Friday, August 19, 2005

The Great Bottled Water Hoax

So many of us drink bottled water. It's clean, it's refreshing, it tastes good. It's healthy for us. Right? Well, if we believe the bottled water companies then yes, all these things are true. But on some level, we drink bottled water because we are avoiding drinking tap water.

Tap water is cruddy, nasty, vile. We loathe it. Some of us won't even cook with it. And we do this to keep ourselves healthy right?

Funny how we're so influenced by marketing. A polar bear, or a snow capped mountain, or some Grizzly Adams look-alike standing by some river makes us think, "Dang, I'm thristy. Think I'll have some water in a bottle." But what those marketers don't tell us is that TAP water actually has less pollutants, has to meet more standards (governed by the EPA instead of the FDA as bottled water is), and when consumed in blind taste tests is often preferred.

Some of us are drinking tap water and don't even realize it. (We would if we took the time to read some of the bottles.) Some major bottlers have taken to bottling municipal water and selling it to us for $1.50 a pop. At my gym there is a bottled water dispenser, selling bottled municipal water, right next to the water fountain. I'd say for every person that uses the fountain, 10 buy the "same" water for that $1.50.

To be fair, I don't think its that we wouldn't choose to drink tap water if we had this information. And and don't blame the water companies for marketing the way they do. I just wish we'd question a little more. Let's not accept things for face value. Let's be aware of the difference between marketing and facts. I think if we did that, more of use would start using water fountains.