The Story of Bottled Water
March 22, 2010 2:09 PM   Subscribe

The Story of Bottled Water (direct YT link) - Annie Leonard (Colbert Nation; previously) narrates a new video about bottled water. World Water Day is March 22.
posted by mrgrimm (71 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Big Picture has some fantastic pictures for World Water Day - Floating on dreams and whispers.
posted by cashman at 2:13 PM on March 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Portland Filter: Annie Leonard is speaking at Powell's on Burnside at 7:30pm tonight.
posted by wcfields at 2:21 PM on March 22, 2010


Awww crap.. I gotta stop watching documentaries, I'm running out of stuff that I can ignorantly enjoy.
posted by pwally at 2:53 PM on March 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bottled water reminds me of Febreze and Swiffers. Asinine enivro-killer products that crafty marketers have convinced people they absolutely must have. Perish forbid that you open a window to air out your home or wash your floors with a filthy bacteria-laden reusable mop.
posted by Go Banana at 3:05 PM on March 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Is Annie Leonard persuasive to the people who (if you agree with her) need to be persuaded about these things? To this particular member of the choir, her preaching is initially appealing but can get a bit long-winded.

Looks like she's at #35 on the NYT bestseller list right now, so someone's listening.
posted by gurple at 3:06 PM on March 22, 2010


Oregon Public Broadcasting's call-in radio show Think Out Loud had a discussion about bottled water today.
posted by Caduceus at 3:44 PM on March 22, 2010


Actual direct link to the YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se12y9hSOM0.
posted by evilangela at 4:05 PM on March 22, 2010


Somehow gurple linked back to an October 2005 Best Sellers list. Here's a link to the current list, showing The Story of Stuff at #35 (more info on the book).
posted by filthy light thief at 4:07 PM on March 22, 2010


Is Annie Leonard persuasive to the people who (if you agree with her) need to be persuaded about these things? To this particular member of the choir, her preaching is initially appealing but can get a bit long-winded.

I don't know, I'm kinda choiry myself, but she always sounds like she's talking to a child. I don't necessarily mean she's patronizing, just that it would strike me as odd if an adult spoke to me like that in real life.
posted by Sova at 4:13 PM on March 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think shipping water around the world is a pretty stupid idea, but the fact is purified water tastes better then tap water in a lot of places. Even water that is very pure will still have natural minerals that, while they may be good for you, ruin the taste (IMO). You can buy you can buy locally purified water in gallon jugs if you want too.

Actually, the last time I was in Texas I bought this water that was supposed to be "Naturally healthy" purified with extra minerals, and it tasted just like the local tap water here in Iowa. Whereas the tap water in Mesquite, Texas is very metallic tasting

But the argument that "it's all the same" is just wrong, there is a definite difference in taste.
posted by delmoi at 4:17 PM on March 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you want to castigate bottled water drinkers, stop pointing fingers at North Americans and turn towards Europe. I had never seen "bottled water" except for big gallons of distilled water for use in irons (for example) when I was a kid. Then in 1981, at age 17, I spent the summer studying German, living with a German family in Krefeld, NRW, and got my baptism of fire (with bottled water) in a culture--and this was everywhere in Europa, not just what was then West Germany--where, TO THIS FUCKING DAY, asking for tap water at a restaurant is akin to asking to take a dump on their countertops.

There are restos that take great pride in offering filtered water gratis-- from the tap and then filtered-- a couple of nice examples here in Calgary being RUSH and Una Pizza. This is fine stuff, the opposite of stigmatizing, and we can teach Europeans, where this madness started (they have perfectly good, potable tap water for Christ's sake!) that tap water isn't something to be ashamed of or to deny one's customers. But I'm steeling myself for paying for 200ml bottles of fucking bottled water every time I get thirsty in Germany in May. Pisses me off.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 4:23 PM on March 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


I agree that we have too much stuff, but I'm also a fan of The Two Income Trap by Elizabeth Warren, so I tend to think that the cost of housing has a lot to do with why we're working two jobs and exhausted all the time. Also, tv has gotten a lot better in the last decade...
posted by mecran01 at 4:25 PM on March 22, 2010


Hmm, in the video she claims that tap water actually tastes better then bottled water. Obviously, some people will prefer tastes they're more familiar with. And maybe they only do taste tests in places with really good tap water, or compare it to water that has minerals, or carbonated water like perrier.

