In January last year, I wrote about the US fad for “raw” water: water supposedly as nature intended it, free of any of the treatments used in municipal water supplies. Those promoting the stuff claim it’s ever so much better for you; given the prices they charge, it’s certainly good for their bank balances
I’ve just come across a couple of recent articles, the first of which is directly related to the “raw” water story. Turns out that a particular product, sold for $US24/4.6 litres in spiffing glass containers, is from exactly the same source as the tap water in the local city. A spokesman for the Oregon Department of Health is quoted in the linked story:
Modie said that Opal Springs was fed by an aquifer that was able to meet all the standards for public consumption without treatment, and that the water was distributed by the Deschutes Valley Water District, a nonprofit utility company that’s been in business since 1919. When we called the Deschutes Valley Water District to ask how bottling companies like Live Water get water from the spring. They made it clear that no, Singh [the purveyor of this particular product] isn’t down at the bottom of the Opal Springs Canyon dunking his $33 1 gallon globes in by hand like he does on his Instagram.
Aaaand that reminds me of a Penn & Teller episode on tap & bottled water…
The second article is tangential, but still relates to people’s willingness to spend a lot of money on things that carry the “natural” tag. It’s an article that would have been better described as an advertorial, about a company selling the sap from maple trees: the stuff that, when boiled down, gives us maple syrup. Sap that a Canadian friend tells me retails at the eye-watering price of 18 dollars (Canadian) for just 250 ml of slightly sweet liquid.
Good for the company – they have obviously found a niche market. But seriously? $72 for a single litre? Of tree sap?
Featured image: Brad Smith, Flickr CC BY NC.