Stuck, between a rock and a hard place

10/30/2012 12:03


Take a look at the link attached.

I’m convinced that we have choices … but not always easy choices.  The video in the link above make a strong case for the idea that we have been mislead into thinking bottled water is better for our health than tap water.  

Main points of the case presented in the video.

1.      A self-interested private industry finds ways to convince us the tap water we drink is somehow less healthy than the bottled water product they sell. This ploy is called “manufactured demand” and is produced by creating fear and insecurity in the public’s mind.

2.      Ads and packaging designs that glorify natural settings like pure flowing natural mountain streams leads us to make the assumption that the bottled stuff comes from those sources … and it is not always true.  Then there is the “Honesty in labeling” requirements that make the bottlers tell us where the water came from … but they use fine print to do it … knowing full well that very few people actually read the fine print.

3.      The city government, who is the target of the misinformation campaign in the video, decides to fight back with quality (and taste) tests of their own that challenge the claims of the bottler.  Good plan, but not mentioned in the video is the idea that municipalities commonly use a variety of chemicals to purify their tap water. 

Then there is that fact that in many cases the piped delivery system for public water is so old and poorly maintained that additional chemicals are added to the water just to keep it safe inside the pipes (and you drink this stuff)..  But even worse, many municipalities still fluoridate the water.  Fluoride is a known and extremely dangerous toxic chemical.  Topically (and in small doses) it can help prevent tooth decay … but with drinking water it is taken internally, not topically.

Two other points:  First, taste tests have little to do with actual quality or purity.  That means the city was trying to engage the same tactics the bottler was using … misdirection.  Two, where self –interest is involved one cannot trust test results provided by the provider of any consumer product.  It would be like trusting the bottlers to test and report on their own quality.  I hope I’m not the only one who sees a problem with that.

4.      Bottled water, it turns out, is not always from pristine mountain streams, naturally purified aquifers, or natural springs.  Many times that bottled water actually comes from filtered tap water. 

5.      The creation of plastic bottles, for any product, is an environmentally irresponsible act.  The manufacturing process alone consumes a tremendous amount of oil based products.  And, the bottles themselves are almost indestructible … creating waste management issues.  All these bottles end up in garbage dumps or in the now famous floating plastic-debris islands found in practically ever ocean around the globe.  Sometimes the bottles are even burned … creating toxic smog emitted into the atmosphere … you know, into that stuff we breathe.

6.      Quality in the bottled water industry is, many times, less regulated than that of tap water.

7.      Bottled water ends up costing the consumer about 2000 times more than tap water.

This video was about water and it is intended to make us think about the choices we make … difficult choices.  Do we pay a higher price for bottled water when it might be no different from what we get from the tap?  Do we allow a “manufactured demand” to pollute our landfills and oceans with plastic debris?  Do we want our atmosphere polluted through the creation and use of more oil based products?

Here is the bigger question!  If one self-interested private industry can make us believe we need something we don’t … just because they need to maintain their growth curve and profits … just what do you think every other consumer based industry is engaged in? 

Same thing … right?