Debunk-Tuesday – Raw Water Kills

in health •  2 months ago

I am fully aware today is not Tuesday. I am not retarded, just in case you are wondering. But since I was incredibly sleep deprived yesterday, there was no chance of putting together a somewhat decent article. Luckily, things can literally change overnight and here I am.
Fully refreshed, with a nice bottle of water next to me. Hm. Water. Wait, there was something about it. Wasn’t water this cool, new trendy thing which was recently discovered by Silicon Valley geeks? Yes. Raw water, to be exactly.


Dumb things gone wild

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Source

Whenever you think you already have reached the peak of Mount Stupid – there will somebody come along who will teach you the better. Silicon Valley is known for amazing tech companies – and some pretty dumb ones as well. Anyone remember Juicero(1) - a company which was able to get a $120 million dollar funding for selling a juicing machine which used packets of pre-juiced fruits and the only way to access these fruits was by using the machine – at least, that’s what the company told everybody. And it had Wi-Fi. Yay.
Well, it turned out that these packets could easily be squeezed by hand as well – without any need for the machine. And yeah, obviously there are already many cheaper alternatives available on the market which actually use whole fruits and vegetables to produce juice. No surprise, the company no longer exists.

But alright, that’s awkward but at least not dangerous. This can’t be said about another trend: raw water.
A few months ago, a huge hyped sparked all across social media. Celebrities of all kinds promoted this new trend and enthusiastically cheered for drinking raw, unprocessed water. Because it’s all so natural and good for you and whatever nonsense one can think of. Because mother nature has a kind heart and doesn’t want to kill you. Tsunamis, volcanos, hurricanes, diseases, etc. are just a big conspiracy by the NWO and everything which is natural is also good for the human body.
There are actually people on this planet who believe these things. One of many reasons why aliens looking for intelligent life here will always be disappointed.
In fact, if you just use Google and search for ”stupid silicon valley trend” the raw water one is the first link available. This should say enough.
But yeah, since this is a blog which is mostly dedicated to cold-hearted facts and my own ego, I cannot leave you in the desert of ignorance without further explanations.


Raw and deadly

I have to give these guys some credits though. Starting a company to sell unprocessed water is nothing short of a genius move. The people behind Live Spring Water(2) are able to make a decent amount of money because people believe everything, as long as it contains the magical word natural. But more about this company later.

When it comes to unfiltered, unprocessed water there a many red flags associated when it comes to human health. It is no coincidence that even in ancient Egypt(3) people tried to get clean drinking water with as less contamination as possible.
This has actually quite some practical use. Filtering water before drinking it might be a good idea, if you intend to live longer than just a few more days or weeks. In fact, the worst case can be a cholera infection which will lead to a slow and painful death.
Of course, Yemen is not the US or Europe and a correctly diagnosed infection with cholera can usually be treated quite successfully with a less than 1% mortality rate(5) (but still, are you willing to risk being among these one percent?). But this should not be even necessary in the first place.
Even without the risk of a painful death there are other things to consider. Private (aka natural) wells lack the same water refinement treatment of tap water or bottled water which is sold by companies. The CDC points out(6) that private wells might contain arsenic which is pretty hard to filter which makes it reasonable to let professionals do exactly this. Sure, you are of course free to do whatever you like and continue using your tinfoil hat to protect yourself against the mind-controlling scalar waves of the government – but an arsenic poisoning(7) still seems like an unpleasant event to experience.
But that’s not enough. Fun stuff like uranium or nitrates(8) can also contaminate the groundwater – which, you guessed it, will affect springs and well – and without proper testing and treatment you are probably drinking exactly that, if you choose to decide to rely on raw water.
Want to hear more? There you go.
No matter how clean a spring or well might appear – you simply cannot know the hygienical level without rigorous testing. In the US there are about 4,600 hospitalizations each year(9) because people deem it a good idea to drink from untreated springs – often contaminated by animal feces (Drinking poo is not a good idea – who would have thought?). This can lead to an infection with Giardia or even Hepatitis A – which was responsible for 20 deaths in California in 2017(10).

