"I have to admit I've tasted it from time to time. It tastes terrible."
March 5, 2015 7:32 AM   Subscribe

Most people know that the expiration date on bottled water is for the bottle, not for the water. However, if your stored water is orangey, has the consistency of maple syrup, and is a billion years old, you're going to have worse problems than just a plasticky taste.

If you decide you like the taste, fear not; it is estimated that there is a 11 million cubic kilometers of it around the globe, though you'll have to dig.

These pockets of water may be able to sustain isolated colonies of microbes.
posted by Blue Jello Elf (58 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow, she really drank it.

Part of me is like, how kick-ass would it be from a circle-of-life perspective to drink this water?

And part of me is like, why would I want to consume billion-year-old Mystery Microbes? (Unless there was some reason to think it'd give me superpowers...)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:39 AM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is how we get 100' tall mutated hydrologists roaming the Earth. When will science learn!!!?
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:41 AM on March 5, 2015 [35 favorites]


I think the next step is getting possessed by some mysterious ancient being.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:41 AM on March 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Most people know that the expiration date on bottled water is for the bottle, not for the water.

Haha, OF COURSE I knew that, ha ha...
posted by josher71 at 7:41 AM on March 5, 2015 [27 favorites]


This might explain Shania Twain.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:42 AM on March 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Finally a source of water that is guaranteed to be free of dinosaur urine!
posted by Poldo at 7:42 AM on March 5, 2015 [22 favorites]


This is how we get 100' tall mutated hydrologists roaming the Earth. When will science learn!!!?

Ah, the famed 'What could it hurt?' / 'HOW WERE WE SUPPOSED TO KNOW?' paradox.
posted by resurrexit at 8:00 AM on March 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ray, when someone asks you if you want to taste a billion-year-old fluid that MIGHT turn you into a god, you say YES!
posted by delfin at 8:03 AM on March 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


Micro-shoggoths.
posted by Artw at 8:07 AM on March 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Isn't all water basically the same age? I mean some is formed through chemical reactions, but most of it just circulates.

I know this is addressed in the link, but I'm not satisfied by the answer.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:07 AM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Isn't all water basically the same age?

The water isn't a billion years old, it was bottled a billion years ago.
posted by Behemoth at 8:10 AM on March 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is how we get 100' tall mutated hydrologists roaming the Earth. When will science learn!!!?

I... I just wanted to post this.
posted by Naberius at 8:19 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Scientists have found evidence that there was once water on the surface of Mars. It could be that there is water trapped in rock hidden deep beneath the planet's surface in the same way the water was trapped in the ancient rock in the Timmins mine."

Eeeeeee!
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:22 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Isn't all water basically the same age?

Some research suggests that the Earth's mantle may play a big role in the water cycle, and that "new" water is constantly being produced and released to the surface via plate tectonics. Related Science Friday piece.
posted by gimli at 8:22 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]




Yeah, I spent some time trying to figure out exactly what "oldest" meant in this sense. I think it means "water that has been sitting in the same place for the longest".

We can still have fun arguing about that definition, though.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:27 AM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Isn't all water basically the same age?

Maybe the bulk of it, but not all: there's plenty of water-producing chemistry going on releasing new water to the atmosphere, e.g. burning hydrocarbons.
posted by Dr Dracator at 8:30 AM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


tall mutated hydrologists

Just ordered my business cards.
posted by Fizz at 8:41 AM on March 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Finally a source of water that is guaranteed to be free of dinosaur urine!

Or, to have once been exhaled by Julius Ceasar.
posted by bricksNmortar at 8:43 AM on March 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Isn't all water basically the same age?
In The Big Thirst, Charles Fishman says all the water on earth is 4 billion years old, but this seems to ignore a lot of chemistry. I know I have personally destroyed some water by electrolysis and recombined hydrogen and oxygen to make water a little younger than that.
Aside- in that book, he talks about the ultra-pure water in IBM semiconductor manufacturing. They use 20nm filters. It's too clean to drink [lots of it], although someone at the plant admitted to tasting it. It didn't taste too good, but sounds better than the billion-year-old stuff.
posted by MtDewd at 8:45 AM on March 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


Well sure, we're all the same age, a several billion years old with a birthday next tuesday. It's just that all of those individual atoms have been recycled at least once in the last century.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:47 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Isn't all water basically the same age?