But the idea that average tap water tastes better then purified water is just crazy. I don't think tap water advocates do themselves any favors by spouting nonsense like that. The taste difference is obvious.
posted by delmoi at 4:26 PM on March 22, 2010


But the idea that average tap water tastes better then purified water is just crazy. I don't think tap water advocates do themselves any favors by spouting nonsense like that. The taste difference is obvious.

A lot of taste tests done to test this precise hypothesis are done by groups with axes to grind, and certainly the results vary depending on the tap water quality. But in a lot of places, the taste difference is not obvious.
posted by gurple at 4:36 PM on March 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


delmoi: At least around here (Portland), chilled tap water tastes just as good to me as bottled water. The chilled part is important — it seriously tastes leagues better to me when it's had ice sitting in it for a while or it's been refrigerated than directly out of the tap at whatever temperature that is.

I've been cities where that wasn't true, where tap water definitely is noticeably worse than bottled water, but I've always assumed they were the exception. Or I'm just a poor water connoisseur.

Oh, and: I can't speak for all of Florida, but damn. Port St. Lucie has the most nasty tap water I've ever drank in my life.
posted by floam at 4:43 PM on March 22, 2010


LA tap water tastes like drinking out of a pool. The only way it would win in a taste test is if the other was putrid.
posted by wcfields at 4:55 PM on March 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Plastiki sets sail, 12,500 2 liter plastic beverage bottles used to provide flotation.
posted by hortense at 5:03 PM on March 22, 2010


floam: Portland is among the softest waters in the us. Seattle too. I haven't had any particularly bad tap water, so I can't tell. Seattle water, although detectably chlorinated, is fairly ok, and definitely good enough after filtering.

I wonder if they let the water on those taste tests sit out for a while (or filtered it). Chlorine evaporates somewhat quickly (a few hours, I think), but if they served it straight from the tap, the chlorine is fairly obvious if you look for it (I never really paid attention to it, but once a friend called it out to me, I can never unsmell it).
posted by qvantamon at 5:12 PM on March 22, 2010


An unscientific, blind taste-test of US$55/btl bottled vs tap water
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:13 PM on March 22, 2010


And along the same lines, wait till you see "Bag It," another must-see documentary on the destination of all the garbage we accumulate on a daily basis.
posted by zagyzebra at 5:22 PM on March 22, 2010


Budapest has great tap water. Straight from the industrially challenged Danube and purified by mysterious ancient Communist engines, it manages to be the best water on tap I've ever tasted.

Can't beat my Dad's well water, though. Now that's an acquired taste - you can feel the iron content turning your teeth yellow on every sip, and the sulfur will run you out of the room when you heat it - but it grows on you. When we drilled that well, the guy had to go get another drill, the water table was so far down (the house is on a high hill, it's not like we're tapping an aquifer or anything unpleasant) - it's basically taking water straight out of Satan's sink.
posted by Michael Roberts at 5:26 PM on March 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Another unscientific blind-taste.
posted by Dumsnill at 5:26 PM on March 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


hortense, your Plastiki link, while interesting, contains one jarring note: "the 60’ man made plastic catamaran was towed unceremoniously out to sea" sounds as though there are lots of 60' organically grown plastic catamarans out there.

(That said, now I want to build a 60' plastic catamaran.) (I think I will!)
posted by Michael Roberts at 5:29 PM on March 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know instead of trying to convince people that (often disgusting) tap water tastes wonderful, it would make more sense to try to find solutions for providing cheap local spring water in an environmentally sound way. Not sure how, exactly.. refill stations in supermarkets? Tubes that work so well for the Internets? Pipes that run alongside tap water?

