When I first saw bottled water, it made absolutely no sense. Who in the world would pay for water when they can have it free at home? I always thought what a waste of money; am still drinking tap water and feel just fine.
However most people fell for the fancy bottled water. Likely they must be thinking, whoa, expensive water, must be top of the line, most pure water. Nowadays, most everyone is drinking bottled water. In fact, every year we consume billions of gallons of bottled water.
There seem to be certain benefits to it. It’s convenient to carry around; it’s calorie-free, refreshing and no doubt healthier than sugary soda pop.
WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Surprise, surprise. While some bottled water might even come from sparkling springs, a good part comes from a municipal supply. The bottlers aren’t required to list the source on the label. Whatever they do say on front of the label is a sales pitch aimed at the consumer.
I don’t buy bottled water so can’t verify this, but Reader’s Digest states that Aquafina was going to begin stating on their labels that its water comes from public water sources. And Nestlé PureLife bottles will indicate whether the water comes from public, private or deep well sources. Dasani acknowledges on its website, but NOT on the label itself, that it draws from local water.
ISN’T BOTTLED WATER SAFER AND CLEANER?
No. In fact, all the majority of evidence shows that it’s worse for you. Plastic leaches into the water it holds, which has been linked to health issues like reproductive problems and different types of cancer. Harmful hormone-disrupting phthalates leach into the bottled water we drink after as little as 10 weeks of storage, or much faster once the bottles have been left in the sun (like in the car)
Tap water isn’t perfect either because the purity varies depending on where you live, but the same could be said for bottled water. If you wanted to check out how your local water system rates, click here.
The EPA regulates tap water, while the FDA oversees bottled. However there is a loophole. FDA oversight doesn’t apply to water packaged & sold in the same state which amounts to 60% to 70% of bottled water to be free of FDA regulation. In this case scenario, testing depends on the states but they often don’t have adequate resources to oversee bottled water.
Even though the FDA requires bottlers to regularly test for contaminants, the agency considers bottled water a low-risk product, so plants may NOT be inspected every year.
DOESN’T IT TASTE BETTER?
In blind taste tests, people had trouble differentiating between tap water and bottled water, and it’s virtually indistinguishable once poured through a simple filter. Your best bet, as Huffington Post says, is using tap water run through a good filter on your kitchen tap or drinking container, which will yield you the cheapest, cleanest and most convenient water source.
ISN’T BOTTLED WATER A RIP-OFF?
You bet it is. You pay more for a gallon of bottled water than you do for a gallon of gas. Yet everyone complains of high gas prices, while having no problem paying for water that you can get out of the tap for free. I am going for the tap water.
WATER BOTTLERS FIGHT BACK
On my last shopping trip I checked a few brands of bottled water. Dasani uses a PlantBottle concept originally introduced by Coca-Cola. Dasani claims that their bottles are recyclable which is supposed to reduce carbon emissions. However upon closer look you’ll see that Dasani bottles are only up to 30% recyclable. That “up to” part sounds quite vague.
Nestle PureLife claims that their bottled water is “purified” and “enhanced with nutrients for taste.” I’m glad they don’t assert that said nutrients are significant for health benefits. This “nutrients” part is definitely aimed at boosting sales.
SOME OTHER PRODUCTS ARE PACKED IN PLASTIC
Have you noticed? Lots of other products have been packed in plastic for the longest time. Such as ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce and other condiments, salad oil, drinks like Gatorade, soda pop, some juices, milk and some produce. I bought blueberries that were packed in a flimsy plastic box. Ditto for strawberries and some greens.
And I’ve been cooking batches of food that I store in the freezer so for a while I don’t have to cook at all, and always thought high of this. Now might be rethinking.