Friday, September 5, 2008

Whatever You Do, Don't Drink the (Bottled) Water!

At the Slow Food events this past weekend, I noticed that water was being served in these plastic cups. This seemed a bit odd for these earth-friendly folks, but closer examination showed them to be compostable. The woman manning the water stand explained to me that these cups were made out of corn, and were biodegradable.

She was beaming with pride as she filled it with San Franci
sco's finest tap water. Tap water? What? That's right, thousands of we effete Bay Area foodies were being forced to drink tap water! Something that people from places like Nebraska (where the corn for the cup was probably grown) are forced to endure. The horror.

If Slow Food Nation '08 accomplished one significant thing, it was educating people that tap water is good, and bottled water is bad. Who knew? There was lots of information posted at all the "water stations" that made a great case for giving up that plastic bottle. I won't bore you with the details. You can bore yourself at the Take Back The Tap website. In all seriousness, it's important info to read, and I encourage you to check it out.

Remember how we all laughed and mocked those first bottled water drinkers? What a bunch of idiots - paying for water, when you can get it free from the tap! Now, we all suckle at the teat of big water. What the hell happened? It turns out our original instincts were right - we should have known the first time we saw those net water bottle purses swinging off people's hips.

VIDEO UPDATE: A viewer passed along this clip from YouTube of an episode of Penn and Teller's show "Bullsh*t" - which will serve as further evidence of the bottled water scam. Warning: Adult language sprinkled throughout.


23 comments:

Dave H. said...

Is there anything that can't be made from corn these days? :-P No wonder I see more and more of it every year around these parts.
It's good advice though, I've always drank tap water when available.

Bill W, NH said...

If you eat a lot of chicken and beef, you too are made of corn.

Unfortunately for myself and girlfriend, we have to drink bottled water, our water comes from a well that is loaded with iron and it smells bad when heated.

Anonymous said...

Not trying to be a nervous Nelly here, but I believe the problems with bioplastics will be as bad as plastic... It's not like you can dump the plastic cups in the ocean and they dissolve into nothing. They never tell you about the true 'cost' of making and recycling these.

This reminds me of the $5 mercury filled spiral light bulbs that are estimated to last 7 years (4 of 5 in my house lasted less than 1 year, 1 still going after 2).

As for tap water vs bottled water, that debate has the easiest winner since Dan Quayle vs Lloyd Bentson. (You know the whole "Senator, You Are No Jack Kennedy" quote). Tap!

Rant over...

On a completly unrelated note. My family loved the clifton springs chicken wings. Did you know that they are great right out of the fridge @ midnight?

Chef John said...

Well, that's ok then as long as its local freerange water.

Chef John said...

Yes, I have eaten them that way before!

childsdish said...

Lucky for those whose tap water comes from deep uncontaminated wells, but our city water is as hard as old dirty nails, and tastes worse, so we just had a reverse osmosis water system installed, and will take our own filtered water with us in stainless steel beverage bottles for car trips, etc.

Sketch said...

I highly recommend watching this half episode of HBO's Penn and Teller: Bulls**t! (The other half is about Feng Shui)

Warning! This link is NOT SAFE FOR WORK!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfPAjUvvnIc

Most tap water in this country is perfectly fine. If you don't like the taste, get a Brita filter pitcher. They work wonders.

Nate-n-Annie said...

Our tap water is pretty good - just a little chloriney but we have a Pur filter to take care of that.

The tap water in Hawaii is great - sweet, soft, and no filtration needed.

Do you drink your water from the tap in SF?

Chef John said...

yes we do. SF water comes from Yosemite, and is considered very good.

Jewels said...

LOL @ "suckling at the teat of big water"!!!!

Actually, I love the tap water in the city I live in, but unfortunately the apartment I rent has pipes that are rusting inside and the landlord won't fix them (can we say "ghetto"?!) so all the water that comes out of my kitchen faucet is brownish/yellow.

The bathroom water looks clear, but I don't trust it in my landlord's pipes.

I'm moving soon...

:(

milkshake said...

If you like strong black ceylon/indian tea it makes sense to use soft water (=with low calcium and magnesium) otherwise the flavor will suffer and tea will soon get cloudy and disgusting as the tanins precipitate. Brita filter jug is perfectly adequate for the purpose.
(Rainwater-derived municipal water from Yosemite is probably even better).

OrganicallyTv said...

Biodegradable cups are a step in the right direction! On my site there is a video article on Biota water, which is bottled water in a fairly biodegradable bottle, it still takes time to degrade, but absolutely better than the traditional platic bottles. Thanks for posting!

Greg said...

Some of the worst water I've ever tasted was the tap water in Nebraska (and Iowa). If you travel in Mexico you'll dig the bottled water.

Those of us with good tap water should consider ourselves lucky. It ain't the norm in this world.

Alex said...

I only buy bottled water when I fold under the pressure of needing a sports bottle for my spinning class.

However, I'm glad I'm not the only tap-water advocate out there, and that I'm not the only one who actually thinks tap water TASTES BETTER than the bottle...

Anonymous said...

yay, glad the slow food movement has caught onto the evils of transporting water by truck. (better late than never!)

-onelove

Esi said...

Honestly, growing up in the Bay Area, I never thought twice about drinking tap water...until I came to So Cal and the water from the tap comes out yellow.

Connie said...

I bought one pack of bottled water. I have a water filter on my fridge. I wash the bottles in my dishwasher and refill them from my fridge. That way I have the bottle to put in my son's lunch box, but I wash it when he is done. Also those pitcher water filters work great when I go on a trip. Our water is highly clorinated, it even smells like chlorine. I have to filter it, but it tastes great when I do.

Sketch said...

Woo hoo! I contributed to the front page! I can die happy now!

Chef John said...

yes you can... RIP ;)

Noz said...

I very rarely buy bottle water because of the disastrous effects it leaves as waste plastic...truly a bad choice.

That said, I can't really stand Pen and Teller....they are full of it.

Alpinebluesky said...

Interesting! I've always been a tap water fan when it tastes good, ie here in Colorado it's fine, but in parts of Michigan it's awful! There was a company here that was selling bottled water with biodegrable corn oil bottles called Biota, sadly they went out of business. Hopefully other bottled water companies will follow suit.

Dave W said...

Here in Palm Springs our water is well water, and it's loaded with dissolved calcium that clogs faucet aerators and builds-up in the dishwasher.

Up in the mountains, (a mile or two away), Nestle runs a bottling operation, providing pure spring water in plastic bottles to supermarkets all around.

MARIA said...

I guess it is all the way you market things.....if people drink from the Ganges and they are still here.....what a concept! The tap in the kitchen is where it's at!