Are Cashews Water Intensive?

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Are Cashews Water Intensive?

Avoiding the use of animal byproducts is one amazing way to initiate change in our world. But there’s more to being environmentally conscious than simply never consuming products that harm animals in their creation.

Even crops have an impact on the environment. One especially big effect they have on the world is by drinking large amounts of water. Some are better than others when it comes to this aspect.

If you’re a lover of cashews, you might want to know if cashews are water intensive. We were curious about it, too, so we’ve researched the topic and will discuss our findings with you.

Quick Answer: Are Cashews Water Intensive?

Unfortunately, yes, cashews are one of the more water intensive nuts available. This is true in general for nuts that grow from trees, though. That includes almonds, pistachios, and walnuts, as well.

What Does Water Intensive Mean?

We keep using the phrase “water intensive,” but there’s a possibility you haven’t heard of it. In case you’re new to the concept, we’ll give you an explanation.

Water footprint is another way to refer to how water intensive something is. It’s just like the term carbon footprint, except it indicates how much water something consumes.

When something is water intensive, it uses up more water.

How Cashews Compare with Other Crops

If we asked you which crops are the most water intensive, which ones would you guess? The truth is actually really intriguing, and we know we wouldn’t have guessed it.

Here’s why: the most water intensive item maintained by farmers isn’t a crop. It’s cows. This is because the plants cows like to eat, namely alfalfa, take a ton of water to maintain.

In other words, the vegan lifestyle already factors in the water footprint, to some degree, simply by avoiding animal byproducts. But we’ll look at how cashews compare with other crops, too.

As you know, tree nuts are some of the most water intensive plants. Seeds are significantly better when it comes to water, so they make a wonderful alternative to nuts.

There’s actually some research showing that pumpkins and watermelons need anywhere from 20-90 times less water for their growth. This is because farmers use that water to produce two products: the fruit of the plant and the seeds.

With nuts, on the other hand, most people only eat the nut, which means all the water is going towards providing the market with that one part of the plant.

So how do cashews compare against other nuts? Almond and pistachio are the worst culprits when it comes to water consumption. Cashews are actually one of the least water intensive nuts, second only to peanuts in terms of water-friendliness.

Read Also: What is Cashew Fruit Used For?

Wrap Up

It’s important to have an understanding not only of where our food comes from, but how it’s grown. How water intensive a plant is can be something else to look into when you’re trying to determine how environmentally conscious a food is.

Cashews are pretty water intensive. The good news is, they’re not as water intensive as other tree nuts, though. If you’d like a more water-friendly alternative, consider using seeds instead of or alongside your cashews.