At any rate, I'd rather not have a car and no air conditioning but drink water that tastes decent.
posted by rainy at 6:01 PM on March 22, 2010


wonder if they let the water on those taste tests sit out for a while (or filtered it). Chlorine evaporates somewhat quickly (a few hours, I think),

Interesting. This leads me to wonder what effect our old-timey open reservoirs we have in Portland have on chlorine content. Does any significant amount evaporate out while the water sits around open to the air before it gets to the faucet? If so, do they add more chlorine to make up for that?
posted by floam at 6:21 PM on March 22, 2010


Go Banana, I happen to love my Swiffer. I use home made environmentally friendly mop solution (cut a hole in the top of an old Swiffer solution bottle for refilling) and have a very, very tiny space to mop, try not to mop too often, so I rarely even throw out the old pad. It really increases the longevity of vinyl and laminate floors. Sponge and other types of bucket mops waste gallons upon gallons of water and completely soak your floor in comparison.

On top of that, those who are disabled or wheel chair bound have a much easier time mopping and sweeping with Swiffers than with traditional tools.

They're not all that bad.
posted by Malice at 6:24 PM on March 22, 2010


I always hated tap water.. I hated it ask a kid before the concept of bottled water was introducted to the states. I learned to tolerate the water that came out of my tap (you DO get used to it). But its no surprise that I have come to love bottled water. I also own a reverse osmosis filter to clean up the water at home.

I hate when I hear the "Tap water is exactly the same" because it isn't. Even bottled water that is "just filtered tap water" is usually reverse osmosis water, which is much different than, say, a brita water filter. The anti-bottled water folks are really as dishonest as they claim the bottled waterers are.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 6:24 PM on March 22, 2010


Interesting. This leads me to wonder what effect our old-timey open reservoirs we have in Portland have on chlorine content. Does any significant amount evaporate out while the water sits around open to the air before it gets to the faucet? If so, do they add more chlorine to make up for that?

Most places use Chloramine precisely because it doesn't off-gas like chlorine. This is why "in the old days" you could let tap sit overnight before using in an aquarium, but now you must use a chlorine remover, which generally breaks the chlorine-ammonia bond.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 6:28 PM on March 22, 2010


Also, I have yet to have water quench my thirst like Ozarka. I don't know what it is. I know it's not labeling, I've drank it without knowing what kind it is and instantly know it's Ozarka. The water around here tastes like salt (live near the ocean), even when chilled, and always leaves me thirsty.

Tap water tastes different from place to place. In a lot of places I've been to, it can taste anywhere from salt to nothing to sewer. In a little town called Jourdanton, it smells like sewer the moment you turn on the faucet. No one drinks that.
posted by Malice at 6:32 PM on March 22, 2010


Here in San Francisco we're spoiled with water straight from Yosemite (the Hetch-Hetchy reservoir) -- best water I've ever tasted anywhere, and now restaurants here often offer carbonated tap water.

NYC seems to have it pretty good too -- I've tasted NJ (Bergen County) and Manhattan (Battersea) water and I was impressed. But I've never tasted good water in the midwest.
posted by phliar at 6:34 PM on March 22, 2010


Thanks clever name. It only took about 3 seconds of Googling once you entered chloramine into my vocabulary to confirm that the Portland Water Bureau's been using it for about 50 years.
posted by floam at 6:35 PM on March 22, 2010


Interesting 1st world problem this. We have potable water, with varying levels of taste (Duluth water !!!!great!!!!, NW Iowa water ewww) and it is such a major issue of contention. Vast sections of the world would weep with delight at having virtually unlimited safe drinkable water from any of the cities listed here as nasty.
posted by edgeways at 6:35 PM on March 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Hong Kong's tap water stinks (to my nose), and when we go out to a restaurant that doesn't filter, the tap water they serve is smelly and doesn't taste very good, even though it meets water standards.

