04 February 2011

Post 314: Bottled and Sold

Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water by Peter H. Gleick. ISBN: 9781597265287.

You know what, I'm not a big fan of advertising. I don't find the majority of it useful in selecting what company I'm going to buy something from. Many of the products that get advertised the most heavily are practically indistinguishable from each other and so the only real difference comes out to a preference in price and packaging. Because of this, II consistently buy off brand soda, toilet paper, ready made foods like macaroni and cheese, and other products because it means I'm not paying that extra thirty cents to have an annoying ad campaign run on my tv, pop up on my computer, or distract me while I'm driving.

The idea of having to advertise water is especially ridiculous to me. Given our biological need to drink a certain amount of water a day to feel well, why does anyone feel the need to push it on us? Certainly there are many options of what kind of water to drink, whether it's tap water, Poland Spring, Dasani, or some health nut eco-friendly brand, but if I need to drink water I'm probably going to go with the most easily accessible and cheapest option. I need at least 64 ounces of water a day to sustain my bodily functions. Given that water comes in anywhere from 16.9 ounce to 24 ounce bottles, even at the larger 24 ounces I'd still have to buy three bottles to get my daily recommendation. Since I can't find pricing information for the 24 oz, I'm going to go out and take a look at the vending machine at my apartment. Be right back.

Okay, now I need a cup of tea because my fingers are too cold to type. The things I do for you, readers.

So, my apartment complex has a Coke vending machine that sells 12 oz cans of Coca Cola (2), Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, Mello Yellow, Sprite, and 10.1 oz bottles of Dasani Water (2). Everything costs $0.75. However, let's pretend that my water has been shut off, for whatever reason. I would have to pay $5.25 in order to meet my daily requirement for drinking water. Sure, I could go to Walmart or Meijer and buy the 24 pack of 20 oz bottles for about the same price, but multiply that by the average number of days in a month, and now I'm spending $157.50 on water.

Somehow I doubt that the majority of that money would actually go to the production or testing of the water. I'm less interested in drinking bottled water and more interested in having greater access to safe, clean tap water. If bottled water is cleaner and safer, then the answer is not to buy bottled water, but to be pissed off that we're paying taxes and utilities for something that is not being delivered. You know what would be a great way to get revenue to rework and improve water facilities? Taxing bottled water. Problem solved, I'm awesome.

My review can be found on Goodreads.
LibsNote: Free digital review copy provided by NetGalley.


  1. I drink water constantly, at least while I'm at home. I don't know if I'm overdoing it or not. The thing is, when they tell you "You must drink X glasses of water a day," some of that water comes from the food you eat, especially if you eat a lot of vegetables. So a lot of it is bottled water companies hoping people will freak out and take overpriced water with them everywhere.

  2. Dan,
    The worst thing that will happen if you drink too much water is that you will pee a lot. This is still more or less good for you as you will flush out a lot of toxins and what not. It is possible to overhydrate your cells to the point where it is harmful, but you would pretty much have to be trying to do that and I don't know of anyone who consumes water in that way.

  3. I think to really cause harm to yourself, you need to be drinking gallons at a time, in short order. Like that lady who killed herself trying to win a Wii.

    Me, I just pee a lot.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...