The global trend of increasing consumption of food prepared away from home (FAFH) versus food prepared at home (FAH) can have environmental consequences such as blue water footprint. This study therefore estimates the difference in blue water usage of FAFH versus FAH. Blue water footprints of individual food items and consumer survey data were combined to obtain overall values for FAFH and FAH consumption. The data suggest that FAFH consumes approximately 258 L per kilogram of food, which is approximately 15% higher than FAH. The difference in water footprint is largely due to an increased consumption protein-based meals in FAFH compared to FAH. However, the gap in water footprint is mitigated by the increased consumption of high water-consuming snacks at home such as nuts and dried fruits, as well as meal ingredients like processed oils. The calculations suggest a much higher water footprint per kcal and per USD in FAH versus FAFH. Finally, nuts and dried fruit are found to have the highest specific water footprint despite a relatively low carbon footprint.

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