By Susan Burke March
To hear the raw foodies tell it, you’re missing out on “pure” nutrition by cooking foods. They’ll tell you that raw is the way to go, and of course, like all fads, there’s a small amount of insight or truth in something otherwise false or nonsensical. Read my column about raw and cooked foods here.
However, there’s no sense behind “Raw Water”, the latest craze in the United States. As reported in the New York Times, in San Francisco the co-op Rainbow Grocery charges $36.99 for 2.5 gallons of “unfiltered, untreated, un-sterilized spring water.” The founder of “Live Water”, an Oregon company marketing unfiltered spring water in glass bottles, claims that filtered water is “dead water”. Advertised as containing nutrients that “processing” removes, this means any number of harmful bacteria and parasites can be present, including those that transmit cholera, E.coli, salmonella, Hepatitis A, and giardiasis. Gee. Anything can be in water – collected downstream from, say, even an organic farm. That grows organic livestock. That produces organic waste. That gets into your very expensive “pure water.” As noted in The Washington Post, “… raw water may contain minerals, but you can get the minerals you need from a healthy diet — and the risk of harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites is not worth any benefit from trace minerals.”