Experts predict two-thirds of people living on this planet in 2030 will experience water scarcity, a situation expected to result in the deaths of millions and an unprecedented rise in military conflicts. Can we as individuals hope to have any effect on the global scale of water misuse?
Yes, we can make a significant differencewith our food choiceslearned author and activist Florencia Ramirez as she traveled across the nation to interview farmers and food producers. Tracing Ramirez’s tour of American water sustainable farmsfrom rice paddies in Cajun Louisiana to a Hawaiian coffee farm to a Boston chocolate factory and beyond Eat Less Water tells the story of water served on our plates: an eye-opening account of the under-appreciated environmental threat of water scarcity, a useful cookbook with water-sustainable recipes accompanying each chapter, and a fascinating personal narrative that will teach the reader how they, too, can eat less water.
|Publisher:||Red Hen Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Florencia Ramirez is a trained researcher at the University of Chicago's School of Public Policy. She won the sixth Gift of Freedom Creative Nonfiction Award from the A Room of Her Own Foundation (AROHO). Her articles appear in Edible Communities Magazine, the San Jose Mercury News , among others, and her popular blog. She lives in Oxnard, California, an agricultural town on the Pacific coast that smells of celery, strawberries and fertilizers with her husband and three young children. www.florenciaramirez.com
Read an Excerpt
Prologue: Drop of Water
Drops of water saved my father’s life.
In the sweltering days following my father’s birth, he just lay there. He did not cry. He refused milk.
On the fourth day, my grandmother sent his eldest sister to borrow a small table from the neighbor’s chicken coop. They would need something to put my father’s tiny body on, for the family viewing. My grandmother knew the signs of a dying baby. She’d given birth to eleven children. Only seven survived.
My father’s sister came back with the table, but she refused to give up on her newborn brother. There had to be a doctor who would examine a baby for free. She ran through the heat of the Mexican summer to the town center and began knocking on doors.
Someone knew a doctor, but he was busy with other patients. When he listened to her, this little girl desperate about her baby brother, the physician agreed to make a house call the next day.
That night, a strong wind blew through the open window of the bedroom where my father lay. The gust startled my grandfather awake. He threw himself over my father’s listless body to shield him against what my grandfather always described as an otherworldly chill. A cold hand pressed down on his back. He believed it was the hand of La Muerte , Death.
The cold wind retreated as suddenly as it arrived. My father was still alive, just barely.
The doctor arrived the next morning. After a quick examination, he knew what was wrong. He prescribed gotitas de agua. Drops of water on the baby’s lips.
Within days, my father’s condition slowly improved. He suffered from dehydration. His sister, my tia Antonia, returned the table to the neighbors, back to the chicken coop where it belonged.
When I told this story to my friends at school, I always made sure to emphasize the part about Death paying a visit only to leave empty-handed.
“Did you know one drop of water holds all the fresh water in the world?” a retired park ranger asked me at my booth during an Earth Day event.
“If we poured all the water on our planet, both salt water and fresh water, in a gallon bucket, the proportion of water available to shower, water our lawns, drink, and grow food is one single drop.”
We live on a water planet. The Earth is two-thirds water, and 97.5 percent of that is salt water. Of the 2.5 percent fresh water, 69.5 percent of that is frozen.
Another 30.1 percent hides in deep aquifers. The remaining 0.4 percenta drop in a bucketsustains all the life on this planet.
Now when I tell my father’s story to my own children, I emphasize the power of a single drop of water.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Eat Less Water is not just a book about the far reaching problems we face due to water shortage, it is a recipe for change. We, the readers, follow the author through fields of grape vines, ranches grazed by cows to learn what forward-thinking farmers are doing to make a difference, saving water in the fields, rather than just in our showers. Eat Less Water is one of the most important books you will read this year and a must for anyone who cares about the future of our planet.
Florencia Ramirez is clearly passionate about her topic. And it’s contagious. Eat Less Water is an important read about how water conservation efforts can start in the kitchen. The brilliance of this beautifully written book is its dual purpose as a cookbook. Delicious recipes give the reader an immediate, tactile way to put into practice being a conscious consumer. The engaging storytelling delivers the message with warmth instead of only spewing cold, hard facts. It’s a quick, enjoyable read and I was instantly inspired to make changes in my old household to seek out water-conservation friendly options. I hope many others will follow suit.
This book made me look at water conservation and organic agriculture in a whole new light. The realization that by choosing to buy organic food instead of food produced through conventional agriculture that we can conserve significantly more water than just through household conservation methods alone is not only staggering, but also motivating. The book provides a series of case studies from across the U.S. that highlight the practices used by organic farmers that build soil health which in turn leads to higher water-holding capacity of the soil and a reduction in the amount of water that is needed to irrigate crops. A phenomenal read!
I highly recommend the book Eat Less Water written by water conservation activist Florencia Ramirez. She makes a strong and compelling argument of the need for us to be conscious of how the food choices we make in our homes impact our most important, and life giving resource: Water. The book weaves Florencia's thoughtful interviews with farmers who are leading a new vision around water use and agriculture with important scientific evidence, to provide the reader with a new way to think about how much water we consume (eat) beyond the one that comes out of our household taps everyday. Millions of gallons of water are used everyday to grow and process the food we eat everyday. By bringing this important fact into our consciousness, Eat Less Water provides a new vision for solving the water crisis we are facing today by teaching us to be more aware of the food that we buy, cook and eat and the huge impact it has on our environment and in particular to our dwindling water resources. Eat Less Water It is call to action to transform our consumption habits so that future generations may continue to enjoy our Mother Earth's most important gift: Water. I wholeheartedly believe in Florencia words: "there is power in the collective." Together we can help solve the water crisis we face today by Eat (ing) Less Water.
This is an educational book and a cookbook, all written in an engaging non-fiction narrative. The author traveled over 16,000 miles across the USA and took seven years to research and interview farmers and food producers who illustrated the very best in food cultivation. An eye-opener was this sentence: "...experts predict two-thirds of people living on this planet in 2030 will experience water scarcity, a situation expected to result in the deaths of millions and an unprecedented rise in military conflicts." This is only 12 years in the future and we've already seen water crisis in Flint, Michigan and Porterville, California. There are millions of more people in the world already in a water crisis. This in itself made me pay attention. The food cited in her easy-to-read book is grown with farming systems in sync with their surrounding environment, "working to replenish rivers, not pollute them," and methods used to regenerate the soil, "keeping more water in the ground..." There are sixteen chapters ranging from Wheat and Water to Eggs and Water; Beer and Water; Coffee and Water, and other major food groups. Each chapter ends with a recipe for an organic, water sustainable dish or beverage. My favorite recipe: Tamales. The book encourages families and the household shopper to be selective in what they buy and consume. The recipes encourage you to shop for locally grown organic products.