Is bottled water good for our health?
There's no easy answer to that one. Given the dangers of tap water (which I discussed in my previous article here: Which water should I drink?), we might be forgiven for thinking that we should all drink bottled water.
I must admit that until now, I've consumed a mixture of bottled water (in the UK, for me, that usually means Highland Spring, which has a good balance of natural occurring minerals and is harvested from organic lands in Scotland) and I also harvest my own water from a local spring. However, when I started to look a bit closer at the truth behind drinking bottle water, the facts consistently made my jaw drop.
Thankfully, most of the bottled water here in the UK, is actually from spring water, although it seems in the USA, that over half of the bottled water is actually from a tap! This is a startling fact for those who might assume that bottled water would offer something different. A big marketing scheme has been revealed from some of the big multi-national corporations, whereby their aim is to sell and exploit the demand for something, that should actually be a basic, freely available gift from nature.
The plot thickens!
The bottled water corporation agenda
Here is an animated and informative video from the makers of ‘The Story of Stuff’, that shares a clear view about the bottled water industry agenda.
Whilst I do believe that some water companies have better ethics than others, there certainly does seem to be a real exploitative, money-grabbing element to selling bottled water; especially from the big-bad-boys who are labeling up and glorifying tap water with nice pictures of mountain streams. The bottled water market is the ideal place for marketeers to steal an easy dollar! Perhaps somewhere down the line they'll come up with a clever scheme to try and sell us air too.
Chemicals that leach from plastic bottles into your water
There is ample evidence out there to show an abundance of harmful chemicals leaching from plastic bottles into bottled water. Most plastics today are said to leach chemicals such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE), DEHA, a potential carcinogen, and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) which is thought to disrupt the hormone system. Leaving bottles in a hot car or in the sun also drastically increases the amount of chemicals leached into your water.
Check out this short video clip for more about these chemicals that leach from plastic bottles and their effect on our health...
Total plastic nightmare for the planet
We are all well aware that plastic bottles are not good for the planet. Plastic is an oil and chemical based product that sticks around for thousands of years after a person discards it. After production, they are often shipped around the world causing a devastating carbon footprint.
Recycling sounds like a good idea, although the sad fact is, that a lot of so called recycled plastic, ends up in a landfill site in a less developed country anyway.
As Annie Leonard reports on the 'Story of Bottled Water',
people in the US buy at least half a million bottles a week -
enough to circle the entire planet FIVE TIMES!!!
So what on earth am I supposed to drink?
Water straight out of the tap is certainly another poor choice. Check out my article 'Which water should I drink?' for a deeper exploration of tap water.
Despite the challenges, there are informed choices that we as people can make. Here are some tips for healthy water consumption...
- Eat lots of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables or drink fruit/veggie juices. Often an over looked source of water, yet the water content in a lot of fruits and vegetable is naturally high. If you incorporate these into your daily cuisine, then there is less need to rely on water.
- Get a really good, reliable filter for your tap water. Look out for my next article, where I examine the differences between jug carbon filters, reverse osmosis filters and solid carbon block filters.
- The best choice of all: My favourite source of water is to collect it weekly from my local spring. This is the most sustainable and healthy option that I know of and is well worth the extra effort to go collect it. Ideally, you’ll find an area that is clean and relatively free from pollution - or just do the best you can. If in doubt you could pass your collected water through a solid block carbon filter when you get home. There is a growing movement of discerning people, seeking to find their own source of healthy spring water.
Visit www.findaspring.com or check out this video for more information:
Remember to look out for my article next week on different water filtration options.
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