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Bottled Water: Is it worth it?


vhilts
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I buy Pellegrino because if I'm going to pay a $1 for a bottle of water it might as well be Italian and carbonated.

here here on that! Interesting to note is why do so many americans prefer still water to sparkling? what is it about our culture? In my 4 years living in Europe, i have to have bubbles in the water. Any still water, regardless of what glacier it came from, is boring and blah...

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Here's a link to the article by the Earth Policy Institute mentioned in the article:

Bottled Water: Pouring Resources Down the Drain

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Thanks for the link Patrick.

Of all the spin-off problems, I think the most significant is the transportation of water. Not only does it deprive the original location, but it also burdens the consumer's location with having to treat the waste.

In India, for example, water extraction by Coca-Cola for Dasani bottled water and other drinks has caused water shortages for over 50 villages. Similar problems have been reported in Texas and in the Great Lakes region of North America, where farmers, fishers, and others who depend on water for their livelihoods are suffering from concentrated water extraction as water tables drop quickly.
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It really doesn't matter to me re: water. Our tap water is tasty, so I don't mind it at all (although when I bake bread I use Brita water). My favorite mineral water is gerolsteiner- good taste and nice, big bubbles.

However, I haaatte Evian- I think that if someone were to bottle saliva, this is what it must taste like. Nasty.

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Thanks for the link Patrick.

Of all the spin-off problems, I think the most significant is the transportation of water. Not only does it deprive the original location, but it also burdens the consumer's location with having to treat the waste.

In India, for example, water extraction by Coca-Cola for Dasani bottled water and other drinks has caused water shortages for over 50 villages. Similar problems have been reported in Texas and in the Great Lakes region of North America, where farmers, fishers, and others who depend on water for their livelihoods are suffering from concentrated water extraction as water tables drop quickly.

This is actually a huge problem up in Maine in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Fryeburg and Poland - where Poland Springs derives their water. Nestle is not getting a very warm welcome right now!

Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.
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  • 5 months later...

A close inspection of the labels of Dasani and Aquafina bottled water shows that these are merely "purified" tap waters. (What does "purified" mean?) These products have become ubiquitous in food stores throughout the US due to the marketing power of the giants Coke and Pepsi.

What, pray tell, is the reason that so many people are willing to pay so much for tap water in a bottle? Are they subconciously thinking that these are better waters? That they are spring water?

Is there a good reason to buy this water that I am missing? I am truly mystified and amazed.

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Its perfectly good water. Its the same purified water that they use to make Coca-Cola and Pepsi. That stuff has to pass very strict regulatory guidelines before it can be put into soft drinks.

They use a patented triple filtration process to filter out impurities in tap water before it ends up in a soft drink or in their bottled water brands.

Depending on what metro area you live in, Tap water is clean and good tasting, or it can be extremely hazardous to your health. Generally speaking I would say that NYC, Westchester and Northern NJ has good tap water. However, I wouldn't drink the tap water coming out of Tom's River NJ or various parts of Long Island, or certain parts of Florida for example. Not unless you like Cobalt or any other number of carcinogens or bacteria, that is.

There is also the issue that some people don't like the "Hardness" of particular tap waters or mineral residue or even the metallic or mineraly tastes of some mineral waters, so purified water tastes better for them.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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And on top of that, there is salt added. Negligible or not, I'd like to know why they add it.

I think the reason so many people purchase Dasani/Aquafina is that it is so readily available. Aquasani is what you are going to be offered in vending machines, lunch shops, and everywhere else marketers might think to find thirsty consumers.

I have to imagine that if true spring water (which certainly isn't more expensive than our heavily marketed tap water friends) were as easy to purchase when you are at the gym, getting a sandwich, in the break room, etc. etc.... people would choose that.

As for those who choose those over the better options on purpose... they must be suckers for shiny packages.

Edited by Usagi (log)
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I never drink any bottled water, so I can't comment based on personal experience, but I've read that Dasani consistently beats bottled spring water in consumer taste tests. Which is not surprising, considering that it was forumlated by a highly successful soft drink company. (I'm sure that's why the salt is added.)

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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Dasani and Aquafina are the brands that are usually onsale at the supermarket so they are typically less expensive than the premium spring water brands. Costco and Wal Mart also have huge volume orders with both Coca Cola and Pepsi as well, so they get preferred pricing on it. Its true you can get real spring water just as cheap, but it typically requires going to a beverage store or getting a delivery commitment from a distributor, like we do with our monthly Poland Spring deliveries.

As to the break room issue -- the vending machines are typically maintained by a distributor company for either Coca Cola or Pepsi and are required to vend products in them from the parent company, so its not likely that you'll see Poland Spring or Fiuggi or Gerolsteiner or Perrier in a machine like that.

I happen to think that both Dasani and Aquafina taste pretty decent. And you'll never hear me say a bad word about them because during the Katrina disaster, Coca Cola (and I think Pepsi as well) sent megatons of it down to the area thru FEMA for people to drink.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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. . . I've read that Dasani consistently beats bottled spring water in consumer taste tests.  Which is not surprising, considering that it was forumlated by a highly successful soft drink company.  (I'm sure that's why the salt is added.)

Reverse osmosis softens water by removing calcium and magnesium ions (“hardness”) while substituting sodium ions (“salt”). The alternative to reverse osmosis is distillation, which is much more expensive. Are you sure that the salt is added for taste, or is it a byproduct of the filtration process?

