Thursday, August 28, 2003

What's in your Bottled Water?

Interesting article over at the Hartford Advocate:

What's in your Bottled Water?
Despite the hype, bottled water is neither cleaner nor greener than tap water

Thanks to false advertising and disinfection, what you drink may not be what you think.

"You drink tap water? Are you crazy?" asks a 21-year-old radio producer from the Chicago area. "I only drink bottled water." In a trendy nightclub in New York City, the bartender tells guests they can only be served bottled water, which costs $5 for each tiny pint container. One outraged clubber is stopped by the restroom attendant as she tries to refill the bottle from the tap. "You can't do that," says the attendant. "New York's tap water isn't safe . . ."

. . . The message is clear: Bottled water is "good" water, as opposed to that nasty, unsafe stuff that comes out of the tap. But in most cases tap water adheres to stricter purity standards than bottled water, whose source -- far from a mountain spring -- can be the parking lot of an industrial facility in New Jersey. Forty percent of it began life as, well, tap water.

A 2001 World Wildlife Fund study confirmed the widespread belief that consumers associate bottled water with social status and healthy living. Their perceptions trump their objectivity, because even some people who claim to have switched to bottled water "for the taste" can't tell the difference: When Good Morning America conducted a taste test of its studio audience, New York City tap water was chosen as the heavy favorite over the oxygenated water 02, Poland Spring and Evian.

Pointer courtesy of Prof Farber.


Hartford Advocate:What's in your Bottled Water?

Scientific American: Is bottled water tapped out?

CBS: Our Man Tests The Water

Good Morning America: Bottled vs. Tap

Posted at 05:01 PM in Food and Drink | Permalink


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