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How many litres of water does it take to grow an Almond and other stories

October 5, 2018

A gazillion to be precise and that’s a lot!

I’ve not been able to get the whole ‘should vegan cosmetics all be palm free’ question out of my head all week. I am annoying like that, I get ideas and they just run circles around my mind until I slap them – usually down on the screen in the form of a blog post.

Anyway, one tangent I walked down was this.

So I was thinking that it’s awfully ‘white privileged’ of me (not that it was my idea) to sit here and demand that palm is off the menu for everyone but especially vegans while drinking an almond milk latte from one of my twenty keep-cups (see, that doesn’t work. People shouldn’t have more than one keep-cup and they should keep it for a long time but that isn’t how it is, is it?)

BTW I don’t really drink almond milk, call me old-fashioned but  I don’t like the idea of milk that hasn’t come from a nipple.

Where was I?

Oh yes, so basically one of the big reasons that Palm should (allegedly) be off the menu for vegans is because of rainforest destruction taking down natures beautiful forest and putting up a mono-culture plantation. I am, personally very sad, sad beyond words at this but I am still not convinced that making this a vegan issue is a good idea.  That’s why I’m now thinking about almonds.

So Almonds are an environmental catastrophe waiting to happen apparently and that’s also sad as I actually do like eating almonds.  According to the internet, around 80% of global demand grows in California and it grows with the help of a shit ton of ground water.  I am not sure that is sustainable, it doesn’t sound like it should be.

Not only are these things water guzzlers – apparently taking 15 gallons of water to produce just 16 almonds (I do need to validate that fact, sounds a bit weird) but they also need a lot of pesticides.   Further, I’ve heard that they even have to truck bees in to pollinate these as the farms, being so large and so otherwise barren are not great environments for our little buzzy friends to hang out of their own accord. That all sounds terribly sad to me.

So basically that’s what I’ve been thinking.  I don’t think there is any ‘right’ answer to this dilemma but I do think there are several big wrongs and there is nothing worse than white people sitting on barren land sipping nut milk and telling other people not to chop down their forest because it’s pretty, they want to go on holiday there one time to pat and take selfies with the wildlife and it’s going to make global warming happen anyway so stop.

Clearly something has to give but maybe we should clean up our own acts a bit first then maybe people will actually listen.  The good old ‘set a good example, be a good leader’ type of thing.  After all, ‘our’ land used to be all trees too and big apex predators – one only has to read George Monbiot’s book “feral’ to validate that fact.

Have a good weekend pondering that one then folks.

Amanda x

PS: As a cosmetic chemist I mostly take my almonds in the oil form. That involves grabbing them by the handful and shoving them while they scream through a screw press. It’s a dirty job but somebody’s got to do it 🙂


5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2018 1:50 am

    Your posts are amazing! You are so right, so refreshing, and such a nerd. Thank you. Please keep blogging. You inspire me.

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink*
      October 6, 2018 2:29 pm

      Thank you x

  2. October 6, 2018 6:07 am

    The alternative to almond milk is oatmilk which is MUCH easier to grow with fewer resources. Oatmilk is yummier and creamier too, added bonus.

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink*
      October 6, 2018 7:51 am

      Sounds like a plan.

    • October 14, 2018 10:37 pm

      I’m with Amanda when she says is it really milk if it doesn’t come from the nipple and I agree with Lalunnaturals in saying that I simply prefer oat juice/milk (which one to use!!!!) over the various nutty juices/milks.

      Oh! And on that note, have you seen the YouTube video about milking the almonds?

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