Tag Archives: water

A Water Café

I…I…I don’t know what to say to this:

At Via Genova, the fare runs to cold Italian sandwiches, salads, desserts and Hawaiian coffee.

Then there’s the water. As the cafe’s ad says, it’s the “ultimate hydration station.”

The stock comes from 15 countries on five continents and costs from $4 to $55 a bottle. The menu provides a bit of history for each brand, and discloses its pH and “total dissolved solids” content. Several of the bottles are corked.

I’ve first hand experience in finding out that there are taste differences in water. But there is something perverse in selling water as a prestige item.

tags technorati : water

Diet Water

I’m not sure I want to waste any words on this product, but its premise is so clearly based on market trends and wanting so desperate to cash on on the multi-billion dollar diet industry.

Janna Skinny water states that it

…contains selected essential nutrients, which combine the benefits of hydration with vitamins, minerals, and clinically tested natural ingredients that suppress appetite, block carbohydrates from converting into fat, and increase fat burning, without stimulating the nervous system.

Of course, they also note that the previous statement “has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease”.

Meanwhile, they get to sell …ahem…water, at 2 bucks a bottle. All the while making promises that they readily admit that the FDA has not proven to be true.

At the same time, Museum of Hoaxes notes that:

On one page they claim that:

Jana Skinny Water is made with a specially processed natural artesian water with a hint of fresh lemon (patent pending).

But then on another page they write that:

The essence of Jana Skinny Water’s pureness lies in the fact that nothing comes between you and Jana… Bottled at the source, Jana natural artesian water is not altered or processed in any way.

So which is it?

Indeed, which is it?

Bottled Water, pt 2

In follow up to my previous post about bottled water, I think it’s clear from the comments that there is indeed a market for bottled water, albeit one that’s less extensive than the one we have currently. My neighborhood grocery store, QFC, commits half a grocery aisle to bottled water, most of them non-descript and easily interchangable with one another. That’s a lot of space for what is essentially the same product. Consider how odd it would be if your grocery store committed half an aisle to say…salt.

Purely by chance, I found myself walking around Seattle last evening, and ended up at a Starbucks. Right there on their menu is a bottled water called Ethos Water. There approach to bottled water is a bit different from what I’ve seen elsewhere. From their website:

Founded in 2002, Ethosâ„¢ Water takes a unique, socially responsible business approach–it is the bottled water that helps children around the world get clean water. It’s a powerfully simple concept…Water for Water.

Every time you purchase a bottle of water we will contribute 5 cents toward our target goal of $10 million over 5 years. By transforming every purchase into an opportunity, we can directly engage a growing community to help solve the world water crisis.

Granted, this approach sounds a bit tinged with liberal guilt, but it does sound as if their heart is in the right place, and at the very least acknowledges the issues brought forth by Tom Standage’s article in the NY Times.

The Politics of Bottled Water

There’s another food type op-ed in the New York Times (this is indeed a good trend to see). This time the topic is bottled watered and the politics thereof (LI: accidental PW: hedonist)…

Bottled water is undeniably more fashionable and portable than tap water. The practice of carrying a small bottle, pioneered by supermodels, has become commonplace. But despite its association with purity and cleanliness, bottled water is bad for the environment. It is shipped at vast expense from one part of the world to another, is then kept refrigerated before sale, and causes huge numbers of plastic bottles to go into landfills.

Of course, tap water is not so abundant in the developing world. And that is ultimately why I find the illogical enthusiasm for bottled water not simply peculiar, but distasteful. For those of us in the developed world, safe water is now so abundant that we can afford to shun the tap water under our noses, and drink bottled water instead: our choice of water has become a lifestyle option. For many people in the developing world, however, access to water remains a matter of life or death.

The author of this piece (Tom Standage, author of “A History of the World in Six Glasses”, a book currently in my ‘must read’ pile) touches upon several points which I agree with completely, and new ones which I hadn’t considered.

