23 July 2009

Health Bites: Pepsi To Post Aquafina Is Tap Water

It's about time! PepsiCo, manufacturers of Aquafina, are considering finally printing on their labels that the contents are plain old tap water.

Yes, for those of you who didn't notice that the label doesn't say spring water, that's because it's not. Don't feel too bad about it. This deception by omission is also used by Coca-Cola too with Dasani. Better yet, they are often tap water that's been bottled far from the city or town where they are sold. So, your bottled water purity depending on how well the city where it's bottled cleans their water, and how long it sits out in trucks traveling the hot sun transporting to you. Makes you not want to spend $2 per bottle though, doesn't it?

I used to be a bottled water drinker, and I especially loved to drink spring water. I was willing to pay a lot for water from exotic places like France and Fiji. However, I also really liked a bottled spring water from a local company. I chose to drink bottled water partly for the clean taste, but also the convenience, especially when traveling.

There were two main reasons I switched from drinking bottled water. First, I read articles that pointed out that spring water that wasn't any cleaner than my local water. I found out that Edmonton tap water has been consistently rated as some of the cleanest water in the world. The techniques they use to purify the water, before and after it's used, make it cleaner when it is returned to the river where we draw it.

I have an uncle who works for EPCOR at the main water treatment plant. He's told me about the process for cleaning water, and more importantly, the maintenance of the plants. It's incredible to hear about the tiny values that they consider to be unacceptable contamination.

Second, I read things about the whole BPA scare that didn't scare me, but did make me think about what I'm putting in my body. I don't see a reason to put something that's supposed to be good for you but contains an X-factor that they don't fully understand yet.

Keeping in mind that tap water, which we take for granted in Canada and waste in ridiculous amounts, is not free. We pay for it every month, just like we pay for gas or electricity. Basically, it boils down to me being cheap and not agreeing with paying extra for something that is provided to me at such a low cost.

Now, I try to drink only tap water or filtered tap water from a SIGG bottle I carry with me (light blue Power Grip Sports Bottle pictured), or hot drinks from a stainless steel coffee mug I keep in the car. At work I use my trusty Pisces mug that's been with me since college.

I use a Brita water filter on the advice of my naturopath, but I don't have a problem drinking unfiltered Edmonton tap water. I find the water here to be very sweet, and its rare that we have any aftertaste. In my house we have two filters: Sweetie likes cold water, but I like it room temperature.

I admit that I'm not a total purist when I travel, because I believe in the adage that you won't get an upset stomach if you don't drink local tap water when you travel. I eat the local fruit, but I only drink bottled water.

What do you use to hold your drinks? Do you filter your water?

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