* Alchemy Farmhouse *

What it means to be from…the toilet?
August 13, 2008, 10:13 am
Filed under: Alchemy Farmhouse
The way it flows at Alchemy Farmhouse...

The way it flows at Alchemy Farmhouse...

Today I’ve got water on the brain. That’s not very different from most days, but today I’d like to share it with all of you. Here at the Farmhouse we are very lucky to have some seriously fresh well water that is crystal clear and not the least bit funky. You can drink it without worry. Obviously we know this is not so for much of the developing world, not to mention some places in our own country that have questionable water such as Native American reservations and astoundingly, Long Island NY, one of the richest places on earth. One of the biggest problems with the tap water in these locales is that they are infiltrated by chemicals in their groundwater such as perchlorate (rocket fuel!) and MTBE (a gasoline additive), which are chemicals water-treatment plants are not required by law to check for. If they are not required to be tracked, more than likely, any filtering is ineffective in removing it. But I digress…

My real purpose today is to ask you to consider where your drinking water comes from (tap or bottle, well or municipal, ‘Maine’ or ‘Fiji’) and look a little more into what effect that has on your health and that of the community it comes from and the environment surrounding it. For example, in her book Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It, Elizabeth Royte becomes intimate with the workings of Fryeburg, Maine, the small town where Poland Spring is born and bottled.  Swiss company Nestle owns Poland Spring (and most other waters you’ve drank), and has caused more than a few problems for the area, including lost pressure in residents’ wells, lower temperatures in surrounding surface water (leading to algal blooms and fish kills), and more. [Nestle is not that reputable to begin with, having marketed baby formula to already destitute African nations, and violating rights of Sierra Leone cocoa workers up the wazoo.]

Royte is also the author of the article “A Tall, Cool Drink of … Sewage?” from this past Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. The article details Orange County, CA’s new toilet-to-tap water reuse system, infrastructure that could become a reality that saves us if people could just get past the taboo. That is where today’s title comes from, and I urge you all Google a bit and check out what I have posted about here. See if you can feel better about water reuse and understand the implications of bottling water, both the environmental expense in petroleum and water depletion, and socially of purchasing water when ours is one of the best and cleanest systems in the world.  Check bottle labels if you must purchase water. Where is it coming from? Is it simply purified drinking water, such as Dasani or Aquafina? These brands purchase from municipal water supplies and ultra-purify it. This means they can take water from just about anywhere in the country, rather than shipping from one area only-a small plus for them environmentally. Is it Artesian water, such as Fiji? All bottles are shipped from the south Pacific, though now they claim that “every drop is green” thanks to their carbon offset program. It’s not green to simply buy off carbon points, is it really? One last thought–those of you who are courageous enough to brave the public water systems and use a employ a reusable bottle such as the one I use from Camelback, remember to buy one that is BPA-free, but that’s a whole ‘nother post:) Much love today guys…


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