Raw water refers to the untreated, unfiltered and unsterilized water that is collected from a spring or the atmosphere.
Proponents say it is healthier than tap or bottled water. It will generally have a sweeter taste than the regular water that people are used to and also has a smooth mouthfeel. In recent years, raw water, as a trend, has been gaining popularity at a fast rate, currently being highly sought out around the Silicon Valley area.
However, its use has also created a controversial environment in which critics have come out claiming that raw water is unsafe for consumption because it is untreated water.
Raw Water’s History
Where did it originate?
The trend seemed to have originated from California and has been spreading all over North America. Raw water has been associated with the Silicon Valley in the United States. Many startups in the Silicon Valley such as the Live Water in Oregon and the Zero Mass water have dedicated themselves to providing raw water to consumers.
Tap water and bottled water became controversial to the true believers of raw water since they tend to believe that during the sterilization process, treated water is stripped off its numerous nutritional content. Believers have further demonstrated dismay in that the filtration and sterilization process get rid of beneficial bacteria that are referred to as ‘probiotics’. They are also concerned about the fluoride that is normally added to the tap and bottled water. They also believe that the lead pipes that the water runs through compromises on the health of the consumers.
Where do you Find It?
Many companies have pop up and are concentrating on collecting raw water from the various sources and selling it to the consumers. For instance, Zero Mass water is a company that is based in Arizona. This company has engaged in the installation of systems for people which allows them to collect water from the atmosphere around their homes in the United States. The company has already raised $24 million in venture capital.
Tourmaline spring in Maine is another company that has vowed to make raw water increasingly available to the high demanding rate of consumers. There are stores in various states that also offer raw water at reasonable prices. ‘And Liquid Eden’ is one such store based in San Diego. The store owner, Trisha Kuhlmey has stated that they sell about 900 gallons of water per day. The stores have various varieties such as chlorine free, fluoride free and “mineral electrolyte alkaline” drinking water.
What does it Taste Like?
Raw water enthusiasts have praised its rich taste. Consumers of the water have stated that it has a smooth, sweet and satisfying effect. They have associated this to the numerous minerals that it contains. They have argued that tap water and the normal bottled water will have ‘no’ taste since the various processes it has been passed through before being packaged strip it off its goodness. Proponents believe that raw water will quench your thirst in the perfect manner that nature intended it to be.
What is the Cost?
Raw water prices are skyrocketing with each day that passes. The Silicon Valley obsession with this liquid has made it into a premium product. For instance, Rainbow Grocery, which is a co-op in Mission District, was selling a 2.5-gallon jug from the startup Live Water for $36.99. Over a period of one week, the same jug’s price was raised to $38.49 due to Live Water’s popularity in the location. Live Water stated that there was an increase in the demand on their website. As a result, delivery periods have also been slowed. Another store raised its price of the 2.5 gallons to $60.99 from $36.99 due an increase in demand.
Where to Find Raw Water?
Raw water can be found online on the websites of the various companies that have dedicated their time and resources into ensuring that consumers get their portion. Live Water delivers to consumers around Canada and the United States. There also exists many stores that have specialized in the selling of raw water. With each new day, more and more stores are being set up so as to make the water available to the increasing demand of the people.
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Is it actually Good For you?
Its proponents are convinced it to be the perfect drink. They state that taking filtered water (tap and bottled water) will often lead to cases of headaches, fatigues, anxiety and even weight gain. They say that this is because filtered water has been deprived off the prebioptics. Live Water, a company that sells raw water, stated that taking raw water has numerous health benefits in your body because it contains probiotics and healthy bacteria.
They claim that it plays a huge role in preventing wrinkles. It also strives to keep the body joints strong and flexible. This could be due to the unaltered mineral content that the raw water contains. However, health experts have come out to criticize the consumption of raw water. They say that it is not good for consumption in the raw form as it is has not been properly treated. The process of treatment that tap water goes through is crucial in removing bacteria, pesticides, pesticides and other harmful contaminations that can cause serious health risks. Cholera is a water associated disease which one can get if they drink water or eat food that has been contaminated by a certain harmful bacterium.
Health Hazards Due to Drinking Raw water
Health professionals have stated time and again that raw water could have potential dangers lurking in it. These dangers include E. coli and intestinal infections causatives. In addition, this naturally found water could be washed over rocks which may contribute to arsenic poisoning. Furthermore, there are thousands of species that defecate in the various raw water sources.
When such contaminated water is consumed, it may bring negative health impacts to the consumer. Water-based diseases such as Dysentery and Cholera could also be prevalent in areas that have high consumption rate of the raw water. Other serious health impacts could be problems associated to gastrointestinal symptoms, hospitalization and even death in some cases. The World Health Organization has estimated half a million diarrhea related deaths due to the consumption of unsterilized water.
What are the Experts Saying?
Health Experts have advised against the embracing of this trend. History is proof that drinking water which has not been treated and filtered have caused documented outbreaks of serious infectious diseases. Water taken directly from nature can contain E. coli, salmonella, campylobacter, and parasites like cryptosporidium. These are microbes shed by domestic cattle and animals on the surface of the water.
Drinking it can cause outbreaks of diseases otherwise easy to avoid if people stick with tap and treated water. The experts, therefore, recommend against the consumption of the raw water. Tim Caulfield, a renowned professor of health law and policies on science, has claimed that the trend is deeply ridiculous and possibly harmful.
Is it Cleaner Than Tap Water?
Mukhande Singh, the founder of the Live Water startup and the first true enthusiast, states that tap water is basically ‘toilet’ water that has been laced with drugs to purify it. He has been very vocal about the amount of chloramine and fluoride that tap water contains. Various companies that offer tapped water, as well as bottled water, have come out strongly stating that the water does not have any harmful components.
In fact, research demonstrates that while tap water may contain traces of prescriptions and over the counter medications, soap or shampoo additives, drinking it is not harmful and no evidence has shown its adverse effects on people. In fact, water treatment and its fluoridation has been called the most important public health interventions of the 20th century by public health experts.
Is it worth it?
No. We advise against the consumption of raw water simply for all the reasons stated in this article. Fads are exactly that, fleeting and never permanent for a good reason. Not only is raw water extremely expensive to invest in, it is also a plethora of diseases waiting to happen because it has not been properly treated and filtered for consumption. Health experts have given it the thumbs down and so do we.