How Much Water Does that Thanksgiving Turkey ‘Gobble-Gobble’?

By Dr. Mark LeChevallier – November 26, 2013 – Comment

I will venture to guess that as families go around the table on November 28 sharing what they are most thankful for, water will not be counted among the blessings – but it should be! In the spirit of the holiday, I’d like to give you some ‘food for thought’ before you enjoy your Thanksgiving feast.

Did you know?

  • It takes approximately 330 gallons of water to produce a typical serving of turkey.
  • The water footprint of a five-serving bowl of sweet potatoes is more than 103 gallons of water.
  • Every acre of cranberry vines requires ten acres of water. On average, the United States harvests 40,000 acres of cranberry bogs, or 400,000 acres of water!
  • The water footprint to produce the single loaf of bread used for your turkey stuffing is approximate 317 gallons of water.
  • If you choose to wash your meal down with milk, you choose a water footprint of 67 gallons of water per one 8-oz. glass of milk.
  • And when it’s time for cleanup, the typical dishwasher uses 15 gallons of water per load… and that doesn’t include what you use when you pre-rinse in the sink.

So this year, when you look at your Thanksgiving table, stop for a minute and consider how much water was invested in your feast. Certainly, from the growing of the cotton or flax used to produce your cloth napkins, to the cold-water-thaw method used to make sure the turkey is ready for the oven on time, water is everywhere… and essential at every level. When you consider this, accessible high-quality water is certainly something for which we can all be thankful.