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OCCC Reads 2015-2016: Water Matters: Chapter 7: Industrial Agriculture's Big Thirst

This guide provides a range of resources to use for OCCC Reads 2015-2016.

Chapter Summary


We all have to eat but food production and processing is hidden from most of us.  “Agriculture is the single largest user of water worldwide, dwarfing everything else.”  Choices made by giant ag corporations collide with water scarcity throughout the world.  What are some of the issues? Are we missing anything?  How about hog factory farms, corn and the Oklahoma panhandle.  

If those products of Big Ag are exported, it’s equivalent to shipping your scarce clean water to somewhere else! And leaving you with the toxic byproducts, pollution and often health problems.

What is the true cost of water needed to produce our food?  And how much water do I really use in a day?  How can we grow food sustainably?  What is the evidence?  Where are solutions coming from?

Why Use this Chapter?

Why use this chapter: 

Agribusiness:  What is the effect of inefficient irrigation practices? Does it make sense to use billions of gallons of water (and pesticides and fertilizer) to grow corn for ethanol in our gas tanks? What does it actually take to make a ¼ lb beef patty (no bun or condiments!) or a pound of coffee?  What are some choices?  What changes in food production are being tried?  How does a person choose between conflicting values?  What’s our vision?