Save Canada’s freshwater: Trade beef for beans

Hans Schrier, professor emeritus at UBC’s faculty of land and food systems interviewed by the Georgia Straight:

[One of Canada’s] most appealing exports, beef… should be a nonstarter in a world where 70 percent of all freshwater resources are already used for food production.

“Beef is attractive from an economic point of view.…[But water use for] beef is at least double to 10 times as high as for any other crop”…

Peas and beans, Schreier said, would be good candidates for future farming initiatives in this country. “Just avoid water-intensive crops.”

I enjoy eating pulses like chickpeas, lentils and beans. They are delicious, nutritious and their production and export as a low-impact, renewable commodity will help safely steady Canada’s economy.

Pulses are already a significant part of Canada’s economy. According to Agriculture Canada: “Canada is considered the world’s top producer of dry peas, the second largest producer of lentils, and one of the top ten producers of chickpeas and dry beans.”