So, yeah. Drinking water which hasn’t been properly tested and treated appears to be a really dumb idea. But I promised to tell you more about the above-mentioned company Live Spring Water. Currently they are selling a 2.5 gallon of their “Fountain of Truth” (what a horseshit name) jug for $60.99. According to their website, the water they use originates from Opal Springs in Oregon. Now it becomes interesting. After Jack Crosbie(11), a journalist working for Men’sHealth asked the responsible people at the Deschutes Valley Water District about the collecting process by Live Spring Water at Opal Springs, he was told there is no collecting process at all. In fact, the company has no direct access to the spring but gets the same water as everybody else in the area. Live Spring Water is selling tap water for $24 a gallon.
Sometimes I sincerely regret of not wanting to screw people over big time. The amount of money I could make is insane.
But hey, at least this water has been tested and treated and won’t endanger anybody’s health. What a relief.


Start thinking

We need to stop glorifying everything which is labelled as natural.
Nature is inherently deadly and will probably kill you, if you don’t take any precautions. Just because something appears to be natural (whatever this might be in the end) does not mean it is good for your health.

The high life expectancy, the high quality of life and everything associated to it did not happen because of nature – but despite of it. Humans fought the challenges nature put in front of them over and over again. We fought and defeated many former deadly diseases, we raised the living standards for billions of people and maybe things will continue to improve for everybody.
But trying to do the exact opposite of what brought us to this point will not help anyone – not you, your family or the third world children.
We need to encourage the people around us to start living based on facts and not fancy ideas which were sold to them by shady people on YouTube or Instagram.
Science and reason can save and enhance human lives – pseudoscience might kill you or others eventually.
We are the result of billions of years of evolutionary success. It’s about time to act like it.


Feel always free to discuss my ideas and share your own thoughts about the things I’m writing about. Nobody is omniscient and if we all walk away a bit smarter than before, we’ll have achieved a lot.
Thanks for reading and stay sceptical.

@egotheist



Make sure, to check out #steemstem for more science related content.

References

(1) Juicero | (2) Live Spring Water Website | (3) Water treatment history | (4) Cholera Outbreak Yemen | (5) Cholera | (6) CDC Arsenic | (7) Arsenic Poisoning | (8) Ground Water Safety | (9) Contaminated Spring Water | (10) Death By Water | (11) Live Spring Water Scam


Debunk-Tuesday

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Several years ago I lived across the street of a store selling revitalized water. They had an impressive machine with massive tanks and pipes in the store (which probably did the "revitalising") and an even more impressive amount of customers coming with bottle cases and big jerrycans...

The highlight of our weekend was the breakfeast on saturday morning looking at those people paying through their nose for tap water ;)

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selling revitalized water. They had an impressive machine with massive tanks and pipes in the store

My parents bought a machine like that. I never understood it.

Say what, again...? If this story wasn't so sad, it would actually be funny.

I've got a story which is similar from my country. A guy was selling plastic bags full of "natural fresh mountain air, caught from a very special and clean region in certain mountain" on eBay. He made a couple of dollars before they banned him. I know that this example is on a lot smaller scale than what you discuss, but still it's an accomplishment worth mentioning...

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People want to believe everything, as long as it comes along with a fancy promise.

Million of people worldwide drink "raw" water without dieing from it. The risks are negligible as long as one knows what one is doing - and fresh water from a spring or a well really can be better than the chlorinated tap water.

But bottling "raw" water does not sound like a good idea. One would definitively want to ensure the water is sterile and without humus before bottling it and selling it as drinking water.

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Million of people worldwide drink "raw" water without dieing from it.

I could apply the same logic: millions of people drink raw water - and die from it, especially in third world countries with bad public sanitary equipment. The argument goes both ways.

and fresh water from a spring or a well really can be better than the chlorinated tap water.

It can be. Maybe. Possibly. But the risk is certainly higher in comparison to treated water. That's what this is all about.

