Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Water. Must. Drink. Water.

(Via Unfogged) I'm curious about what you all have to say about yesterday's OpEd in the New York Times about the merits of tap water over bottled water.

Me, I'm definitely not a bottled-water snob. For years, I was a Brita filter man -- but that was only because it was one of my roommate's. Before that, when I was living with my parents, I got all my water from the electronic doo-dad on the fridge. And when I was in college, I pretty much stuck to the water fountain in the dorm. My reasons for switching to bottled water were (a) one day in Glasgow a van rolled through my street with someone announcing over a P.A. 'Don't drink the water! Don't drink the water'. Turns out, heavy rains mixed with sheep shit and ended up contaminating the water supply. We were told over the news to boil all bathwater, and not to open our mouth during showers. That was enough reason there to prefer the blind ignorance of bottled water. Then, though, (b) there was the convenience of bottled water. By and large, you walk a lot more in Europe in America, and sometimes a brotha gets thirsty while on the go. Which leads to (c), bottled water was freakin' cheap over there. A nice big bottle of Voldic, for example, set me back less than a pound; and when I was in Belgium, Spa would run less than a Euro.

Of course, here in America, things are a bit different. Contaminated tap water is much more rare, unless you live out in the country; I'm in my car more than I am on my feet; and a two-liter bottle of Coke is somehow cheaper than a one-liter bottle of Spa or Voldic (sometimes at a 3:1 ratio).

I used to think my wife was full of crap when she insisted there was a difference in taste between bottled (spring) water & what came out of the tap -- and yes, we've tried blind taste tests, and she can tell bottled water from tap water, though perhaps not the difference in brands -- but, I do kind of agree that a glass of room temperature tap water is just not as immediately refreshing as a bottle of room temperature bottled water (particularly Spa ... Evian is a bit too metalic). Much of this might be aesthetic, maybe even nostalgic. I don't know. Or maybe it's the fact that I can chug a bottle of water quicker than I can from a glass. I doubt its more nutricious, but if anyone's seen the contents of my diet they know that's the least of my concerns.