Sunday, April 3, 2011

Water, Water Everywhere

The Ancient Mariner could not find a drop to drink, but that's hardly the case in developed (and increasingly in Third World) countries. Because no matter where you go, you can find bottled water. I was reminded that I've wanted for some time to write about general subject of unbridled consumption, and bottled water is the perfect symbol. What made me think of this was my daughter's blog, Trench Warfare Too--entry "Water" for April 1, 2011--which has consumption as its general organizing principle. Her entry on bottled water linked to this piece that lays out all the facts about just what a terrible thing bottled water is. What's perfectly clear is that consumers have really taken one in the ear by falling for the marketing ploy that convinced them that neither taps nor water fountains were good enough or healthy enough to drink from. Companies like Coca-Cola and Nestle are laughing all the way to the money vaults.

One fact among many disturbing ones in the piece screamed at me: Americans alone consume over 50 billion bottled waters a year. This we know: all those containers are environmentally toxic; taste tests prove that bottled water is nor more flavorful than tap water. So why so we keep buying the stuff? You go figure. The American people, it seems, like nothing better than being conned.

I am very proud to report that I personally have purchased less than half a dozen bottles of water since they first appeared. I have no idea how many years ago, but quite a few. I have always adjudged them stupid, and I have stoutly refused to enrich filthy rich multinationals. I continue to drink tap water, and as far as I can tell with no adverse effects whatever.
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