Eh....without writing 10 paragraphs about the water cycle that goes clear back to the formation of the universe (short answer, no, but that also depends on how technical you want to get with definitions, else everything is the same age, etc.). . . .Maybe a better way of describing the water age they're talking about here would be "how long has it been since the water was exposed to the atmosphere." Does that help? "Age" is just shorthand.

For example, the oldest age of water in the oceans (as part of the water mass in the deepwater conveyor belt) ranges from about 1000 years to 3,200. As part of the water cycle it will: eventually reach the surface and evaporate; get shoved under the mantle in a subduction zone; or get caught up in the sediment deposition below. Right now I have on my desk some samples of some basically mud, not rock, from the Pliocene, and the water in there is probably Pliocene "age". (Personally, I've seen a lot of water that is Cretaceous in origin, and it's also salty.) Interestingly, when a lot of water gets "caught" in the depositional process and there's no room for it, it will force its way up the surface creating "clastic dikes". Hydrostatic pressure is kind of amazing. Same thing with a groundwater reservoir or fluid inclusions. Shit I'm writing that thesis. So anyway, it's supposed to all come around again eventually through exposure or subduction, etc., and what's cool is that this water hasn't been brought back into the water cycle yet, so we can learn a lot about the conditions of the time period when the water was part of the water cycle before it got isolated; thus we refer to the "age" of the water as the age when it was deposited.
posted by barchan at 8:54 AM on March 5, 2015 [18 favorites]


Wait, when we consume water, and plants consume water, aren't we/they constantly ripping it apart and making it into other stuff and then eventually the other stuff gets ripped apart and turned back into water? Like plants make hydrocarbons by taking in CO2 and H20 and making stuff with H-C-O which later we ingest and turn into CO2 and H20 and other stuff? The individual atoms would be old but specifc water molecules have to basically be torn apart all the time?

Or am I totally misunderstanding biochemistry?
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:06 AM on March 5, 2015


I thought it was clear that the age of the water was a reference to a particular geologic mineral from a particular geologic formation which has been geologically undisturbed for an extended period of geologic time, and not a Washington's Axe question involving nucleogenesis, molecular clouds, and cometary bombardment.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 9:06 AM on March 5, 2015


The water in the OP, yes. But in general when people say that all the water on earth is 4 billion years old I feel like that can't be right.
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:09 AM on March 5, 2015


Water talk, is a whole different study. An employee of the local water department discussed how some of the city water comes from a fifty year flat limestone well. I was saying my water tastes terrible, she was giving me the look?!. So next night the water started jumping out of the asphalt across the street where the largest and only healthy maple tree of the street lived. My family water was pressurized and coming out of a gravel ballroom under the neighbor's front yard for many years. No problem, we drank bottled anyway and cooked and microwaved the tap water. I had to laugh though.

There is an emerging cottage industry of various antique waters, ice age waters and etc.
posted by Oyéah at 9:13 AM on March 5, 2015


Heehee. One of the best near fistfight science arguments I've ever seen was in a bar between a geochemist and a geophysicist over water "formation".

RustyBrooks, this might help. Or do you think water should be younger?

but what if the Theia impact hypothesis is true and that brought all the water to earth, hmmmmm?
posted by barchan at 9:19 AM on March 5, 2015


This is nothing: "Scientists have found the biggest and oldest reservoir of water ever—so large and so old, it’s almost impossible to describe.

The water is out in space, a place we used to think of as desolate and desert dry, but it's turning out to be pretty lush.