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I could apply the same logic: millions of people drink raw water - and die from it, especially in third world countries with bad public sanitary equipment. The argument goes both ways.

Touché

It can be. Maybe. Possibly. But the risk is certainly higher in comparison to treated water. That's what this is all about.

Certainly, but everything in this society is risky. Even treated water can be risky, tap water can also be contaminated, crossing the street by feet is madness, and most deaths happen in the bed ...

I was frequently going for hikes in the mountains back when I had more available time, sometimes for a full week. Of course, I would always drink "raw" water, fresh with oxygen, humus and minerals, rather than carrying lots of water from home. Of course there is a probability that someone with cholera would have been defacing in the water upstream ... but in the mountains in Norway, that probably must be some magnitudes lower than the probability that a plane would crash with my house while I'm sleeping there.

Of course animals and birds are shitting in the water - but then again, in the Norwegian mountains it will be very much diluted - as far as I know, a single bacteria or virus is usually not sufficient to make one ill, there must be more of them.

I remember once we met some american tourist, they were hiking in the mountains and staying overnight at staffed lodges (simple hotels). Every morning they would fill up their water bottles - all until they learned that the water they would get from the lodges was indeed raw, coming directly from whatever river would pass the lodge. :-)

Of course one should use some common sense - if the water has passed farmland or urban areas, it's probably not good to drink (though I remember first time I met my wife and some friends of her - they were tourists in Oslo, slept in a tent in the famous Vigeland park and picked up coffee water from the local creek). Same if it's still standing water with no inlet or outlet, water trickling very slowly through wetland, any water when it has been raining too much or in years with too many lemmings, etc.

Maybe we're just lucky in Norway, or maybe I'm just careless and taking too many risks. Whatever. When it comes to - we can agree that "raw" is a pretty pointless marketing slogan when it comes to bottled water. However, as long as it's analyzed and found safe, it's probably equally good as any other bottled water.

When I was a child, the water from the tap was without chlorine - it was coming from the municipality network, but without chlorine. At some point they started adding chlorine to the water, and it was completely horrible to drink. Eventually one gets used to it, but I still prefer water without chlorine.

I also drilled a well at my previous home, since it's not a well known place to find arsenic and uranium, I took the chance and drunk the water for months before I bothered to get it tested. My neighbour also came to me to collect some drinking water as he claimed the coffee tasted much better with my water than with the municipality water.

Now we have a

thanks for the information😍

You're really a genius brother, you go ahead and look forward to this prayer. thanks.

I am fully aware today is not Tuesday. I am not retarded, just in case you are wondering.

😆

Phew ... these are the only two sentences I read from your post (I'm sorry!). But, I wanted to let you know that they made me laugh, which was really good because I am busy, busy today. It helped to release some tension!

Anyhow, I will only be back on Steemit tomorrow. I am looking forward to reading this one as I have never heard anything about such belief!

Take care Ego :*

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I wanted to let you know that they made me laugh

I have my moments, I guess ¯ \ _ (ツ)_/¯

I upvoted your post. Thank you @yehey for steem delegation, we are helping to promote authors with good content.

Best regards,
@Council

Please vote @Yehey as one of your Witness. Join us at https://SteemChat.com steem community.
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Private (aka natural) wells lack the same water refinement treatment of tap water or bottled water which is sold by companies

I drank alot of well water when I was younger which never went through any form of refinement treatment. Reading this, I feel glad I switched.

One of many reasons why aliens looking for intelligent life here will always be disappointed.

😣

Oh! I am now asking myself if Brazilians would fall for that? Well, considering the many things the people of my beautiful country fall for ... I wouldn't be surprised. However, we have had our fair share of fatalities and high levels of nasty diseases as a result of raw water. Just like you explained here.

60.99 per jug? Wauza!

Only recently I watched a documentary about how exorcism is making a comeback in Agentina and have been asking myself why? why? why? Then, you pointed this out

We need to encourage the people around us to start living based on facts and not fancy ideas which were sold to them by shady people on YouTube or Instagram.

