of the water element in a farm is essential to maintain the animal's well-being intact, which ranges from watering to milking, from cultivation of the fields to preparation of feed. The most significant phase is the growth of fodder and the agricultural part of production and it is in this phase that the water footprint comes into play.

The interest of the agri-food chain in using natural resources with attention and parsimony translates into healthy and genuine products created with full respect for the environment, which is why it sometimes seems that sustainable meat has a more natural flavor than that derived from industry, this is one of the reasons!

Water footprint in foods. What?

The water footprint is the water contained in a food combined with the quantity necessary for production. The different processes require different types, that is to say that, in an era with attention to the environment, it is necessary to conserve and reuse raw materials, which is why the footprint is so important and is divided into 3 categories.

There is zero waste of resources if you choose 100% Italian meat made with full respect for the environment and the animal's well-being. The use of water differs depending on the destination:

  • blue water. Waterways and aquifers
  • green water. Precipitation and atmospheric events
  • grey water. Water linked to pollution capable of restoring the concentration of pollutants

Blue water for agri-food

Blue water is the most expensive because it requires expensive extraction and canalization systems to be used. To optimize water consumption and consequently reduce costs, you can:

  • choose efficient and functional irrigation systems
  • use leftover water for cleaning by activating a recycling system
  • prefer growing crops that are more resistant to drought periods
  • diversify crops so as to avoid having to irrigate excessively large areas at the same time

Green water for agri-food

Rainwater is an inexhaustible source and, if used carefully and stored in the right amount, allows Italian cuisine to fully enjoy the meaning of authenticity. Rationality in use allows you to avoid waste and maximize effort:

  • take advantage of rainy periods and activate two crops in succession
  • hypothesize water reserves such as lakes
  • recycle water for other uses after the main one
  • prefer varieties that are more resistant to drought

Gray water for agri-food

Livestock effluents are essential to obtain valid and complete production from a nutritional point of view, however some of these elements contribute to pollution and, if we want to follow a supply chain that reduces the pollution factor to a minimum, we need to act on several fronts. In addition to respecting the percentages indicated by the European protocols, other strategies need to be implemented:

  • in animal breeding it is necessary to reduce the use of feed and fertilizers by preferring more natural and truly necessary administrations
  • use the manure in crops so as to make the harvest more prosperous, but choosing to act underground
  • use synthetic fertilizers and reach agreements with farms that do not have animals, so as to activate a sort of barter and make their land more fertile and their feed more natural

Italian meat online. A true and real boast

Italy has always chosen to refine its production and favor small businesses so as to make a food product a sort of sensorial experience. What revolves around production ranges in different areas and to be excellent requires multiple attentions that begin with the choice of the place of production and move from the method to the type of sustainable breeding.

Beef cattle breeds have different peculiarities and, especially in the Italian panorama, boast different preparation methods. To make an excellent cut of meat it is therefore necessary, in addition to an indicated recipe, to choose the raw material with extreme and careful attention. Attention to the environment becomes one of the contributing factors to take into consideration and allows you to bring genuine meat created with respect for both the environment and the animal to the table. Eating well means first of all knowing how to choose!