Here in ever-loonier Silicon Valley, it seems the latest craze is raw water. Yes, True Believers, you read that right; raw water. Excerpt:
High-profile Bay Area denizens are skipping tap water in favor of drinking unfiltered, untreated, and expensive “raw” water that comes straight out of the ground, Nellie Bowles reports for The New York Times. Proponents claim that raw water’s health benefits include naturally occurring minerals and microbes. But the reality for any inadequately treated water from the tap or a spring is that those minerals can sometimes include arsenic, and those microbes can be deadly.
The trend is borne of distrust for the public water supply, Bowles writes — including the disinfection processes the water undergoes, the fluoride that’s sometimes added to it, and the lead pipes that might carry it. But adding fluoride prevents tooth decay. (“There is no scientific evidence that fluoride is a mind-control drug, but plenty to show that it aids dental health,” Bowles writes.) And disinfecting water is key for preventing the spread of dangerous viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
In fact, civilizations have been trying to clean up their water supplies for millennia. As early as 1500 BCE, the ancient Egyptians are said to have clarified cloudy water using techniques similar to ones we use today, according to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency. “Sanskrit and Greek writings recommended water treatment methods such as filtering through charcoal, exposing to sunlight, boiling, and straining,” the report says.
Get that bit in the first paragraph: “…naturally occuring minerals and microbes.” Here’s a naturally occurring microbe for you: Vibrio cholerae, the organism that causes cholera. Here’s another: Entamoeba histolytica, which is a common organism causing severe dysentery. It seems to have slipped the minds of these Silicon Valley nitwits (and I use the term ‘minds’ in the broadest possible sense) that these two diseases alone have been responsible for the deaths of millions, and also that the ancient Egyptians and Romans were all aware enough of the dangers of contaminated water that both societies, over two thousand years ago, knew how to make water safe to drink by filtering and/or boiling.
Nitwittery, it seems, knows no bounds. Anyone looking for a good investment opportunity? Find a local NoCal company specializing in treatments for waterborne illnesses. I suspect such diseases are about to spike.