i just learned how to make my own rice milk. turns out it’s fucking easy: cook a cup of rice, blend it up really good with 4 cups of water. ta da! i’m really happy to learn that it’s so easy. why? because i’ve been feeling guilty as all hell for drinking almond milk for the last month or so.
milk had been hurting my guts recently so i’d started drinking almond milk instead, and it’s been groovy — tasty, and no pain. but i had a vague memory of reading that it takes tons of water to grow almonds, and that was giving me sweaty palms every time i bought almond milk. was my consumer taste contributing to california’s multi-year long, record-setting, godawful drought?
i finally took a deep breath and looked it up, and it was as bad as i thought: 4 L of water to make a single almond. that’s a lot! and how many almonds go into making a 2 L carton of almond milk? it’s tough to find consistent answers but the lowest number i saw was 16 — 16 almonds. that’s at least 64 L of water to make just 2 L of almond milk. meanwhile, california (which produces over 80% of the worlds almonds) is drying up.
this shit keeps me up at night. almost everything we do in this world makes me feel guilty for even living. we’re sucking this planet dry of any and all resources, and we’re filling the empty spaces back up with garbage. it makes me want to live like a monk and use less and less. pretty soon i’ll become an ascetic.
but until i reach that point, i’m really happy that at least i’ll be able to drink my milk substitute feeling just a little less horrible.
until i look up how much water it takes to grow 1 cup of rice.