Me, I drink tap water, although Dasani does taste good. If I'm spending that much money for a liquid, it better fuel my car :wink:

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Uhh, you are talking about ion exchance, C. sapidus. Reverse osmosis is generally done through a semi-permeable membrane. Ion-exchange is done using and exchange resin in a bed. Completely different animals.

Unfortunately, I know painfully little about semi-permeable membranes.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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It's very good water, it's New York water, and New York water tastes great. Marketing ruse? yes, selling water takes chutzpuh, but I don't really see any deception involved... I like Dasani, Aquafina and Poland spring, once you start to get heavy mineral flavors, you've lost me. I really like tap water cause- it's free and really does taste great here, elsewhere I try to chose brands that taste like home (cause they're from home)

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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jsolomon: you are correct - my bad. I should have engaged brain before typing. Ion exchange is relatively fast and cheap. Reverse osmosis is much slower. I should know better - we have lots of RO units in the labs.

I still wonder whether the salt in Dasani is from reducing hardness via ion exchange.

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It's very good water, it's New York water, and New York water tastes great. Marketing ruse? yes, selling water takes chutzpuh, but I don't really see any deception involved... I like Dasani, Aquafina and Poland spring, once you start to get heavy mineral flavors, you've lost me. I really like tap water cause- it's free and really does taste great here, elsewhere I try to chose brands that taste like home (cause they're from home)

I think the ruse part of the idea stems from the way these products refer to themselves as "purified water" instead of the more accurate "filtered tap water". But of course, that would cut sales drastically, probably.

P.S. How do you know that these are New York City tap water?

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Dasani is made locally at two Coca Cola plants in the US. The Coca Cola Bottling Company of New York is one of those that produces it and the other is in Jacksonville, FL. The water is in fact, tap water, but it is then purified thru commercial reverse osmosis filters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasani

Aquafina is made from different regional sources.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquafina

Aquafina uses PepsiCo's own purification system, which it calls HydRO-7. PepsiCo states in marketing material that this system removes substances that may be in other brands of bottled water.[2]
Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I'll stick to my Hetch-Hetchy and EBMUD water, thank you very much. But, Through the kinds of filtration and purification they use at those plants, it makes absolutely no difference where they get their water from....they could be pulling it from the outfall of the local sewage plant for all we know and we wouldn't know the difference. The absolute purest water you can get would be distilled, but that actually has a very flat "taste" and most people don't like the taste of it. The regulations surrounding tap water also only regulate it up to the point that it is bottled...that means that chemicals can leach to the water from the bottle over an extended period sitting on the shelf.

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Using Wikipedia as a sole source of information is like using a blog. It is "peer produced", and the information there may well have come from a highly placed source at Pepsi or Coke themselves!

Some other more reliable sources have a diferent opinion. Consumer Reports says that the sources of Dasani and Aquafina are a closely guarded secret, but they suspect that a prime source of Dasani is Detroit municipal water supply. ABC News did a report a couple of years ago saying that although these waters may taste good, the purification techniques used may consist of nothing more than a paper filter!!

As a matter of fact, Dasani was banned completely in the UK in 2004 for containing high levels of bromate, a known carcinogen. (They advertised the product as "the purest water to be found".)

Sierra Club has had a long campaign against these waters, saying that they are a "big hoax on the public".

I think that most just buy these waters because they are available, they are cold, and they taste good. No thought process involved as to value or quality. I, personally, would never buy these 2 waters. I might, however, buy spring water if available.

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I don't like the taste of either. I honestly don't care where it comes from, but I just can't stand the metallic taste of Dasani, and the "hard water" taste of Aquafina. My bottled water of choice is Nestle (budget), and Fiji (artisan). Once you get into sparkling waters, I'll go with San Pellegrino or Perrier.

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I use spring water in my cooler at home and Dasani bottles in my RV. I use Dasani because they come in a box of small bottles which fit in my RV fridge nicely. I'd prefer Fiji but they don't sell it by the case here.

Marlene

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Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I don't drink commericially bottled water either. I filter my tap water (which does not taste that great straight) in my British Berkefeld water filter and fill reuseable Nalgenes with it. It tastes great. I cannot believe the amount of empty plastic water bottles tossed everywhere these days, so I made a decision to use tap and reuseable containers. Reverse Osmosis systems reportedly waste alot of water, I've read to get 1 gallon of RO water the system needs 5 gallons of tap inflow. With the Berkey, what goes in comes out minus the "impurities".

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Sierra Club has had a long campaign against these waters, saying that they are a "big hoax on the public".

Yeah, I tend to beleive everything coming out of environmentalist political action committees myself.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Yeah, I tend to beleive everything coming out of environmentalist political action committees myself.

As a matter of fact, Dasani was banned completely in the UK in 2004 for containing high levels of bromate, a known carcinogen. (They advertised the product as "the purest water to be found".)

The British government issued the ban, there was a public outcry, and Coke decided not to fight back, they just went away with their tail between their legs.

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I'm well aware of the ban. However what Coke UK does and Coke US does are totally different. The confines of the British Legal System also likely kept Coke from re-introducing the product in that country. Also, what the UK health authorities call "High Levels Of Bromate" may not be what we have either.

Personally, I think I'd rather drink Dasani in the US than have to breathe the air in most British cities.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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