nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Your Right To Bottled Water. It's All About Freedom...I Guess.

I read an article about the "water" business.  You know what I'm talking about, the business that generates billions in revenue to sell plastic with tap water in it to humans that can't think of a better use for their money.

See here in the BBC News (Nov 22)

The bottled tap water industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds.  One large company with a clearly recognizable name (think "something" Crunch) makes millions every year by harvesting city tap water in Florida, labeling it with a catchy adjective ("fresh", "vital", "purified"), all of which means nothing, and selling it to people who would rather spend a dollar than take a water bottle with them.

Although I've posted about this in the past, one statement in the article struck me.  Buying bottled water is the ultimate in capitalism's potential, and represents a freedom of choice for those who decide to "buy in."

Well, I hadn't thought of that.  I've written about how I think dietary laws are expensive, unnecessary, and futile.  People will get what they want, whether you try to restrict it or not.  They'll just find a way around it, or substitute that bad habit with another.  It's human nature.

And, if I think those laws and restrictions on people's dietary freedom are bad, then--to be consistent--I shouldn't object to those who want to buy their water in plastic made from a petroleum product.

Emerson said that "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."  I'm not sure that this qualifies as being "foolishly" consistent, but if you're laying down a principle--like freedom of choice--then  maybe it's not.

So, fine.  It's your call, and I shouldn't vilify that choice.   But...some ways of expressing freedom seem better than others, so I'll continue to say that bottle water is a waste of money.

Never mind that we could abolish hunger, achieve world peace, and eliminate the federal deficit if we quit spending those billions (OK, I'm exaggerating...)

And, I've been guilty (rarely), when we're on a road trip.  I would rather buy a bottle of water from a convenience store than drink from the grody water fountain (with gum stuck on it, and other unmentionables), or from the water hose out back.

[BTW, sodas are dehydrating, not only from caffeine content, but also from osmotic load.  They are no substitute for water]

But other than the occasional road trip, carry your own water bottle and fill it from home.  Save enough money over a year to buy that new pair of shoes you wanted.

Doc D


WarmSocks said...

Unless the city decides to chlorinate the water supply, which happened near here. The city claimed that their tests showed the water was safe to drink, but one particular section of town had horror stories: people were sick, fish in the fish ponds died, long-term mildew problems suddenly disappeared (yes, the cholorine was that strong). Everyone had to buy bottled water for drinking.

Doc D said...

Sounds like somebody needed to be fired for incompetence. In general every municipal water supply is chlorinated. Engineers know, based on analysis and monitoring of water quality, how much chlorine to add so that by the time it reaches the tap all coliform bacteria have been killed and other organic reactions reduced the chlorine content. When done properly, the residual chlorine is near zero.

I deployed to the Western Desert in Egypt to care for a contingent of 50K Army and AF in '85. We were getting our bottled water from a local contractor. But I kept getting sporadic cases of gastroenteritis, so I cultured the water and grew Pseudomonas, which can cause a mild GI illness. Turns out the bottled water was coming straight from an oasis well. We had to bring in a portable water purifying unit.

Even bottled water can be a problem, if stupidly managed.

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