It Takes 317 Gallons of Water to Produce a Bar of Chocolate

A look at the amount of virtual water it takes to produce every day food

We think about water a lot in L.A. Especially as we’re in the middle of a drought. The often cited statistic is that 75% of our body mass is made up of water. And while that’s easy to understand, what we don’t think much about is the water content—actual and virtual—that makes up the food we eat.

Looking beyond the obvious (we’re lookin’ at you, watermelon), Quartz recently published a post on the “virtual water” that many every day foods require from “cradle to grave.” Some 70% of the world’s fresh water is used for the purposes of agriculture and food production, and this number rises signficantly every year. Here’s Quartz’s break down, in brief.

1 slice of pizza = 42 gallons of water (18 gallons for the flour, 21 gallons for the cheese, and nearly 3 for the sauce)

1 egg = 53 gallons of water (this includes the water used for the chickens that lay the eggs)

1 loaf of bread = 288 gallons of water! That means gluten-free folk are doing a good deed for the environment.

1 bar of chocolate = 317 gallons, which makes it sound much less sweet. It takes 53 gallons of water to produce a single egg [Quartz]