Sunday, January 26, 2014

Green in the midst of drought

As any Californian can tell you, right now we are in the midst of an extreme and historic drought.  We've had a few years that have been light on rain, and the last 12 months have been bone dry, with less than an inch of rain falling.  

But in the midst of all this brown, I've had something of a green revelation:  In drought conditions, eating a more vegetarian diet is a great thing to do.  Raising plants uses less water than raising a large supply of animals, since animals require those same plants plus more water to drink, to keep their living spaces clean, etc.

My solution is not going to go completely vegetarian, but rather mostly vegetarian for the foreseeable future.  We still plan on raising two hogs (split between another couple and ourselves) for our chest freezer this spring, but with the right kind of planning, that one hog could provide the bulk of our meat for an entire year, and since it's not factory-farmed or butchered, we can use water more wisely while raising them than you could on a larger scale. Our other source of animal protein will be our laying hens, since their water use is negligible, and they provide such a delicious product -- eggs!

And in the meantime, searching for that vegan chocolate mousse I made for our dinner party the other night has led me to several lovely vegan and vegetarian websites, chock full of yummy recipes, which has me excited to begin to eat more vegetarian meals. I think we could easily make do eating meat just once or twice a week, and there's no question that not only our bodies, but also our geographic region, would be the better for having a less water-intensive diet. 

In the midst of drought, bring on the green, I say.


  1. What a great thought. I'm sure it will hardly be a challenge, just more a matter of organizing a menu, for you. I am keeping your beautiful state in my thoughts! Of course for all the people and farmers. But...also the vineyards! Can you imagine the hysteria of a wine shortage?! A dark day I don't want to see.

  2. I'm looking forward to the change of pace, cooking a little differently. Regarding the drought, if it continues, salts will build up in the soil and it absolutely will effect crop yields, which means higher prices for wine. This is as good an excuse as any to begin stockpiling good wines now, lol.