New book in Dutch

Eet vet word slank

Eet vet word slank gepubliceerd januari 2013

In dit boek lees je o.a.: * heel veel informatie ter bevordering van je gezondheid; * hoe je door de juiste vetten te eten en te drinken kan afvallen; * hoe de overheid en de voedingsindustrie ons, uit financieel belang, verkeerd voorlichten; * dat je van bewerkte vetten ziek kan worden.

Trick and Treat:
How 'healthy eating' is making us ill
Trick and Treat cover

"A great book that shatters so many of the nutritional fantasies and fads of the last twenty years. Read it and prolong your life."
Clarissa Dickson Wright

Natural Health & Weight Loss cover

"NH&WL may be the best non-technical book on diet ever written"
Joel Kauffman, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA

The Bottle Boom — Why Buy Bottled Water?

The bottled water fad

Part 1: Introduction

One of the most profitable schemes ever devised to deprive the gullible of their money must be the sale of bottled water. In the western world, tap water is about as safe as it can be and it is relatively cheap. Yet many people are prepared to pay up to 1,500 times as much when the same stuff comes in a bottle. In this paper we will consider this phenomenon.

The bottled water boom was indeed an unlikely phenomenon. Perhaps the strangest thing about it was that this bland commodity made its impact in Britain at the height of a recession and with raging inflation. There was a general lack of money in people's pockets, yet bottled water became an overnight success. Strange too is the fact that present water companies boast of the purity of their product, when the various impurities that mineral waters contain used to be the whole point of buying the stuff anyway.

Natural water is never purer than when it falls on the hills as rain. Once it hits the ground, however, all that changes. Seeping into the soil, it moves underground through passages and caverns carved over the millennia, eating away at the rock and dissolving metals, salts and minerals along the way. As it goes, its character changes, depending on the type of rock through which it passes. Eventually, it arrives in underground lakes or aquifers - the sources of most bottled mineral waters.

Throw out the Bath water?

Since Roman times, Bath Spa in Britain has been a centre renowned for its mineral springs and baths. Little has changed since Roman times. Bath spring waters have always had a reputation for health-giving properties because of their natural origins. But merely because they are natural and come from underground does not mean that they are safe to drink. A study carried out by the University of Wales found elevated amounts of several elements, regarded as poisonous, in the water. Bath's waters come up from some 22 miles below the surface. On their way they absorb quantities of fluoride and sulphates well beyond the safety limits set for tap water. It's the water which is good for you; it is usually better to keep the minerals out. The minerals can often do harm.

Over the past half-century there has been a distinct shift of opinion. Until the Second World War, the waters of Bath were advertised and promoted on the amount of radioactivity they contained. People believed that radioactivity was health-promoting. They don't believe that now and the radioactivity of Bath's spring water isn't mentioned today.

Travelling through the ground as it does, Bath's water picks up more than minerals. In 1979 a girl swimming in a pool dived down to where the source water was coming in and swallowed some of it. Five days later she died of amoebic meningitis. Tests showed that the amoeba was in the water and the pool was closed.

The fad in the bottle

By the 1970s people had stopped 'taking the waters'; the fashion had faded and the days of health-giving spring waters appeared to be over. But an advertising campaign by the French company, Perrier, in 1974 was to bring about a dramatic change. The Financial Times, in an article on the Mineral and Spring waters market, called the campaign a waste of time because bottled waters, it said, would be drunk only by cranks and foreigners. How wrong they were. Bottled water has become an extraordinary success story. Sales of bottled water totalled 3 million litres in 1976. In just one decade that figure rose to 128 million litres and by 1991 some 300 million bottles of mineral water were drunk in Britain alone. Wenche Marshall-Foster, Chairman and Chief Executive of Perrier UK, predicts that the market will rise to one billion litres a year by the turn of the century. A survey of 250 people from London and the Midlands, published in 1992, found that a quarter of them never drank water directly from the tap.

Perrier has been joined by many other companies eager to cash in on the trend. There are now 113 producers of bottled water in Britain, from large, hi-tech bottling factories to small, unsophisticated ones in garden sheds. All are attempting to cash in on the 1 million-a-day UK market. But the market is still dominated by the big names and supermarkets' own brands. Perrier owns Buxton Water, Contrex, Volvic, Vichy Saint-Yorre and others. Scotland's Highland Spring, which is owned by a consortium registered in Liechtenstein bottles for Tesco, Sainsbury's and the Co-op.

The image

Whatever the brand name, the image they project is the same - cleanliness, purity and health. To sell a commodity at a high price to people who can get it for next to nothing out of the tap, the image is all-important - and not always realistic. Buxton Water is advertised on television and the bottle with pictures of the beautiful Derbyshire landscape. The water is bottled in an industrial estate next to a busy railway yard. Glyndwr Spring Water, on the other hand, is bottled by hand in a portacabin in a field. Where they are bottled does not mean that they are necessarily contaminated, but neither does it mean that they are necessarily safe to drink. What is important is what is happening on the catchment area from which the water is taken.

Water is water. What gives the different bottled waters their particular characteristics is the minerals and chemicals that they pick up in their passage through the ground; and they will pick up any and all. Most of the water is taken from a rural environment. This means that to be safe to drink, what happens on the earth through which they flow must be strictly controlled. For example, cattle and other animals excrete waste material. Ground around springs should not be used for grazing. Over large areas, there should be no pesticides or herbicides used. Do these areas get the degree of control they need? Nobody knows - there is no information.

Although all bottled waters are believed to be from natural springs, some are not. Some are from the same surface water sources as the local tap water, and some are tap water.

Marwin UK Ltd., based in a Manchester industrial estate, markets a bottled water called Purefect 95. This comes straight out of a tap from the Manchester main water supply and is then purified further by the company. Purefect 95 is not spring water but it is probably one of the cleanest and purest bottled waters on the market because the company's purification is in addition to all the checks, cleaning and treating that the regulations demand of its public supply source.

Purefect 95's label proclaims, 'Purefect 95 is produced here in Manchester from upland water sources utilising the latest treatment techniques. It is purified by a series of specialised processes which remove unwanted or potentially harmful chemicals giving you a wholesome water for all your drinking and culinary requirements.' With no minerals, no organic or inorganic chemicals and no bacteria in it, Marwin can claim with justification that it is the best bottled water you can buy.

Purefect 95 is not the only bottled tap water. In the South, Crystal Spring is bottled from London's tap water, and the soft-drinks giant, Schweppes, is planning to bottle tap water in Britain just as Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola already do in the USA. The BBC1 consumer programme, Watchdog, looked at 'Designer Waters' on 27 September 1996. The programme concentrated on Crystal Spring, which is made in the basement of a London restaurant and which sells for 2 a bottle in around two-hundred other restaurants. They found that the only differences between Crystal Spring and the London tap water from which it is made were slightly raised levels of copper and zinc and, because the chlorine had been removed, bacteria levels 10,000 times higher! Crystal Spring may still be safe to drink despite these high levels - but it cannot be as safe as the original tap water.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Related Articles