At some point in the past ten to fifteen years, bottled water has become de rigeur for reasons that I have yet to figure out. Yes, with some bottled water, there is a significant taste difference when compared to tap water, but between the bottled waters themselves, the taste differences are so subtle that I’m not surprised that anyone can claim the market share.

The one big difference in taste between tap and bottled comes from many municipalities adding chlorine to the water to kill off bacteria. Chlorine has a specific taste, but it’s easily removed with the use of a Brita water filter. Naturally the larger beverage producers have already figured this out, and have added several brands of bottled water that are simply tap water with the chlorine filtered out. For those of you not link inclined, here’s what you need to know…Coke owns Dasani, Pepsi owns Aquafina, and Dr. Pepper/7 Up owns Deja Blue.

The bottled water pandemic has affected many food operations. Try to get a glass of ice water at a movie theater, and they’ll point you to their bottled water. At one point, Coke was in bed with Olive Garden, creating a plan where the servers would try to sway the Olive Garden customers who wanted only ice water to purchase Dasani bottled water instead of their restaurants tap water. In short, many companies are wanting us to pay for items that we can get (nearly) free right out of the faucet.

I’m not immune to these ploys. Although I rely heavily on my Brita pitcher (Thanks Tara), at the movie theater I’m stuck. At dinners out, mineral water is on the menu. Now I have to rethink my position.

The larger issue here (which I am probably not devoting nearly enough words) is how can we as a culture commodify something that is a necessity of life? As Mr. Standage notes “The logical response, for those of us in the developed world, is to stop spending money on bottled water and to give the money to water charities.”

For those interested, some of those charities include

  • A Glimmer of Hope
  • Somali Poverty Relief and Rural Development Organisation
  • Water for Children Africa
  • El Porvenir
  • Water Aid
  • Waterlife

Why the Coca-Cola Company is evil

Soft drink giant Coca-Cola has admitted it is selling purified tap water in a bottle.

I knew it! Tap water is NOT.. repeat NOT mineral water! Evil bastards!

How to boil water

I’m not being snarky here (snarky = to be a prentetious, patronizing butthead). There is great debate on what is the proper way to brew/steep tea. You will need the following:

  • tea kettle
  • ceramic or porcelin tea pot
  • tea strainer
  • A cup from which to drink

The steps are as follows:

1). Using non-chlorinated water. (I’m serious about this bit, more than any. Chlorinated tap water makes a bigger difference in tea than it does in water alone).
2) Pour water into tea kettle and bring to either a) a boil if your making black tea…or b) almost to a boil if your making green tea.

3) While water is heating, put a tea spoon full of tea for every cup of tea you wish to make (sheesh.. sorry about that) into the tea pot. If you want to be British or Irish in your tea making, add one additional tea spoon of tea for the pot. This will insure a deeper taste of flavor, sometimes to the detriment of the tea, but that’s those crazy brits for you. (NOTE: Do NOT use that metal tea infuser that comes with all tea pots. Let the tea leaves sneak there ways to every area of the pot to ensure that you get an even steep. Use the infuser for something more practical…such as a small cage for house flys)
4) Once the water arrives at the temperature you need, pour water from kettle into tea pot.

5) Allow to steep. Get out your timer (You DO have a timer don’t you???). Black teas need to steep for three minutes, green teas for two.
6) Pour tea into cup, using a tea strainer to catch tea leves.

7) Drink and feel superior to all those folks still drinking tea made with tea bags.

That’s it. Enjoy!

Barley Water

Actually, this is simply apple juice infused with the esence of barley and figs. But the lemon zest and honey also add a nice touch.

  • 3 1/2 oz Barley
  • 2 1/8 qt Water
  • 1 Fig
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 tb Honey
  • 1 pn Salt
  • 1 cn Applejuice

1.Cover the barley and the fig with water and cook for 1 1/2 hour.

2.Strain through a sieve.

3.Add the honey,applejuice,salt,lemonjuice and the grated lemonpeel.