Sunday, October 29, 2006

The 'Bottled Water Lie'

It's only a little more than two decades since this country went from drinking ordinary tap water to spending a bunch of money every week on bottled water instead. As a business model, the success of Ballygowan rivals that of Ryanair, and has been lauded for that.

And as we all know, practically every county in Ireland now has a producer of bottled 'spring' water that claims to be better than everyone else's, and certainly better than the tap water.

But why did we bother? I certainly don't recall any great demand to get away from putting a glass under the tap. On health or any other grounds.

Answer: because we were 'marketed' into it. I just came across this piece on the similar situation in the United States which is real food for thought (Yep, remember that water is the most essential 'food' for life).

And another thought to ponder: how come everybody feels they can't leave home without a bottle of water clutched in their fists, certainly in the city? They seem to need to take a gulp every hundred metres along the footpath. Their parents never did, and again I've no recollection of anyone out for an afternoon's shopping in those days dying of drought. Though at the price charged for a third of a litre of the bottled stuff, or a cup of tea in some of our fancy cafe-bars, there might be a point.

Hmmm ... I remember as a youngster playing in the woods around Castlemartin being able to drink from Pinkeen stream whenever our cowboys and indians exertions made us thirsty. Given the obvious effluent in there now, I'd not recommend it. But I'd have no qualms quaffing from a mountain stream.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are areas in Ireland where you are advised not to drink the tap water. I have friends in Newport, Tipperary that have this problem and they buy bottled water by the gallon. Also, I remember hearing of a similiar problem in Ennis.