May 10, 2012

Why I'm a Water Snob

Vividly I can recall my first real encounter with a water snob.

We were in Phoenix, Arizona - standing in a hot church vestibule. My new friend took a drink of her bottled water.  With a crumpled face she said, "Yech!  This tastes nasty!"

I suppose my facial expression said nothing short of: you're weird.

She quickly followed up her water snobishness by saying, "I forgot that I refilled this bottle from the water fountain."

Really?  You can actually taste the difference between your plastic bottled water (which was probably bottled from tap water!), and the water fountain?  I was impressed.  Until that day, I could not taste the difference between bottled water and tap water.

That was seven years ago.  My husband and I had just moved to the Valley of the Sun.  We had not lived there long enough to realize that nobody drank the tap water.  It tasted that bad.

We had lived in Phoenix long enough for me to see the water stations, or water stores, where filtered or reverse osmosis water (RO) is sold but it had not registered why there were so many!  Soon I came to the realization that people drank filtered water in their homes, not just because it was trendy but out of necessity.  The tap water in the desert was laden with icky-tasting minerals.

Fast-forward four years when we moved back to Little Rock, and I had been drinking filtered water in Phoenix.  After moving back to Arkansas, I realized I'd become a water snob.  The tap water that I drank just four years earlier in Little Rock no longer tasted good to me.  The tap water had not changed; my taste buds had.

Where to Find Clean Water
Whole Foods has a reverse osmosis machine at the front of the store, which isn't far from my home.  For a year, I hauled five gallons home every week.  My dear husband later installed a reverse osmosis (RO) filter under the sink that we purchased at Lowe's.  We now have RO water on tap!

In summary, my top three reasons to drink filtered or RO water:

1. Tastes better.

2. Not chlorinated - I work too hard to add beneficial bacteria to my gut (yogurt, kefir, kombucha, radish relish) just to have it killed by the chlorine in tap water.  By the way, Brita or other filters like the one in your fridge door do not eliminate chlorine.  Sitting a pitcher of uncovered water on the counter overnight will allow chlorine to evaporate.

3. Not fluoridated - I'm not convinced fluoride is necessary - esp. if you're eating green leafy veggies.

Now I share a kindred spirit with my water snob friend from Phoenix and even carry a water bottle with me - with RO water from my house.

See also Erin's post on the dangers of fluoride. And if you missed my post gloating celebrating 4 years of being cavity-free despite the fact I've given up fluoride.

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  1. Do you have to re-mineralized the water? How do you do that?

    1. Steph - there are many who would say yes - you need to re-mineralize the water. I've not taken that step. I'm hoping that enough minerals are coming from locally grown and organic foods that I eat, along with Real Salt. But do your own research. :)

    2. Interesting. I'm inclined to think that the lack of minerals would be more desirable than the addition of fluoride and chlorine anyway. I was not aware Lowe's carries those filters. Thanks for this post, I will be checking into them!

  2. A Brita pitcher removes 99% of chlorine from the water. It doesn't remove much fluoride, if that is your goal, but it does remove chlorine.

    1. Anonymous,
      When writing this post, I went to the Brita website. I debated whether or not to mention specifically their claims about chlorine. Their website says simply "reduces chlorine" and does not claim to remove 99%. I wonder where you found this statistic? I would be happy to include it above. However, I am prone to think that if Brita filters indeed removed 99% of chlorine that they would boast of such on their site.

    2. I found the information on the Brita website:

    3. I'm not sure that link will take you to the exact question on the FAQ--look under "Why is chlorine added to tap water?".

    4. Thank you for the link. I checked the site and it says "...up to 99%".

  3. I order Mountain Valley Spring Water in 5 gallon glass bottles from Hot Springs. I don't use it for cooking since it's too expensive for that, but we love the taste.

    1. Do you live in Phoenix? And what's the company you use and how much is it?

    2. Jameelah: we used to live in Phoenix and I just carted water home every few days. There were filtered water machines on every corner.



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