The other day I was reading some interesting info about almonds. Before I get to that, I need to be something off my chest about almond “milk.” It’s not friggin’ milk! It’s juice or water or something entirely different but it’s not milk. Milk is lactated not squeezed out of a nut. Cows, humans and other living, breathing animals make milk. Almonds that grow on trees do not. To call it milk is udderly ridiculous. Glad I got that off my chest.
Almonds are now the number 1 consumed nut in America, having replaced peanuts. In reality, the #1 nuts in America are the folks running our country, but that’s a completely different type of nut. Almonds are also very unfriendly to the environment in which they grow, which is mostly in California. I’m sure you are wondering how a nut can be anti-environment. Let me ‘splain.
If you’ve been reading the news at all, you know the climate has been pretty weird lately. California is now in one the worst droughts that region has ever seen. Water is at such a premium they now drill for groundwater they way they drill for oil. Where there was once surface water, there is none. Where there was once ground water pretty close to the surface, that is vanishing rapidly. So it’s drill baby drill. Let’s forget about the consequences of how much that destabilizes the ground above those ever deeper water wells…at least until parts of California become one big sinkhole.
80% of all the water in California goes to agriculture. Of that, 10% goes to grow almonds. Many of these almond groves used to grow cotton, vegetables and other annual crops. Cotton was not as lucrative but used 40% less water than almonds. In a bad water year, you let cotton or vegetable plants die, take the hit and replant the next year. Almond trees need constant care and constant watering. So just remember, every time you eat an almond, you are helping suck California dry (which some people might think is not such a bad thing).
This scenario reminds me of the 1st Superman movie back in 1978. In that film, the villan Lex Luthor was going to set off a nuclear bomb in the San Andreas fault and sink part of California into the Pacific Ocean. He had purchased all the land on the other side of the fault which would become beach front property with names like Lutherville and Costa del Lex (and Otisburg for you Superman aficionados). In reality, you really don’t need a bomb or the world’s #1 criminal mind to completely screw up California…just a bunch of nuts.