For last week’s #MakeoverMonday the topic was land used for the production a single gram of protein for different food types. While my mission to try a new Tableau feature continues, I chose transparent charts this week, which, at least I think, is befitting to the topic, as this data visualization aims to create some transparency in what the real cost of our food is.

The environment is a very prevalent issue on my mind. Admittedly I’m not the biggest advocate, but I try to do my part. It is for this reason that I found this topic so interesting. But of course, the fact that over 68% of land usage goes to the rearing of cattle, lead me to other questions, such as, what is the usage of other resources, like water, and how does this relate to what we actually pay for our produce?

What I saw, by comparing a few different data set, all from, is that, of the food produces measured, beef has the lowest value for money. It also uses the highest amount of land for the production of one single gram of protein. In addition to this, it has one of the highest usage of water for the production of that one gram of protein, this probably also has to do with the irrigation of the fields that the cows graze on. So, not only does beef cost the most from our wallets, it also has an extremely high cost to the planet. For the meat lovers, pork and chicken are more sustainable, while fruit and vegetables may use up quite a bit more water, all in all, they are a more earth friendly option.

Transparency – of course, I chose the simplest of simple new Tableau tricks for this week. And once I figured out where to click, it really was super simple. It’s just a matter of selecting the chart you’d like to make transparent, right licking, selecting the format options from the data pane, selecting the pain bucket and changing the worksheet colour to ‘None’. And now you have a chart with your image as the background!


And of course, here is the viz if you would like to explore. Clicking on the image will take you to the Tableau Public Link.

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Happy Holidays!