How much do you actually know about the water that you are drinking? How safe is it, where does it come from, who regulates it? These are things we don’t usually think about. We just assume it’s safe because we are told it is. Over the past couple of years understanding more about our water source has been an interest of mine. I was sick of drinking bottled and tap water and still feeling thirsty or having a bad taste in my mouth after drinking it. To me this didn’t seem right or healthy, and I just wanted to feel quenched and hydrated! Is that too much to ask for.
First of all if your drinking bottled water you might want to throw that in the recyclable bin asap and go get a Hydroflask or any other reusable plastic free bottle. If you don’t know the history of bottled water, it’s the greatest deception since the tobacco industry in the 1950’s. By spending billions of dollars on advertising they tricked you into thinking you “need” their pure source of water, which in reality is just tap water. This just doesn’t make sense making water into a commodity. It is a human right just like breathing fresh air. We may think bottled water is safe to drink due to it being subject to the rules and regulations of the FDA, while tap water regulation is performed by the EPA (environmental protection agency). You may think bottled water is safer, but the rules for tap water are stricter than the FDA’s on bottled water. On top of that an estimated 60-70% of bottled water is not covered by FDA rules. Various studies performed by the Environmental Working Group show the following results:
- Nine out of 10 best-selling bottled water brands don’t disclose information about the source of the water, contamination testing, if and how it is purified
- Eighteen percent of the bottled water tested failed to make known the location of their water source
- Thirty two percent disclosed no information regarding the treatment or purity of the water
My question is why is this industry so secretive, this should be information that we have a right to know. To me this just doesn’t make sense. We fight to protect and know what’s in our food, but don’t give the same respect to water, and on top of that we are destroying the planet for a small amount of convenience. The only benefit bottled water provides is to carry your water.
- Five million tons of plastic are used to bottle water annually
- The U.S uses 1.5 million barrels of oil for plastic water bottle manufacturing
- People in the U.S spend about half a billion dollars every week on bottled water
- Fifteen hundred bottles are thrown away every second
- Bottled water takes approximately 2,000 times more energy to produce than an equivalent amount of tap water
If you need any more reasons to stop using plastic water bottles, did you know that within these plastic bottles are harmful chemicals most importantly bisphenol A or better known as BPA. This chemical interrupts hormones in the body and leaches into plastic and is then consumed by people. Research has shown that BPA contributes to:
- Prostate cancer
- Early onset puberty in girls
- Brain damage
- Breast cancer
After I learned about all the harmful agents in bottled water I got a Hydroflask and never looked back. This isn’t something to take lightly. You are basically paying for contaminated water, in a contaminated container, that is supposed to be your source of clean drinking water. Tap water is not necessarily the safer option unless it is properly filtered, which usually has to be done by you. Some harmful substances tap water contains are:
- Pharmaceutical drugs
Mmmmm! Doesn’t that make you thirsty! This may seem depressing and scary to know that the water you thought was safe to drink actually has been harming you. But on the bright side you have options and more importantly power, the power to take back your health and educate yourself. When choosing a water filter it is important to know that it removes harmful agents while also keeping natural minerals in the water. Do your research and look into water filters. I personally use a Berkey water filter. It is amazing and removes viruses, parasites, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, and leaves in most of the essential minerals your body needs to stay hydrated. On top of that it is portable, can be used in emergencies as you don’t need to hook it up to anything, and filters pretty fast. They are a little pricey upfront ranging around $250, but then the filters last about 2 years. So in the long run it is worth the upfront investment.
If you are feeling a bit adventurous you can also collect your own spring water and can find a spring near you from http://www.findaspring.com. and feel more connected and respect your water. It is one of the most vital things we need as humans and it is apart of us. Sometimes the people who we look to, to have our best interests in mind, don’t have our health at the top of there list. That is why it is important to do your research whether it be regarding your food, water, air. At the end of the day it’s your health and body that you have to take care of.
I am not a doctor so always consult your health care physician.
Photo by Lambert Yuri on Unsplash