Eric DesRoberts continues his monthly series of facts and tidbits he’s uncovered during his research to better understand products and packaging. You can also check out his past Fun Facts.
1. The Environmental Working Group analyzed pesticide tests on 48 popular conventional produce items and found that apples, strawberries, and grapes had the highest pesticide levels and pineapples, onions, and sweet corn had the lowest. The group goes on to say that the health benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risk of exposure.
2. According to a USGS report, the historical average rate of groundwater depletion in the U.S. was about 9 cubic kilometers per year from 1900-2008. From 2000-2008 the rate of depletion averaged almost 25 cubic kilometers. The full report goes on to state that oceans represent the ultimate sink for essentially all depleted groundwater – US groundwater depletion alone accounts for up to 2.3% of the sea level rise from 2000-2008.
3. Over 40,000 projects have been successfully funded through Kickstarter, raising roughly $536 million. In 2012 alone, 2.2 million people (from 177 countries) contributed over $300 million to fund 18,109 projects.
4. On average, a US family consumes about 5kg of food per day that has cumulatively traveled over 4,000 miles throughout its lifecycle. This ranges from about 700 miles for some beverages to about 13,000 miles for some meats. However, the majority of food impacts still occur in the production stages. Accordingly, a dietary shift away from red meat towards a more fruit and vegetable based diet is one of the most effective ways of reducing a household’s food related climate footprint.
5. June 5 marked the 41st annual United Nations World Environment Day. This year’s theme was Think.Eat.Save – an anti-food waste and food loss campaign to combat the 1.3 billion tonnes of food lost or wasted annually.