Eat Less Water

Eat Less Water

by Florencia Ramirez
Eat Less Water

Eat Less Water

by Florencia Ramirez


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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 difference—with our food choices—learned 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 farms—from 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597090391
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 11/01/2017
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Florencia Ramirez is a trained researcher at the Universityof 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.

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.

“How so?”

“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 percent—a drop in a bucket—sustains 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.


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