America's new found beverage love... Water

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

bottled-waterIt was not all that long ago that America had a serious love affair with all things soda. Now, a new drink, which is in fact an old flame, is taking the country's heart by storm.

As New York City grapples with the legality of a ban on the sale of large cups of soda and other sugary drinks at some businesses, one thing is clear and that is that soda has run as the nation's beverage of choice has fizzled out like a flat Coca Cola. In its place we find a favorite for much of history, namely plain old H2O, also known simply as water.

But, while this is a great move, no doubt, the problem is that in most cases this water still has an enormous impact on the environment as it is, more often than not, bottled water, drunk in the belief that it is healthier than tap water, this is but a myth. This myth is, however, being perpetuated by the bottled water suppliers, including soda companies such as Coca Cola and Pepsi.

For more than two decades, soda was the No. 1 drink in the U.S. with per capita consumption peaking in 1998 at 54 gallons a year, according industry tracker Beverage Digest. Americans drank just 42 gallons a year of water at the time.

But over the years, as soda increasingly came under fire for fueling the nation's rising obesity rates, water quietly rose to knock it off the top spot.

Americans now drink an average of 44 gallons of soda a year, a 17 percent drop from the peak in 1998. Over the same time, the average amount of water people drink has increased 38 percent to about 58 gallons a year. Bottled water has led that growth, with consumption nearly doubling to 21 gallons a year.

It was not too far back in history that tap water was the top drink but then in the 1980s, carbonated soft drinks overtook tap as the most popular drink, with Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Inc. putting their marketing muscle behind their colas with celebrity endorsements from the likes of pop star Michael Jackson and comedian Bill Cosby and, I guess, that everybody thought that if those people endorse it then it must be good. Not considering that the main ingredient in both of those colas is phosphoric acid, an industrial cleaning agent and one which, when mixed with chlorine bleach, turns into phosgene gas. Lovely stuff, eh?

The problem with the new found love affair of the American nation is that the water that they are consuming predominately is not tap water but bottled water that the advertising agencies suggest to them to be purer and cleaner than tap. And who are the greatest water bottlers? Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Inc., and their best-selling waters are, wait for it, from municipal sources; in other words nothing more than tarted up tap water. And the consumer pays a hundred times more for it per liter than for tap. Nice marketing ploy.

There is no “smartwater” or “vitaminwater”... it is water, period and if you do not like the taste of your tap water – and the chlorine can be tasted at times – then use a Brita filter or similar and if you want to really go the whole hog as to safety then use a water distiller such as the Megahome Water Distiller. But go for tap and use a reusable water bottle. Your wallet and the Planet will thank you.

© 2013