In Defense of Fancy Bottled Water In Defense of Fancy Bottled Water
In Defense of Fancy Bottled Water
Jesus impressed his disciples by turning water into wine. Water sommelier Michael Mascha thinks water is miraculous enough.Supermarket shelves are stacked floor to ceiling with bottles of water, most of which comes from a tap, just like the one you have at your kitchen sink. So why are we paying for it? Because, at least according to Michael Mascha, the author of Fine Waters: A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Most Distinctive Bottled Waters, we don't know any better. Your standard filtered stuff-anything that says "purified" on the label-is made by big companies like Coke (Dasani) and Pepsi (Aquafina) and is incredibly wasteful to buy and horribly unexciting to drink.You can get Dasani-quality water from your tap, but what you can't get is water that's been in the ground, untouched for 10,000 years, with a natural effervescence, mineral content that rivals a multivitamin, and a natural "terroir"-the unique combination of soil and climate that influences the flavor of anything that comes out of it. That, Mascha says, is worth paying for, as long as we harvest it responsibly and treat it like something to be savored, not recklessly consumed.GOOD: Why should I care what kind of bottled water I drink?MICHAEL MASCHA: What you're seeing in the marketplace is the confusion between two very different products that happen to have the same name: bottled water. One is purified tap water sold in a plastic bottle in your supermarket. Then there is real water from a natural source that also happens to be sold in a bottle. And because people are not paying enough attention, they confuse the two.G: What's wrong with drinking Aquafina, or any of the other brands packaged by major food and beverage companies and sold on supermarket shelves?MM: Don't get me wrong, Aquafina doesn't make you sick or anything-it's perfectly good drinking water. It just isn't very exciting; it's a commodity. In general in the food world, there's a trend away from commodity toward products with a natural terroir. Ten years ago, [olive] oil was oil. You went to the supermarket, you bought some oil. You now have three different kinds of olive oil at home you use for different applications. Olive oil has made the transition from being considered a commodity into being considered a product with terroir. Bottled water right now is in the same process.G: What difference does terroir make?MM: If the water is in the ground for 15,000 or 20,000 years, it has more time to absorb minerals. Water doesn't necessarily get better as it gets older, but if you have a source that was hermetically sealed for the last 7,000 years, you can be fairly sure that what's there has very little industrial pollution. If you go to Tasmania, they collect rainwater, because it has the cleanest air in the world. The geography is not only shaping the water, but also shaping the perception of what water is.G: And what is water?MM: I have a background in wine, so I talk to wine people and I talk to water people, and they're the same. They're very passionate about sourcing where the water is coming from, and about the soil, so it's basically the same idea: You have a natural product-one is wine, the other is water-and you need to protect the environment around the source, and have other people around the world share the experience you have by delivering them the water (or the wine) in bottles. It's a very similar attitude.G: Isn't this all a little overblown?MM: People laugh about water, but I also enjoy chocolate dramatically. I would contest that most Americans have never tasted chocolate, because they eat Hershey's; that's not chocolate, that's a chocolate-like substance. Real chocolate comes from a plantation, from a particular species, and follows a particular process. That's what's happening as we move from bottled water into natural foods.Photo by Will Etling
This Tech Company Sent Four Black Women Engineers to Accept Award at the Crunchies They celebrated the diversity of their team.
Johnny Depp Plays Donald Trump in Funny or Die’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie It also stars ALF, Alfred Molina, and Michaela Watkins.
Iman Shares an Inspiring Quote a Month After David Bowie’s Death “Each tear is a poet…”
How Much Do You Know About People Watching You Online? Take this quiz to test your spyware savvy #TruthandPowerRead more at›
A Video Explaining White Privilege Stirs Up Controversy in a Virginia School It’s called “The Unequal Opportunity Race.”
Australian Engineers Develop the ‘Holy Grail’ of Condom Technology The contraceptive you’ve been waiting for.
This Tech Company Sent Four Black Women Engineers to Accept Award at the Crunchies Johnny Depp Plays Donald Trump in Funny or Die’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie Iman Shares an Inspiring Quote a Month After David Bowie’s Death A Video Explaining White Privilege Stirs Up Controversy in a Virginia School How a Poem Written for a Tiny Baby Brought One Son Back Home Australian Engineers Develop the ‘Holy Grail’ of Condom Technology Introducing the First Journal Solely Dedicated to Double-Checking Science Ashley Graham Is SI’s Newest Full-Figured Swimsuit Model Albuquerque’s New Program Gives Panhandlers Jobs Instead of Tickets Target Australia’s New Ads Feature Full-Figured Women in Lingerie Families of Mexican Drug Cartel Victims File Lawsuit Against HSBC for Money Laundering The Remarkable Story of the Oldest Female Bodybuilder
The GOOD Guide to Recycling The objects we discard aren’t trash. They’re a resource. Push for GOOD Spotlighting groups pushing to better their communities The Local Globalists Meet 17 innovators who are changing our future for the better. Project Literacy Building partnerships for a more literate future. Data for GOOD Harnessing the power of information. The 2014 GOOD City Index GOOD's annual breakdown of the most inspiring cities in the world. The GOOD 100 Find out what kind of global citizen you are in this immersive quiz inspired by our annual celebration of 100 creative changemakers.