Almond Board of California
Changing Tastes was hired to explore the role of almonds in our diets and the issues surrounding climate change and water scarcity that the industry was facing. We looked at the relative importance of growing almonds in an era of water scarcity in California, among other indicators. We found that while almonds had been using a large share of water in the region, a lot more water was used to grow animal feed in California.
When we looked at the Mediterranean/plant-forward diet, the health benefits came almost exclusively from the consumption of tree nuts and olive oil. All of the regions that share climates where these crops grow are facing the same issues with climate change.
We worked with ag scientists to find that once the trees experience severe drought, they’re never the same. We have to prioritize keeping these crops watered to both keep the industry alive and maintain the efficacy of the affected diets. As a result, farmers are going to replace peach grafted root-spread trees with the original deep tap root of almond trees. We also found that by preserving these crops, we could save more water by shifting the diet and deliver significant health benefits.