On the other hand, I also hate it when I go into a restaurant, ask for a glass of water, and am presented with only a choice of 'flat' or 'sparkling', because then I know it's coming in a bottle and will be added to the bill at an outrageous price.

So at home we use a water purifier for drinking and cooking, thereby not resorting to bottled water, which not only contributes to waste (we recycle, but not everyone does), but when compared with the cost of the filter is exorbitant, and for all we know is just filtered tap water in fancy packaging.
posted by bwg at 6:36 PM on March 22, 2010


The local tap water doesn't taste as good as it did when I was young. I don't know if the change is in the water or in my palate; perhaps the plants don't filter with their old skill, perhaps experience taught me to dislike the distaste of the minerals that will sometimes visibly cloud a glass.

But I still drink it every day. I don't think I've bought a bottle of water in four years. My loyalty isn't due to taste, and while I'm aware of and in accord with the broader ecological argument, conscience isn't the whole reason for my habit, either. I drink it because of....philosophy? Sentiment? Identity?

I grew up in Lake Michigan's basin and now live about ten minutes' walk from its edge. Most every glass of tap water I've ever drank came from the lake. It raises a peace in me, when I walk along the revetments that bound the waters, to consider the lake in my every cell; to think of that sixty percent of me I owe to a glacier thousands of years dead.

There's nothing in a bottle that can raise that awe in me. There's no taste so pure as the holy thrill of watching a storm over a Great Lake, feeling kinship with the water above and the water below.
posted by Iridic at 6:47 PM on March 22, 2010


Everywhere Ive lived (Michigan, Iowa) tap water has tasted just fine. Every bottle of water I've ever had tastes like plastic to me.

Maybe I've just been lucky to live in places with good tap water, but I really feel sorry for you if your tap water tastes worse than bottled.
posted by jpdoane at 7:13 PM on March 22, 2010


Here's an event related to water issues, for you Bay Area types.
posted by serazin at 7:36 PM on March 22, 2010


Bottles that have been exposed to the sun for a while leak some plasticizers in the water, I think.

The only bottled water I've tasted that was worse than (just-out-of) tap water was (I think) Nestle Pure Life (or some other blue-bottle water from some major conglomerate). Point is, the thing was distilled water re-mineralized, or something. Tasted like ass.
posted by qvantamon at 7:38 PM on March 22, 2010


This video is an excellent summary of the basics of marketing!
posted by ztdavis at 7:45 PM on March 22, 2010


But the idea that average tap water tastes better then purified water is just crazy. I don't think tap water advocates do themselves any favors by spouting nonsense like that. The taste difference is obvious.

I don't know. Most of the tap water I've drunk, except maybe in new hotels, tastes better than bottled "purified" water. Most bottled water, once it has warmed a bit, tastes funny to me, possibly from odors acquired from the plastic bottle, I don't know. Anyway, I prefer most tap water, but there are exceptions.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:41 PM on March 22, 2010


tastes funny to me, possibly from odors acquired

The funny taste? That's the WATER
posted by delmoi at 8:58 PM on March 22, 2010


Mental Wimp: Have you ever tasted pure rainwater?

Btw, I usually drink pure water at room temperature, not chilled. I agree you can't taste it as much if it's really cold, so I don't!
posted by delmoi at 9:00 PM on March 22, 2010


And along the same lines, wait till you see "Bag It," another must-see documentary on the destination of all the garbage we accumulate on a daily basis.

Here you go: Bag It

Also: The Garbage Patch. Cheers.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:19 PM on March 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


LA tap water tastes like drinking out of a pool. The only way it would win in a taste test is if the other was putrid.

Funny thing; I grew up in Chicago, which has arguably the tastiest tap water around (nice and full of minerals), except on those occasional days when the mussels clog up the inlet filter and it tastes a bit dirty (thankfully rare.) I came to LA, and was all about the bottled water, but after learning about this whole bottled water fiasco from other sources a while back, I switched to LA tap water.