Researchers found a lake of water so large that it could provide each person on Earth an entire planet’s worth of water—20,000 times over. Yes, so much water out there in space that it could supply each one of us all the water on Earth—Niagara Falls, the Pacific Ocean, the polar ice caps, the puddle in the bottom of the canoe you forgot to flip over—20,000 times over."
posted by Rumple at 9:20 AM on March 5, 2015


...in that book, he talks about the ultra-pure water in IBM semiconductor manufacturing. They use 20nm filters. It's too clean to drink [lots of it],

Just to make sure it doesn't go unmentioned, internal disruption via osmosis makes any kind of water dangerous in large enough quantities, or in smaller quantities for an infant for example... people are sickened or killed by water poisoning pretty frequently.
posted by XMLicious at 9:20 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Water is patient, Adelaide, water just waits"-- indeed. I'm not gonna be tasting any 1-billion year old, highly salty, highly radiogenic water anytime soon.
posted by nat at 9:29 AM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


No, I'm not concerned about the formation of new water. Just that the general biochemical processes of living things on earth must be endlessly remixing the atoms in water into other molecules and then back. That is, I don't think that the biochemistry between me and the things I eat probably contribute much to the net creation or destruction of the total amount of water on earth, but rather, year to year, the molecules of water that exist on earth are not made of the same atoms they were made of before.

If I break apart some water molecules, make other stuff out of them, and then later break apart the stuff I made back into it's constituents, the new water molecules are made out of the same total group of atoms, but not in their original groupings. It's not the "same" water?

If I take all the heads off my lego guys, shake em up and then put them all back on, those aren't the "same" lego guys. I didn't make any new ones or destroy any old ones, but they don't have the same heads (some will, some won't). It probably doesn't "matter" but they aren't the same.
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:40 AM on March 5, 2015


I'm not enough of a chemist to be taken seriously here, but liquid water self-ionises, with H2O molecules constantly breaking up, merging, and re-forming thus:

H2O + H2O ⇌ H3O+ + OH-

...with the OH- and H3O+ ions interacting with anything dissolved in the water, which might shift the equilibrium point to keep some proportion of them in that form. (Very roughly, the pH of an aqueous solution can be thought of as an expression of the [im]balance between the free -ve and +ve ionic forms of water).

...so a given H2O molecule is probably extremely young, even in a body of water that's been perfectly isolated for a billion years. This is drifting into "technically you're only seven years old, because bits of you get replaced" (and ship of theseus) territory, though.
posted by metaBugs at 9:44 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


The ultrapure thing seems to be marketing nonsense ("our water is so pure it's dangerous") that got picked up by fast company and afterwards spread to various other blogs. I can't find any reputable sources that would support the claim that ultrapure water is more dangerous than distilled or deionized water. I found this summary report (from 1993)[pdf] which states "a review of the literature has shown that there is very little information published in western scientific literature that relates the consumption of low TDS [total dissolved solids] water to physiological effects on the human body".

As far as I can tell, nobody has done any serious studies on the subject, and the manufacturers of highly purified water / purification equipment consequently tell people not to drink it from general ass-covering principles rather than from actual specific knowledge of any adverse consequences.
posted by Pyry at 9:58 AM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Look, for anyone wondering why she tasted it...

has the consistency of maple syrup

Canadian genes are strong I tell you.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:05 AM on March 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oyéah: "There is an emerging cottage industry of various antique waters, ice age waters and etc."

Okay, admittedly I have strong feelings on this because my next-door neighbor, the self-proclaimed environmentalist, is also a water snob who has water delivered to her door twice a week in plastic bottles on a diesel truck because the tap water "doesn't taste good," but the first fucking hipster who tries to sell "antique water," I am driving to New York City or Portland as required and punching them in the fucking face and happily going to jail because THE PLANET DOES NOT NEED YOUR FUCKING NONSENSE and the LAST thing we need is a race-to-the-bottom capitalist market wherein people opt out of the fucking clean, safe, fluoridated, tax-funded water system in order to damage the planet by shipping in water from endangered or strictly-limited water resources often located in fragile environments so they can spend their fucking 1%er money to chase some whack-ass idea of "purity" or "health" or "gourmetness" in their fucking water. PUNCHING THEM IN THE FUCKING FACE.

