New York Times: “Almonds Are Not the Enemy”

Award-winning columnist Mark Bittman says blaming almonds for California’s drought makes no sense.


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According to the New York Times, blaming almonds for the California water shortage is missing the point. In an op-ed written by Mark Bittman, the Times columnist says almonds are a “miniscule” part of a much bigger problem, and have been demonized “not so much because their water consumption is so high—it’s way more than broccoli and comparable to some citrus—but because so much land, roughly an eighth of all irrigated acres in California, is now planted with them.” As California faces one of its most serious droughts in history, Bittman points to animal agriculture as the main culprit in the state’s misuse of water. In the story, he says “meat and dairy [are] by far the thirstiest agriculture products because they’re so high up on the food chain … livestock drink water directly, but also eat grains, oilseeds, and forage that require lots of water to grow.” Bittman joins the likes of Moby, Pamela Anderson, and others in voicing concern about the real causes of California’s water shortage.