Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Fancy Water

"Water flows uphill towards money."
~ a saying in the American West, quoted by Ivan Doig in Marc Reisner, Cadillac Desert, 1986 ~

Everybody is big on water. Hmm, that sounds like a statment regarding bloating....

Well, anyway, every one is talking about how great water is for you.

Water helps to flush toxins out of the body.
Water is involved in every metabolic function in our bodies.
Water makes up 75% of the body's muscle.
It distributes nutrients properly throughout your body, promotes healthy skin and aids in digestion.

And there are many dieting tips as well, like this one:

Drink cold water: the body burns 100 more calories per liter when a person drinks cold water.

All of this has made Americans guzzle the agua.

A 2003 study performed by the Beverage Marketing Corporation, shows that for the first time ever, Americans bought more bottled water than they did coffee, milk or beer. Not surprisingly, bottled water has become an $8.3 billion business and has been increasing rapidly each year.

However some say that bottled water is no better than tap water, really. It's treated more and may taste subtly better & it's very convenient in a plastic bottle.

But the Natural Resources Defense Council, and environmental group that did a similar study in 1999, argues that most Americans don't know what they are paying for:

"Many bottles of water are sold with pretty mountains on the label, with evocative name like Everest, that suggest it comes form a pristine mountain stream, when in fact, many bottles of water come from city tap water. Bottled water has a huge marketing campaign to try to persuade the public that it's cleaner and purer and safer, and that's why the bottled water business has been booming in the last 10 years," said Erik Olson who led the NRDC study.

But nutritionists and environmentalists say for the most part, bottled water is well, water. Even the brands that come from mountain springs are not much better for you than the stuff you can get from your faucet.

Which means, once again, that Americans are willing led by marketers, eager to buy convenience products. Big business makes a killing off bottled water drinkers.

Folks who would be just as well drinking from the tap.

Did you also know that 88% of Americans who drink bottled water reuse the container? It may help the environment a bit, but there are a few other things to consider...

New research shows that the type of plastic (called PET plastic) used in most disposable bottles isn't sturdy enough to be used on repeated occasions. It also isn't sturdy enough for dishwasher treatments, direct sun, high temperatures, or rough handling.

During the research, a variety of water bottles were used in these stress tests, and researchers have found that the longer bottles were reused, the more likely plastic materials from the containers were to leach into the water. Other research demonstrates that frequent washing may not prevent bacteria buildup in reused PET bottles.

It's ok to reuse the bottle once or twice, but it's not considered a wise decision to prolong it's life too long.

Which means you might be just as well off to drink from the garden hose...

...unless you'd like to support those in marketing *wink*
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