And things became a little clearer to me, perhaps also a little hopeful too.

Much love to you Ego :*

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The amount of stupid things people are willing to believe is incredible. I'm amazed every time I discover some new weird stuff people pay for.

More people don't have access to good water in my country. some still share the same drinking spot with their animals. Cholera outbreak occur regularly in those part. I wonder why people always fall for the "natural" trick.

Wow, I somehow missed the raw water hysteria! I still can't believe the price they are selling it. LOL. Wait, actually it is quite sad! :(

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Why sad? Would you become sad also when one pays 300 bucks for an extraordinary meal? ;-) To tease you a little.

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Haha :D I don't know. Maybe the fact that people are so easily manipulated makes me sad. Some people don't have any money at all, and others are spending thousands for fake water. It is sad, isn't it?

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Have you laughed about yourself after you found out that you were falling for a fake price? And then you either put that thing away or kept it as a reminder to not paying for virtuals in the future? I am most certain, you have:)

I found a letter of mine - guess it's 15 years ago - I have written to an insurance company. It was full of subjective accusations and totally beyond what I actually had to manage back then. First I felt embarrassed how I even could have written such a childish letter. But now I am amused and must smile about my former self.

Some people are happier without money than those people who have a lot of it, no?
But I think you meant those who do not have to eat and drink. Yes, I feel for them, too.

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My parents are people who would buy stuff like that. It might explain why I don't talk to them anymore.

Since most of us researchers get lost as observers of nature, the news that water is naturally purified by the movement and friction of water particles on rocks and sediments is probably rather unknown. At least I didn't know this as a fact and wondered how it can be that the flow and movement of water from top to bottom acts like a kind of filter on the pollutants in the water. But if you think about it, it becomes logical. I was a little embarrassed to learn that I didn't know such simple things. But then I said to myself: Neither at school did we go outside to observe, nor later in my profession as a PR consultant was this a thought. Nature was always just a kind of distant pleasure when I went for a walk in the woods or sat on the beach to think. But we know that somehow already, because in the back of my mind the thought is haunted that mountain river water is healthy. Today we have to test water all the more because we pollute it very much.

I argue that nature should neither be considered cruel nor should it be romanticized. All the characteristics we attribute to nature are ultimately human attributes. If we behave as living in it, we are better prudent and reasonable. Which doesn't have to stop you from acknowledging the beauty of the colours, the variety and the incomprehensible.

As far as buying expensive bottles is concerned: Well, yes. We do the same with other products. It is a status symbol. Just like a Porsche or a perfume. Ultimately, every value is only virtual. Some people think it's stupid that you reach so deep into your pocket for a Breitling or for sneakers. For my part, I'm relaxed and would think you don't need a lot of expensive things to be happy.

These are my six pence of thoughts to "water" :)

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I argue that nature should neither be considered cruel nor should it be romanticized. All the characteristics we attribute to nature are ultimately human attributes.

Of course, but applying these attributes makes it sometimes easier to make a point.

We do the same with other products. It is a status symbol. Just like a Porsche or a perfume.

There is one difference though: an expensive car or perfume doesn't hurt anybody, if handled correctly. Raw water which might be contaminated is different in that regard. Even if it is not being sold, people still might get ill, if they drink untreated water.

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Oh, very much so, I agree. I often use exaggeration as a stylistic device as well as putting subjective attributes on objects. When I , for example, say that "the river gushed merrily down the mountain, I create a feeling of lightness or I let "a volcano broil and spit aggressively" I give it an angry mood. Advertising can do this particularly well by ascribing chocolate bars to happiness etc.

Consuming things from the woods or the waters without knowing what they could do to me, like eating berries or mushrooms, I should only do when I am skilled in moving in raw nature.

Indeed, those who maybe felt tempted to drink the new untreated water can be happy to have been given your information.


But: I would think that some people may not read your article only the headline, and it hopefully does not stick to them as a fact which is absolute true. Because raw water does not kill.