Is Silicon Valley’s health-conscious elite drinking from the fountain of youth or a hazardous cesspool?
According to the World Health Organisation, each year, around 840,000 people die worldwide because of diseases they get from drinking unsafe water: the lack of clean water is one of the biggest problems of the third world. But, for Silicon Valley, drinking unprocessed water is a matter of luxury.
The untreated, unchecked stream water is branded as “raw water” and sold for as much as $60 per 2.5 gallons. The reason? Its advocates claim it contains beneficial minerals and probiotics, as well as that their water it’s not “influenced by industrial age contamination” and that it’s somehow improved by the layers of rock it goes through before breaking the surface. Sure, all these “facts” might sound like they justify the steep price, but there is one problem: they are complete nonsense.
For example, even though probiotics are, in their essences, healthy bacteria, there is no proof that it’s the case with bacteria in the unprocessed water. In “raw water,” there is equal chance for the bacteria to cause dysentery as well to be good for your gut. Is it worth taking a chance? No, it’s not.
Although there is no guarantee that drinking stream water has any real benefits, there is a high chance that drinking untreated, unfiltered water can make you seriously sick. The CEO of one of the raw water companies, Live Water, goes as far as to claim that “real” water has an expiration date, and that you can be assured of raw water’s quality because it will turn green after one “lunar cycle”. Basically, seeing how nasty and dirty unfiltered water is, should convince you of its purity. Crazy, right?
Instead of hoping that “raw water” has some kind of magical healing abilities, you should be extremely worried about other potential “enrichments” that could be found in a glass of live water: cholera, E. coli, Hepatitis A, giardia, and dysentery are the first few that pop in one’s mind. Oh, and things like animal feces- yum.
Having clean, safe water is the luxury of developed countries that we often tend to take for granted: don’t let conspiracy-theorists or modern day snake oil salesmen tell you different.
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