And you know what? Now I like it. It's what I'm used to. I don't drink the filtered water from my fridge, because I prefer the straight tap taste, and bottled water is to LA tap water (to me) like over-filtered wine is to the good stuff -- completely boring and unsatisfying.

It really does have a lot to do with what you're used to, but once you realize that -- and once you realize there's a whole lot of people out there who drink awful beer, because it's what they're used to, and they're perfectly happy doing it -- it's easy to make the commitment and get yourself used to whatever's on tap in your neighborhood.

That, plus if you're really iffy on the local taste, you can just put a small bit of lemon juice in there. Done and done.
posted by davejay at 9:22 PM on March 22, 2010


Fuck. I can't believe this thread is 90% comments on whether tap or bottled waters (of various origins) taste better. You know what? Taste doesn't matter. Your tap water is safe, practically free and isn't nearly so environmentally bad as bottled water (unless you live in LA or similar). In many parts of the world, you sieve your water out of a muddy well or stream and let it sit until the dirt settles enough to make it almost palatable looking -- it's generally still not safe to drink by first world standards. Get over the taste issue. At least you won't get sick from it and it's essentially free.

The point of bringing up the issue of bottled water in context of world water issues is to point out how absolutely ridiculous, wasteful and *dumb* many of us are. That we're mostly talking about taste of our tap water in this thread just demonstrates that we've got a really long way to go.
posted by R343L at 9:35 PM on March 22, 2010 [15 favorites]


But the idea that average tap water tastes better then purified water is just crazy. I don't think tap water advocates do themselves any favors by spouting nonsense like that. The taste difference is obvious.

In many places I've lived in or visited, the water has been horrible. Las Vegas water, for instance, is foul, and both Phoenix and Tucson are worse yet, just disgusting. But not everywhere is like that. In California, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties mostly seem to have tolerable water... it's improved by a countertop filter, but it's not too awful on its own. Further south, in Contra Costa county, San Ramon has absolutely delicious tap water, incredibly good stuff. In Georgia, everywhere I've tried it, it's been good. I can't imagine wanting bottled water in those areas.

I've read somewhere that New York has really excellent water, too.
posted by Malor at 9:45 PM on March 22, 2010


The point of bringing up the issue of bottled water in context of world water issues is to point out how absolutely ridiculous, wasteful and *dumb* many of us are.

Yes. Would you rather we ignore how "absolutely ridiculous, wasteful and *dumb* many of us are"?

Unfortunate though it might be, there are a lot of people who have convinced themselves that they have to have their taste buds tickled by exotic parrots every time they hydrate themselves. Ignoring that fact isn't helpful.
posted by gurple at 10:12 PM on March 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


tickle tickle tickle!!
posted by parrot_person at 10:22 PM on March 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


At one point I was living in a region where the local water was good enough that it was being bottled and sold elsewhere, and I still had to contend with idiots who swore blind that the tap water tasted worse than bottled.

Often all you are paying for is a bottle and chilling. I can't stand the taste of bottled water that's been left to come up to room temperature - it tastes like I've just chewed a handful of drinking straws. But you don't taste that when it's cold.

Water should be free. Like air should be free. Everyone needs it to live, at the most basic level. I loathe the whole bottled water industry because it tricks us into thinking we should pay for something that is so very basic to our ongoing existence.
posted by Jilder at 10:29 PM on March 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am surprised no one has brought up the health aspect of this debate. The chlorine and fluoride present in tap water is not great for the health. I filter out the chlorine but apparently there is no way to get rid of the fluoride other than through an extremely expensive reverse osmosis process that also removes all the minerals. Most bottled water at least doesn't have chlorine. I tried researching to see if there are any brands that are reliably not fluoridated, but at least as of several years ago, I could not find any. It angers me that most communities in the US dump fluoride into their water, imposing on consumers their VERY debatable belief that it's good for us. Europe figured out eons ago that this was bad stuff--or at least that individuals should have a choice about whether they consume what is an industrial effluent. In the US people normally are exposed to several times more fluoride than even its proponents advise, not just through water, but through products like toothpaste and tea.
posted by parrot_person at 10:30 PM on March 22, 2010


Fuck. I can't believe this thread is 90% comments on whether tap or bottled waters (of various origins) taste better. You know what? Taste doesn't matter.

