In 2009, according to the International Bottled Water Association, US consumers bought more than 8.5 BILLION gallons of bottled water. At close to $4 per, that’s more than 20 times the value of the New York Yankees as of George Steinbrenner’s death last week ($1.6 Billion). In contrast, that same $4 will buy the average US resident close to 60 gallons from their tap
The differences between the “value” of drinking tap water vs. bottled water has gone on for decades. Besides the obvious, which is stated above, below are more things to keep in mind the next time you’re at Trader Joe’s.
1. The Food and Drug Administration does not require bottled water companies to disclose the source of the water they label.
2. After years of reports of decline, dentists are now seeing a DRAMATIC increase in cavities amongst their patients. One possible reason…bottled water doesn’t contain fluoride. And yes, believe it or not, most tap water does!
3. It is strongly believed that drinking bottled water is safer than water from the tap. However unlike water from your faucet, the water on the shelf has no standard requirements for testing parasite content and toxic chemicals. That’s why people with compromised immune systems, such as those with diabetes and cancer, are NOT recommended to use bottled water.
4. And yes my fine Green Friends…there are several environment issues as well. It is a fact that in the manufacturing of one liter of bottled water, more than six liters of water is required! And, as we all know, while many bottles are sent out to be recycled, many are dumped in the garbage never to return for another use.
Yes, there is a definite convenience factor when buying bottled water. It is easy to carry. If the bottle is big enough, there are fewer trips away from your desk (at least to the water fountain, but maybe not to the bathroom) and it is good to have on hand in case of a blackout or natural disaster.
So what’s the solution? Well, there are several…
1. There are many reusable and recyclable stainless steel or aluminum bottles on the market. Pick a size fit for your use, fill it from the tap and go!
2. Buy a few plastic bottles of your favorite store bought water and once you finish it, clean it thoroughly and reuse it several more times. There is NO evidence that reusing the plastic bottles will increase your risk of cancer…even if you freeze them! And believe it or not, soon enough, you won’t be able to tell the difference in taste.
3. If you really don’t like the taste of your local tap water, for under $2 a gallon, you have a water cooler in your home (i.e. Sparklettes or Arrowhead) and choose one of the two above options to take your water with you.
So people, the next time you’re at the grocery store, leave those heavy cases of bottled of water behind. You have enough to carry with all of those egg whites, chicken breasts and packages of oatmeal you need for the week. Save the big lifting for your time in the gym!