National Public Radio (NPR) recently quoted language from an editorial in Science magazine that states: “’With 80 percent of the world’s almonds growing in drought-stricken California, should consumers be advised to limit almond consumption and consider alternatives that consume fewer resources?’”
Part of the response we provided to NPR made it into the online story – that research funded by the Almond Board of California has helped growers reduce the amount of water needed to produce a pound of almonds by 33 percent in the past 20 years; that these days, about 70 percent of almond orchards use water-efficient micro-irrigation; and that each year we continue to make more progress in this area.
If you’ve read this blog regularly, you know, also, that that almond trees each use about the same amount of water as other California fruit and nut trees and are not unusually thirsty.1
You also know that overall, California’s almond growers have a long, well-established history of environmental stewardship. From promoting bee health to re-purposing tree waste and continually improving irrigation and soil monitoring practices, they have a decades-long record of research and responsible action.
You know that new research is guiding industry progress toward becoming carbon neutral or carbon negative in reducing greenhouse gases. And you know we’ve just partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund to help almond growers gain greater access to greenhouse gas markets.
And our efforts to date are just the beginning. Through continued investment on behalf of the Almond Board of California, we will continue fuel the next round of sustainable innovation.
With their great nutrition and a robust body of science behind them, almonds are an ideal addition to a plant-based, sustainable diet.
1 Larry Schwankl, et al. Understanding your Orchard's Water Requirements. University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Publication 8212. Feb. 2010. - See more at: http://www.almonds.com/blog/about-almond-board/almonds-are-unique-many-w...