Anyway, I like how she doesn't let the students do the licking.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:18 AM on March 5, 2015 [11 favorites]


My bottles of 200,000,000 BCE Chateau Eau don't seem as impressive, anymore. (It was a good year.)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:42 AM on March 5, 2015


Anyway, I like how she doesn't let the students do the licking.

Maaaaaaybe it's secretly delicious? "It tastes terrible, so no one is allowed to have any except me!"
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 10:45 AM on March 5, 2015


Chat'Eau, non?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:46 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


So now every bottle of wine I see with 'Chateau ThisOrThat' on the label will make me think "Chateau = chat + eau = they're selling cat water". Thanks, sneetches.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:48 AM on March 5, 2015


Waiter, there's a fly in my primordial soup.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:14 AM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I absolutely get what you're saying, RustyBrooks. A water molecule evaporates from the ocean, condenses, falls down as rain and then gets brought back to the ocean (where it might freeze). Throughout this process, it's undergoing phase changes (wherein temperature/pressure can affect the equilibrium constant of autoionization that metaBugs talked about) as well as being changed through acid/base reactions, dissolution, redox, etc., so isn't necessarily the same water molecule the whole time, nor is it the same molecule brought to earth via comet. And definitely not the same atoms. Even the most basic of reactions - CO2 + H2O - if reversed doesn't mean the oxygen goes back to which compound it was before. (And indeed, there's some thought that early photosynthesis & bacterial processes may have also contributed to some of the presence of water on earth.) Therefore it's not the "same water" and calling it the same "age" can't be right, correct?

The age of things is super, super important to me in a nitpicky, technical way, but I have no problem saying "this water is 1000 years old" and "all water is 4.4 billion years old" because of context and an awareness that to get too pedantic will bog me down. But it's also one of those things that scientists kind of suck at when it comes to communicating - with each other we're aware of the context and awareness, but other people aren't. (There's also the "uh, we're not absolutely sure of how it all works yet" too, but that's another thesis.) So I'll try to show you a little bit of everything "behind the scenes."

In a way, the "age" of water on earth goes back to a few things: a) the presence of hydrogen and oxygen atoms to make water; b) the presence of physical conditions to allow hydrogen and oxygen to make water (i.e. they're not bonding with other things; for example, sodium loves to displace hydrogen and bond with oxygen itself); and c) the presence of physical conditions that trap both hydrogen and oxygen separately and as a water molecules, particularly as water vapor. Generally what this is talking about is an atmosphere - hydrogen, oxygen, and water molecules are not freely escaping into space. And not just any atmosphere, but an atmosphere of the right composition surrounding an object of sufficient gravitational pull. In earth's case, it's also a matter of the water being free in large quantities and not bonding with other elements and compounds, as well as existing in multiple forms: solid/liquid/gas.

So discovering a zircon with liquid water in it that's 4.4 billion years old - and that really is the age of the water, in that the molecules were physically isolated - means that a state existed 4.4 billion years ago where upon earth had all those physical conditions in place. If comets brought water during the initial bombardment, that water stayed. The atoms themselves have changed through time, but the essential conditions for water to form and remain were in place. If volcanism and plate tectonics produced water (in other words, all the hydrogen and oxygen came here via the process of planetary accretion) the water stayed. If water arrived as water vapor - there are large clouds of water vapor in space - it stayed. What's really amazing, and still not completely explained, isn't that earth has water - it's that earth has SO MUCH water. It opens up a lot of questions (did all solid surface planets have that much water at some point? how has that water stayed around through changes of our atmosphere, was there more at some point, was there less, etc.).

Referring to all the water on earth as the same age is therefore referring to "all the conditions were in place for massive quantities of water in some state to exist, and we're of a mathematical certainty that those conditions were here at this point in time." Or, "this is the age of reasonable certainty when water formed in large quantities/was brought here, and there was some sort of trap (the earth's mantle) or a seal (atmosphere)" And - this is important - nothing has happened since then to change those conditions in a fundamental way. (I'm not talking about atmospheric composition, which has changed, but about a giant moon smashing into the earth during the Cambrian bringing an ocean's worth of water; although if you start thinking about photosynthesis then you can get into the weeds a bit.) Thus a statement that all the water on earth is around 4 billion years old, even if the molecules themselves have been running around changing it up with other atoms.

