Things aren’t always what they seem.

If there’s anything I should have learned in my 35+ years, it’s to not judge a book by its cover ..

Did you know that it takes over 400 gallons of water to produce one pound of boneless beef? Chew on that burger for a minute.

Last weekend, I spent a lifetime in Napa – or what should have been a lifetime! 20 women who certainly weren’t rookies, a highly celebrated bachelorette and a long overdue weekend with perfect weather. What happened? Not much. But what did happen was something I never expected. Coming from a wine country I loved, Napa didn’t stand much of a chance in my mind. I expected snobby service, overpriced wine, and crowds that would suffocate the Pope. What did I get? Impeccable service, open, airy tasting areas and overpriced wines. But I get it now – their wines are as good as my precious Paso Robles AVA vintages, but their properties are $300,000 an acre v. $50,000 an acre at home. I get it!! I’ll pay the $100 for a $35 Cabernet. (I’ll expand in a blog at a later date.) Sandy in a Vineyard

Last week, I posted some pretty stirring comments in a blog I never thought I’d have to write. Animal welfare is a topic I choose not to touch with a 10 foot pole. Too many opinions, too many feelings. And yet, there I was, filling the silence by shaming a media outlet, reminding my friends and the general public that things aren’t always what they seem. The girl who didn’t make it past her second semester in college. Same girl who is immensely intimidated by anyone who completed any Agriculture Leadership program. What happened? Well, I guess you could say I got some attention. I was invited to write an Opinion Editorial for the very media outlet I shamed. My biggest and most vocal advocate? A person I had held a grudge against since High School. And the local liberal newspaper that our entire Ag Industry had turned against, contacted me, stating that Agriculture had categorically decided to respond by saying, “No comment.” Apparently, the silence was deafening because in their note to me, they admitted they had bad reputation and stopped short of begging for a voice for Agriculture.

And just today, I reached out to my Ag Peers for an info-graphic that Agriculture put out to reflect the amount of water that California commodities require to be produced. What happened was something I never could have predicted. A farmer and rancher whom I (and the rest of California Agriculture) have an immense amount of respect for, responded. He offered a statistic that I just can’t shake.

Today, I went for a 4 mile run on the East Bay of San Francisco. The same Bay he reminded me that 70,000,000 acre feet of water, is allowed to flow out into the Pacific Ocean, every year. Back to the burger. If it takes (conservatively) 400 gallons of water to produce one pound of boneless beef, then that water that we let flow out the Bay could be used to produce 58,875,000,000 pounds of beef 227.5 BILLION quarter pound hamburgers!

How many times have you heard that food insecurity is the biggest problem facing Americans? How many times have you heard commercials on the TV or Radio asking for donations to help feed the hungry? So was that a sea shore I was running along today? Or was it wasted opportunity to end hunger?

I’m not proposing that we dam up every gallon of water that flows down through the Sierras. And don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a cheap proposition. But maybe we choose water storage. Maybe we vote for a bond that builds a new dam. Maybe we find a way to keep some of that water that runs out into the Pacific, every day.

Water is serious business. So is food insecurity. But things aren’t always what they seem.