California is a technological advancement hub but it has had its fair share of anti-science health trends. These include an opposition to vaccines, which in 2014, led to the most significant outbreak of measles seen for decades. An equally outrageous trend has now started and is called the raw water craze.
This is unfiltered, untreated, raw spring water, which might even seem clean at times but can still spread diseases like cholera, hepatitis A or giardia. That is not all. This raw water is bottled up and marketed by startups like Live Water and costs $36.99 per 2.5-gallon containers and it costs $14.99 to refill at the co-op Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco.
“It has a vaguely mild sweetness, a nice smooth mouthfeel, nothing that overwhelms the flavor profile,” Kevin Freeman, a manager at Rainbow Grocery, told the New York Times. “Bottled water’s controversial. We’ve curtailed our water selection. But this is totally outside that whole realm.”
Mukhande Singh (formerly Christopher Sandborn) founded Live Water three years ago in Culver, Oregon, but then moved to Los Angeles. Pure water can be obtained via reverse osmosis filter, but Singh claims that is not the goal. “You’re going to get 99 percent of the bad stuff out,” he said. “But now you have dead water.”
Singh believes that real water expires. “It stays most fresh within one lunar cycle of delivery,” he said. “If it sits around too long, it’ll turn green. People don’t even realize that because all their water’s dead, so they never see it turn green.”
He also had his concerns about public water. “Tap water? You’re drinking toilet water with birth control drugs in them,” he said. “Chloramine, and on top of that, they’re putting in fluoride. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it’s a mind-control drug that has no benefit to our dental health.”
Well, he is a conspiracy theorist, because there have been a number of studies showing the benefits of fluoride to the dental health. “Without water treatment, there’s acute and then chronic risks,” Dr. Hensrud, the director of the Healthy Living Program at the Mayo Clinic said. “There’s evidence all over the world of this, and the reason we don’t have those conditions is because of our very efficient water treatment.”
Hensrud compares the Raw Water craze to the anti-vaccination movement and says that it is equally stubborn. Water treatment eliminated diseases like cholera in the US that is still a cause of 143,000 annual deaths worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that contaminated water is the leading cause of deaths worldwide.
3.4 million people die globally because of it and 844 million people on the planet lack access to clean water. The raw water trend among the elite, who can afford the expensive medical treatment is only an insult to the millions who can’t even afford to get clean drinking water.
You can watch the video on Live Water here.