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