By Elizabeth Royte
Having already handed milk and beer, and moment now basically to soda, bottled water is at the verge of changing into the preferred beverage within the nation. The manufacturers became so ubiquitous that we are not often awake that Poland Spring and Evian have been as soon as genuine springs, effervescent in distant corners of Maine and France. purely now, with the water buying and selling within the billions of bucks, have we began to question what it truly is we are consuming.
In this clever, finished paintings of narrative journalism, Elizabeth Royte does for water what Michael Pollan did for nutrition: she reveals the folk, machines, economies, and cultural traits that convey it from far-off aquifers to our supermarkets. alongside the best way, she investigates the questions we needs to unavoidably resolution. Who owns our water? How a lot may still we drink? may still we need to pay for it? Is faucet secure water secure to drink? And if this is the case, what percentage chemical compounds are dumped in to make it potable? What occurs to all these plastic bottles we stock round as predictably as mobile phones? and naturally, what is larger: faucet water or bottled?
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Additional info for Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It
The copy claims tap water is “rejected by Mother Nature”; springwater is approved by nature “for potty training animals” (accompanied by an ideogram of a fish pooping); and purified water is approved by the FDA, but “investigated by the FBI” (with an ideogram of a belching factory). Because I’m pretty sure the FBI doesn’t investigate the quality of bottled water, I e-mail the company to find out more. Mike, a consumer-relations representative, writes me back: “i am unfamiliar with the advertisement you are speaking of.
Let thirst be your guide, says Dr. Simeon Margolis, professor of medicine and biological chemistry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. (Unless you’re elderly, says Roberta Anding, a clinical dietitian in adolescent and sports medicine at Baylor Medical College. “Thirst is one of the poorest-tuned defense mechanisms we have. The older you get, the less reliable that is. ”) Drinking too much water can, though, be dangerous. In January of 2007, a Sacramento County, California, woman trying to win a Nintendo Wii on a radio program drank almost two gallons of Crystal Geyser without a bathroom break.
Brennan doesn’t hurry me; he doesn’t ask what I think of his water. He explains the morphology of the earth: the way glaciers retreated from this part of Maine thirteen thousand years ago and, in the process, formed deep beds of sand and gravel that expertly filtered the water. He shows me some test wells along the raceway and explains that water pumped through boreholes, the wells inside those little stone buildings, can be labeled spring if it has substantially the same chemical makeup as the actual spring, if it comes from the same geologic stratum as the spring, and if a hydraulic connection between the two can be proved.