4. Saving the Bees and the Almonds
The Almond Board of California recently made a statement: “As an industry, we are committed to protecting and improving honeybee health.” They went on to state, “the California almond community has funded 125 research projects supporting bees, more than any other crop group.”
The public can also help in saving the bees by refraining from using pesticides and chemical fertilizers. They should also support local farmers. Creating a bee-friendly garden is also a nice perk that helps promote the hive’s health.
3. Water and Almonds
Many people in California believe that almond groves are the downfall of the state. The trees are water hungry, and California has been suffering from horrific drought conditions for years. A single almond needs 3.2 gallons of water.
An acre of almond trees uses 1 million gallons of water per year. Basically, the almonds drink more water than human households in San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Sadly, to meet the water needs of their trees, farmers will often outbid entire California towns to win the water rights.
2. Arsenic and Almonds
In an effort to meet the water needs of their almond trees, farmers are having wells drilled deep into the soil. Many of the wells offer up water that is laden with arsenic. Consuming arsenic has been linked to cancer and heart disease.
The abundant wells in the San Joaquin Valley are causing the soil to sink as the water is being used up. The water-hungry almond trees are upsetting the state’s ecosystem, threatening fish populations, causing wildfires, and threatening native wildlife.