This discovery is cool because Mars had liquid water and thus the atmosphere to keep it at some point, but then something happened. So discovering a way for water to be "sealed off" and not evaporate into space provides a method for searching for water on Mars. And it's "calculated age" is that isolation that I referred to in a previous comment, so it has meaning.

This explanation is a bit simplistic - I'm trying to arrive at the territory between 101 "it just is" and grad student seminar "we don't know this but we do know that, here's the math"- but does it help a little bit? If not I can try again. *Pulls out Richard Scarry's The Big Book of Biogeochemistry*
posted by barchan at 11:32 AM on March 5, 2015 [11 favorites]


if you start thinking about photosynthesis then you can get into the weeds a bit.

How dare you
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:40 AM on March 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


*gleeful giggles* FUN WITH SCIENCE
posted by barchan at 11:42 AM on March 5, 2015


Oyéah: "Water talk, is a whole different study. An employee of the local water department discussed how some of the city water comes from a fifty year flat limestone well. I was saying my water tastes terrible, she was giving me the look?!. So next night the water started jumping out of the asphalt across the street where the largest and only healthy maple tree of the street lived. My family water was pressurized and coming out of a gravel ballroom under the neighbor's front yard for many years. No problem, we drank bottled anyway and cooked and microwaved the tap water. I had to laugh though."

what
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:48 AM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


but the first fucking hipster who tries to sell "antique water,"
This premium bottled water is sourced from glaciers in Alaska, largely from the Eklutna Glacier. Because of the glaciers’ long history, water from these glaciers has been safely stored for thousands of years. Unlike other bottled water sources, Alaska Crystal Glacier water is not recycled.

The Alaskan Eklutna Glacier was formed thousands of years ago when the oxygen content of earth’s atmosphere was the cleanest and healthiest air Earth has ever had. The glacier is a huge body of ancient ice protected and surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres of unspoiled, undevelopable wilderness. At the time the glacier formed, the oxygen content ranged between 30-33%. For this reason the manufacturer can claim Crystal Glacier Water to be “Nature’s Premium Drinking Water”.
posted by Rumple at 12:30 PM on March 5, 2015


For example, the oldest age of water in the oceans (as part of the water mass in the deepwater conveyor belt) ranges from about 1000 years to 3,200.

A fun byproduct of this deep ("old") water upwelling is that it also contains dissolved CO2. Marine animals that live in this are in carbon balance with this old water. Since some of that CO2 is made of radioactive carbon 14, which has been isolated from the atmosphere for 1000+ years, then they date older by carbon dating than they really are. For example, a living clam that lives around my part of the world, which might only be 5 or 10 years old, would radiocarbon date to medieval times. If you ate almost nothing but clams, you'd probably radiocarbon date to the Renaissance. Or you would, except because of nuclear fallout from atmospheric testing, we all date into the future with around 5% excess 14C in our bodies.

TL;DR: know your clams, and future archaeologists are fucked.
posted by Rumple at 12:37 PM on March 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


what

My town's water department made a fifty year well in less than twelve parsecs.

I was trying to figure all that out too - was the water tasting bad a sudden change that indicated some sort of breach in the water lines, which turned out to be caused by the roots of the maple tree? But I can't fit all the clauses in all the sentences into supporting that interpretation.
posted by XMLicious at 12:38 PM on March 5, 2015


barchan: "*Pulls out Richard Scarry's The Big Book of Biogeochemistry*"

Make this happen, internet.

Rumple: "This premium bottled water is sourced from glaciers in Alaska, largely from the Eklutna Glacier. "

BRB, driving to Baltimore. Maryland MeFites, start the bail collection.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:50 PM on March 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow, she really drank it.