Bullshit. Gallon jugs of locally purified water are also 'practically free'. It's about 50¢ a gallon. And it's not like I find tap water gross, but I don't actually enjoy drinking it at all. But I do enjoy drinking purified water.

And people are going to drink what they like. Deal with it.
In the US people normally are exposed to several times more fluoride than even its proponents advise, not just through water, but through products like toothpaste and tea.
Plus, I heard it totally causes a loss of essence.
posted by delmoi at 11:01 PM on March 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


But delmoi, as inartfully put as that callout was, isn't it worthwhile to examine the consequences of our actions, and when possible to take action to change the things we do that are inadvertently causing harm?
posted by serazin at 11:08 PM on March 22, 2010


A few years ago there was a great "by the numbers" story that the Christian Science Monitor put together for World Water Day. Though perhaps some of the numbers are a bit outdated by now, they do put it all into a non-U.S. centric context. For example, "As of 2005, 4,700 people died on average every day - mostly children under the age of 5 - due to lack of potable water."
posted by gubenuj at 12:18 AM on March 23, 2010


Water should be free. Like air should be free.

But it takes a ton of capital to build and deploy water plants and the piping to get it to your house, and further resources to maintain both. Unlike air, it doesn't just magically show up, it takes large-scale efforts to get it to your house.

Water should be cheap, and in fact is extremely cheap most places, but not free.
posted by Malor at 1:36 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fuck. I can't believe this thread is 90% comments on whether tap or bottled waters (of various origins) taste better. You know what? Taste doesn't matter.

How about we start talking about the REAL issues after the anti-bottled-water people (including Annie Leonard) stop using "it doesn't taste any different" or "tap water tastes better" as one of their arguments. Or worse yet, the ridiculous blind taste test circus acts they keep arranging.

Tell me what the true costs are. Tell me the alternatives. Don't talk to me about taste and I won't argue about taste.

I drink almost no bottled water where I live now, the tap tastes fine. But I've spent enough time in Las Vegas and Austin, TX to know that's not always the case. (Seriously, Austin, what's up? Why does your water taste like fish food?)
posted by mmoncur at 4:02 AM on March 23, 2010


Btw, I usually drink pure water at room temperature, not chilled.

Try it with some grain alcohol, it does wonders for the bodily fluids.
posted by Dr Dracator at 4:06 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Every spring, algae blooms and the big snowmelt turn the Minneapolis water supply into a stinky, odorous fright. It's a traditional softball story for local media, like "hey, the Twins are in spring training again and the water tastes like ass". This year is one of the absolute worst, not only is tap water undrinkable this year, the sick smell wafts into the air when you take a shower or wash dishes. You can barely brush your teeth with it. The water department has to send out notices--"The water is safe to drink. Really. Trust us. It just smells like a fish kill, that's all."

Brita filters are the norm. One local grocery last week had gallons of Ice Mountain water set next to the cash register where they'd normally have candy bars or chips--smart move.

Again, that's just for a couple of weeks in the spring. I wouldn't try a campaign like this around this time of year.
posted by gimonca at 5:45 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sounds like there are places where bottled water makes some sense. But I've also lived in a couple places with excellent tap water and still saw tons of bottled water around (Seattle I'm looking at you). In those places I can't really explain it's prevalence other than the psychological assurance that you get from being able to purchase an well marketed version of something everyone else gets for next to nothing.
posted by nangua at 5:57 AM on March 23, 2010


National Geographic's entire April issue is devoted to water. They've made it available for free download, with registration at Zinio.
posted by zarq at 6:59 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mental Wimp: Have you ever tasted pure rainwater?

