moldybluecheesecurds 2

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Save your teeth, your health, and your wallet with tap water?

Bottled water has become a multi-billion dollar industry in the past decade, even thought as much as 25% of bottled water is the same stuff that comes from the tap. In recent news, the shift to drinking bottled water has shown some unfortunate side effects. The prevalence of cavities has increased sharply in kids ages 2-5, and the causes range from snack foods to sugared drinks to too few dental visits. But one doctor found another reason for the tooth decay problem:
A reason is that parents are giving their children more processed snack foods than in the past, and more bottled water or other drinks instead of fluoridated tap water, Dr. Dye [of the National Center for Health Statistics] said.
The presence of tooth-shielding fluoride in tap water gives it a health benefit that bottled water makers don't match. In one step further, municipal water supplies also meet more stringent health standards than bottled water, requiring more frequent tests for pathogens.

But what about flavor? ABC News tested another of the myths, that bottled water beats municipal water in flavor. The result?
In our test of bottled waters, Kmart's American Fare -- the cheapest brand -- won. Big-seller Aquafina came in second.
Iceland Spring tied the ordinary tap water for third place. Fifth place went to Poland Spring, and in last place, by far, with almost half the testers saying it tasted bad, was the most expensive water -- the fancy French stuff, Evian.
If health and safety aren't sufficient reasons to stick to tap water, maybe your wallet will be. Bottled water (at 75 cents per 16 oz) costs $6 a gallon - mostly to pay for the brand label and the plastic bottle - but tap water costs $0.01 per 10 gallons. You read that right, bottled water costs 6,000 times what tap water does.

Yeah, I'm biased against bottled water and that doesn't help those of you who have "flavored" tap water. A nice compromise (which I employ) is a standalone filter pitcher or a tap attachment. These carbon-based filters can remove funky flavors without removing the fluoridation (so says chemistry teacher SPH). The filters can last for several months (at about $5 a pop), saving money and reducing waste plastic.

No comments: