Each of these packages weighs about 150 grams. It has a protective skin, covered with moisture-preserving wax. It’s about 83% water, or 125 grams of water, or 1/2 cup of water. Yes, it takes water to create them, but once that’s done it can be stored and can be a delivery vehicle for 25 grams of carbohydrates in a digestible form.
If you put these storage devices into a mechanically cooled storage, you will have to add more wax. You will also use more water to put them through a chemical bath before doing that. If you crush these devices to extract the water, to make the carbohydrate-water blends called “juice” or “cider”, you will have to use considerably more water to clean containers, wash equipment, and so forth. If you concentrate that product by removing its water, for shipment half the world away, you will require more water to reconstitute it into an acceptable carbohydrate delivery vehicle. The commonality in all these manipulations is the water.
If water were billed at its true cost, you wouldn’t do any of that. You’d eat the apple. You’d keep it in your garage. You’d make a pie. Currently, in the Okanagan Okanogan, millions of tons of water is exported from our ecosystem, which is short of water, to be sold to other ecosystems, which aren’t short of it at all. If water were billed at its true cost, we wouldn’t trade these apples for dollars but for water. Until then, water, the stuff of life, is an industrial subsidy, and the people who profit from the packaging, processing and movement of apples are living off of the commons. Some things are simple. This is one.