Entry 146: Water, Water Everywhere

Now that we have to supply our own drinking water from our own well without knowing where the well is getting the water from or, for that matter, where our well even is, I’ve been noticing all the different kinds of drinking water people buy. Yes, some poor people have to buy water, because their wells have run dry, or they don’t trust the drinking water they get from their municipalities, or because their wells are too large to take with them when they go jogging.

This water is purchased in many different sized bottles, including the ginormous size that gets delivered and then has to be hoisted into a dispenser without spilling any, and then your family feels obligated to gather around the water cooler making small talk.

You could probably list a dozen or more brand names of water. Most of them are actually owned by Nestlé, Coca-Cola or Pepsi. (Nestlé alone has over 67 water brands worldwide, including Deer Park, Poland Spring and Arrowhead. It’s possible that Nestlé even owns your tap water. You’d think they would have come up with chocolate water by now, wouldn’t you?)

There is filtered water (Coke’s Dasani and Pepsi’s Aquafina are both rumored to be nothing but filtered tap water), purified water, spring water, flavored water, sparkling water, mineral water, fitness water and artesian well water, which is not the same as artisanal water, which doesn’t, to my knowledge, exist. Yet. But it will. Because you need something to drink with your artisanal bagels (from Dunkin’ Donuts®) and artisanal pizza (from Dominos®).

There is even a whole new marketing category called “aquaceuticals,” a word that just screams “in 10 years the children of people who drink this now are likely to be mutants.” Aquaceuticals have supposedly healthful added ingredients, like vitamins. For instance, there’s a product called Omega3Water that contains “20,000 mcg* of Omega 3 from flaxseed.” It comes in “Bold Berry” and “Orange Kiwi” flavors, I guess to cover up that delicious flaxseed taste. Both Coke and Pepsi are said to be on the verge of introducing water with added fluoride and/or calcium. Which really pisses me off because I just spent $1,500 for a water softening machine to get calcium out of my water!

Anyway, with so many different types of water out there, you wouldn’t think anyone could come up with new water. But would you believe there’s an actual magazine called “Water Innovations?”  That’s right, there is so much new water out there, they can fill a publication with it every other month!

I bring you now two examples of new water:

Icebox™ Water in a BoxThis is, unsurprisingly, water in a box. Not just any water, but Norwegian spring water. And not just any box, but the same kind of box they used to give you milk in when you were in third grade. This raises an important question: “Why?”

Well, according to a website, it’s because: “The Carbon Footprint of the Box is 76% LESS than the comparable size plastic bottle (even including the transport from Norway!!)” This is, indeed, exciting news, and well deserving of two exclamation points. However, even though they’re actually taking into account transportation from Norway when they calculate the footprint, there’s one thing they’re not thinking of: If boxed water catches on, every cup and bottle holding device in the world will have to be replaced by a square one, because, as we all know, you can’t fit a square water box into a round water bottle hole. And all those replaced bottle holders will have to go into a land fill somewhere, probably in New Jersey (“The Land Fill State”).

02 Aqua®:  This is water (in a normal plastic bottle) from which “all minerals, bacteria, viruses, organic and inorganic chemicals, heavy metals, volatile gases and other contaminants” have been removed. I’m going to go ahead and assume that’s a good thing because, really, if I want to consume some volatile gases, I’ll go to Outback and have a Bloomin’ Onion. (No wait, that would be me with the volatile gases.)  And, by the way, if regular water has volatile gases, does that mean it could explode at any moment?

But, okay, so far so good.  But here’s the real kicker–after 02 Aqua gets finished taking all that stuff out of their water, they put in a secret ingredient. Well, maybe not secret, since they tell you what it is right on the label. Are you ready? Can I have a drum roll? The extra ingredient in 02 Aqua is…

Oxygen.

Really. The label says “with added oxygen.”

Now, if I remember my high school chemistry correctly (and, frankly, I didn’t even remember it correctly when I was in high school), water already has oxygen in it. In fact (and here I’m just showing off) its chemical formulation is H20 because it is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. So, if you add oxygen to that, doesn’t that make it H202 which is not only not water, but is hydrogen peroxide?

In conclusion, do we really need our water to be anything but water? Does it really have to come from, as Icebox Water claims to, a spring that is “…geological perfection, cleansing and filtering centuries of rainfall through nature’s layers of clay, coal, limestone and sand?” Do you really want to drink water that’s centuries old?

And does water really need anything added?

The answer to this comes from 02 Aqua’s website, from the FAQ page where companies make up their own questions on your behalf. The question is: “Why do we need extra oxygen in water?” And their answer is (I swear):

“Why not?”

I believe that is the same answer Charles Elmer Doolin** gave some 63 years ago when someone asked him, “Do we really need vaguely cheese-flavored snacks that will turn our fingers bright orange so that people will think we used to work at Los Alamos?”***

Why not indeed.

See you soon.

*”mcg” stands for microgram, which is a really tiny unit of measurement that normal people, even people on the metric system, don’t generally deal with. Twenty thousand micrograms equals 20 milligrams, which is, in itself, not exactly a huge unit of measure. Those 20,000 micrograms equal 2 hundredths of a gram, which, since we’re in America, equals 7 thousandths of an ounce, which means that the amount of Omega 3 in Omega3 Water does not amount to much. To give you an idea, I take a daily Omega 3 supplement that is 1,000 milligrams which equals one million micrograms, which means I’d have to drink 50 bottles of Omega3 Water to get the same amount of Omega 3 as I get in my one pill. Plus, I take that pill with water.

**Doolin was the inventor of Cheetohs.® To my knowledge (or anyone’s), he was never actually asked this question. But he should have been. Because, really, when confronted with food-like objects such as Cheetohs, people don’t ask enough questions.

***This is where the atomic bomb was developed. The people who worked there probably did not have bright orange fingers. Unless they ate Cheetohs.

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