No, she didn't.
I have to admit I have tasted it from time to time. It tastes terrible. It is much saltier than seawater. You would definitely not want to drink this stuff.
Sort of like Bill Clinton's supposed marijuana experience, but more likely to be true.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:57 PM on March 5, 2015


Rumple, you missed a key point:
Alaska Crystal Glacier Water is packaged in an elegant etched, lighted glass bottle. The bottle comes with a small LED light that creates a spectacular presentation on the dining table, at any restaurant or nightclub.
So, there's a pointless battery in there too. The only thing missing is a promise to take the empty bottle, shatter it, and feed the broken glass to endangered rhinos, because fuck the Earth why not.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:03 PM on March 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


BRB, driving to Baltimore. Maryland MeFites, start the bail collection.

I'm hearing meetup!
posted by anotherpanacea at 2:16 PM on March 5, 2015


OK, the water main was across the street, my individual line as well as my neighbors, cross the street to the individual meters. Across the street from my house the main had cracked long ago, and street pressure water cleared out a 15 feet in diameter "ballroom ," as the water people call it. It was under the tree and street so it kept the pressure. My street was at one time an extension of a stream bed, so the ground is basically a gravel bed. This is why my water wasn't visibly dirty, but it was impure. On a health claim regarding the delicious Mt. Olympus water we did drink, my household never got the spring and fall stomach flu, the neighbor kids did.

I am sorry if my English is so poor you have trouble understanding my posts. The water woman who gave me askance looks, was justified as Salt Lake has some of the best tasting water in the US. She thought me a water snob, but no, my water tasted impure with hints of ground, and tree roots. I would expect that flavor if I were drinking from a lowland stream. There is an outfit in Park City selling ancient water from some deep reserve they found.
posted by Oyéah at 2:46 PM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


TL;DR: know your clams, and future archaeologists are fucked.

Archaeologists have enough problems figuring out how clams got legs.
posted by delfin at 5:50 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


The water woman who gave me askance looks, was justified as Salt Lake has some of the best tasting water in the US.

That has not been my experience there on visits.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:00 PM on March 5, 2015


This premium bottled water is sourced from glaciers in Alaska, largely from the Eklutna Glacier. Because of the glaciers’ long history, water from these glaciers has been safely stored for thousands of years. Unlike other bottled water sources, Alaska Crystal Glacier water is not recycled.

Btw, that is essentially just Anchorage tap water. Come visit, y'all, we are so fancy up here!
posted by charmedimsure at 7:53 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Most people know that the expiration date on bottled water is for the bottle, not for the water.

The pedant in me demands that I tell you that this is novel usage of the word most.
posted by JHarris at 9:22 PM on March 5, 2015


I know I have personally destroyed some water by electrolysis and recombined hydrogen and oxygen to make water a little younger than that.

Oh. So you're the problem.

Hey everybody, I found out who's been fucking around with our water!
posted by Naberius at 6:45 AM on March 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Blue Jello Elf: Most people know that the expiration date on bottled water is for the bottle, not for the water.
And they're wrong, but at least they're believing EXACTLY what the bottled-water industry wants them to believe.

Solubility (for all practical purposes) is a linear process, until something near saturation is reached. As long as the solvent is abundant, molecules of any given solute leave their neighborhood's relative safety for the fun, free life aquatic at a steady rate.

Therefore, whatever is leaching out of the plastic into the water is doing so from the instant the bottle is filled with water at the plant. Wait one hour, a certain amount dissolves. Wait one day, 24x as much. By the end of six months, 178x as much as that is in the water.

You know what incredible, irreversible thing happens at the "expiration date"? Human cows decide in their minds that the water is now undrinkable.

Nothing else changes.

It's not even a good guess. Suppose that most meat won't spoil for 3 days in a package. Suppose that only 1 in a million packages will spoil, and that's "good enough" for the meat packer. OK, that's a good guess at shelf-life.

But in water? Are they saying that in X days, one in a million of those bottles becomes unhealthy? Nope. Nowhere near that much. So what are they saying? Don't store our product - throw it out and rebuy it!

The only fraud more ridiculous, and more pointlessly wasteful, ever perpetrated on consumers than buying bottled water is believing that there exists a date (in the near future!) when that water will become unhealthy to drink.

If that were true, the FDA would require them to sell water in different packages.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:26 AM on March 8, 2015


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