Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It's the water

Sorry to be absent so long. I'm still catching up from time on the road and my return to work after a rather glorious six weeks of liberty. I expect to post an actual recipe, a truly damned recipe, this weekend.

Until then, I just wanted to comment on this story about Aquafina, a leading bottled water that is considering more clearly disclosing the fact that by and large it's tap water. It's interesting to see that there are rising concerns about the growth of bottled water as a retail beverage category; those plastic bottles have significant environmental impact before and after sale, in their manufacture and disposal. It takes a lot more petroleum to get the bottles to your neighborhood than to get the water through your pipes to your kitchen, where you can obtain it far more cheaply as well. Few of the major commercial brands are any cleaner than municipal tap water; some hold to much lower standards than those enforced by your local water authority. (Which makes Aquafina start to look like a winning candidate with this disclosure, actually.) Of course, if your home's pipes are in bad condition, your tap water may not compare well to what's in the bottles, but you're probably better off calling the plumber than stocking up on the plastic versions. True, plastic is more convenient to carry around than a hose trailing back to your kitchen, but that's what reusable sport bottles are for.

I could start to natter about how in my day we didn't waste all our money on plastic bottles of water when we could get perfectly good water from the tap, but I don't want to sound like a total curmudgeon. Plus, I have a somewhat costly coffeeshop habit, so I'm in no position to judge. But it does seem funny how much these companies earn from what they're admitting is tap water.


Samatakah said...

The City of San Francisco (as in the government) has dumped their water bottle habit and are now drinking from the tap. Turns out Hetch Hetchy water is better than a lot of bottled waters. And the environmental thing...

I use a two liter bottle and drink from that all day. Too cheap to but bottled water most of the time, but recently while driving back form Colorado I went into a truck stop and found frozen bottles of Aquafina, ready for the drive across the Utah desert!

Amy Stephenson said...

They do have their uses, certainly, especially for traveling. After flying back and forth across the country in the past couple of weeks I'm half-suspicious that the airline restriction on liquids is a plot by Aquafina and Poland Spring. (Though of course you can carry an empty bottle through the security checkpoint and then fill it from a drinking fountain.)