Monday, January 9, 2012

What's Wrong With Bottled Water Part 1

There are few scenarios I can dream up where I wouldn't mind drinking bottled water. One involves me finishing a sweaty race during which I couldn't carry my own; in another, I'm in a third world refugee camp and there is no other parasite-free source available. There's one more, but I'll save that for the end of the post.

So what's wrong with bottled water?

1. It costs a lot! I haven't ever heard someone complain about the price of bottled water, but it's hundreds of times more expensive than what comes out of your faucet. Some brands are more expensive per gallon than gasoline (which eeeeverybody complains about). So you're paying - a lot - for a basic human right and one of the building blocks of life. And it might not actually be much better than what comes out of your sink. Brands Aquafina and Dasani (both owned by major soda companies which I wouldn't trust to make anything good for my body) clearly state on their websites that their product is purified public water. No bottled water company is required to list it's sources.
A shot from our trip to Patagonia last January. That's a glacier and some delicious glacier water running down the mountain. I did not see any bottled water companies there to collect it.
2. Plastic sucks. Making it is hard on the environment. It requires crude oil and a whole lot of processing. It doesn't always get recycled; tossing an empty bottle into the little blue bin isn't a guarantee.
3. "Bisphenol A" SUCKS. By now, most people have probably heard of BPA. It's an estrogen-like chemical that is used in many types of plastic; studies have found it leeching out of can linings, receipt paper, and plastic water bottles. It tends to come out more as the plastic breaks down, which happens as a result of time and heat. That explains why it's a bad idea to put plastic water bottles in the dishwasher or leave them in your car on a sunny day.  What problems might BPA contribute to? Learning disabilities, ADHD, and heart disease for you, and it may predispose your children to obesity - a 2009 study found higher rates of obesity in the offspring of lab animals with BPA exposure.

It's a good thing there are alternatives!

Lots of people like Brita (or similar) pitchers and sink attachments to filter water themselves. I think this is the best option for those who dislike the taste straight from the tap. You can also carry your own reusable BPA-free bottle, something that is relatively easy to find these days, filled with water in case of thirst. This requires just a tiny bit of thinking ahead on your part, but it's really simple to do and a great idea.

As I've mentioned, some people really hate the taste of their tap water. I think ours tastes fine, but I do realize the taste changes based upon where you live and how your water is treated. Stay tuned to A Peaceful Plate for Part 2, the third and final scenario in which I don't mind drinking bottled water: a blind taste test.

Shared at: The Healthy Home Economist.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What did you think about this post? Opinions and suggestions are welcomed, but please be nice to each other. :)