Choose your plants wisely with this boring chart!

Plants are amazing. They taste delicious. No mobs outside McDonald’s ever yell at you about how much they love their mothers or how they can learn how to paint. Vegans, amirite?

Changing your diet and lifestyle to be more plantastic is awesome for the Earth, but not all plants are created equal. I am guilty of adoring artichokes, and I usually only eat the delicious center of them, thereby wasting 99% of it and denying my future grandchildren access to clean drinking water or something else terrible along the way

Everyone knows almonds caused the drought in California – haha it totally wasn’t over-consumption from human haha no way haha we are totally doing great and almonds are to blame haha who knew haha just don’t take away my baths haha ! – but who knows how to choose between corn and potatoes for dinner?

Well, an easy way to help save a little water for your unborn grandbabies it to use this very unsexy chart to determine the total water intensity of crops.

Why do I like this chart?

  1. It’s written by actual scientists!
  2. It includes waaaay more crops than any fun-colored infographic on Pinterest.
  3. It says that beer is the best alcohol to drink. Shout out to beer!

So, I’ve included screenshots of the chart and a download link for it, but please read the whole paper for more info.


To help you understand the chart better:


“The blue water footprint refers to the volume of surface and groundwater consumed (evaporated) as a result of the production of a good; the green water footprint refers to the rainwater consumed. The grey water footprint of a product refers to the volume of freshwater that is required to assimilate the load of pollutants based on existing ambient water quality standards,” (Hoekstra & Mekonnen, 2010).


Basically, none of the colors of water are good and you should really just look at total.


Eat your heart out. See the full report here.

Download a pdf version of just the charts here.













Mekonnen, M.M., and A.Y. Hoekstra. “THE GREEN, BLUE AND GREY WATER FOOTPRINT OF CROPS AND DERIVED CROP PRODUCTS.” (n.d.): n. pag. Dec. 2010. Web. <>.