Not sure what you mean. I've tasted rainwater (yum) but I can't attest to the fact that it was "pure".

I drink room-temperature water when I'm working out, and that's when I really notice how bad most bottled water actually tastes. I don't really understand why many people prefer it, even compared to the most smelly tap water I've come across.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:12 AM on March 23, 2010


Malice, have you tried a steam mop with washable and resusable cleaning pads? They're fab, and barely wet the floor. No need for cleaning product either; just trusty tap water. It's my cleaning method of choice now that Go Banana Jr. spends all her time scooting about on her hands and knees.
posted by Go Banana at 7:15 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


The chlorine and fluoride present in tap water is not great for the health.

I hadn't heard. What studies have demonstrated that people who drink tap water are less healthy than if they drank bottled water? I would like to read up on this phenomenon.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:16 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


The chlorine and fluoride present in tap water is not great for the health.

Oh, tell us more about how fluoride is bad for us and helps the Illuminati control our brain, too. I want to hear this. Don't mind the beautiful, cavity-free teeth in my smile as I say this.
posted by norm at 7:17 AM on March 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


A local brew pub serves water in natty bottles that say "You are drinking Ashland's excellent tap water", or something along those lines. Love it.
posted by everichon at 8:08 AM on March 23, 2010


I've read somewhere that New York has really excellent water, too.

I've heard that too, and I live in New York. But there was one Manhattan building I lived in a few years back that had water that tasted so bad it actually made my pasta taste bad. I thought something was wrong with the cheap pasta pot I was using, but then I bought a water filter and suddenly my pasta tasted like pasta again. I'm pretty happy with my Brita filter. I don't need it everywhere, but it comes in handy when you've got safe tap water that just doesn't taste good.
posted by wondermouse at 9:03 AM on March 23, 2010


Go Banana, I haven't tried a steam mop. I believe those take power, and my home runs on a generator and solar, so I have to conserve electricity wherever possible. I do like the idea of steam cleaning though!
posted by Malice at 9:38 AM on March 23, 2010


man, who knew delmoi's weird thing would be water?
posted by shmegegge at 10:00 AM on March 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


It really does beg the question though to insist that this is ultimately all about taste. The environmental consequences of the American bottled water fad are so horrible that tap water would have to be making you retch before it was justifable switching.

Before too long "but I like the taste! Don't wanna nasty tap water!" is going to be as meaningless and unsupportable as "but ah like drivin mah V8 to th' store" is. World's not going to support this much self-absorption by this many people for much longer.

(When I've had flats with tap water that isn't as OMG DELICIOUS as I'd like I've just made lime cordial or barley water. Mmm, wartime nostalgia.)
posted by bonaldi at 11:26 AM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bottles that have been exposed to the sun for a while leak some plasticizers in the water, I think.

Well, that takes a while. But you know what you can do with dirty water left in the sun in a plain old PET bottle? You can kill bacteria! (This is a method often taught in places with trashed PET bottles but no access to clean water or water filters.)

Solar water disinfection
posted by whatzit at 12:08 PM on March 23, 2010


If you want to castigate bottled water drinkers, stop pointing fingers at North Americans and turn towards Europe.

Try South America! I've never known more bottled water-hungry folk that Argentines. The tap water is clean and tastes fine, but because everyone thinks that it's for the poor, shopping carts are inevitably half-full of bottled water.
posted by blazingunicorn at 1:38 PM on March 23, 2010


turn towards Europe

If you want to drink pig shit in your water, it's fine with me.
posted by Wolof at 2:53 PM on March 23, 2010


In Singapore we put shit in our water and then drink it. It tastes okay, but I don't have much experience in water-tasting other than the limescale-flavoured type in the UK, so I can't really say if it tastes better than tap water elsewhere.
posted by WalterMitty at 3:20 PM on March 23, 2010


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