California has always been regarded as the hub of logic and rational thinking and they’ve proven it once again with their recent discovery of the benefits of ‘raw water’. This is bottled water that comes straight from a pond or a river or a spring and gets bottled without the benefit of any chemical treatments. The important aspect of that statement is that I‘m not kidding. People are now giving testimonials about how drinking raw water enhances their health and sense of well-being. They will never drink treated water again. Probably because they won’t live long enough to.
I know most people would prefer to not drink chemicals, just like most people would prefer to not take medication, but they should. Let’s try a little reverse engineering on tap water to try to understand the rationale behind water treatment. By the time it comes to your house it’s been filtered and treated with alum to remove the particulate and socked with chlorine to kill the bacteria and maybe even given a splash of fluoride so your teeth don’t fall out. Why do they do that? Is the city in bed with the chemical companies? Do they like wasting money? Are they just stupid? If raw water is so great, why doesn’t the city just stick a big pipe into the nearest river and pump that straight into your house?
It’s not because they’re wasteful, it’s because they don’t want you to die. Or at least they don’t want to be responsible for killing you. It’s a big part of their job. They’ve looked at the evidence and have decided that sticking your head into a pond and taking a big gulp is probably not all that good for you. They’re convinced that there is bad stuff in raw water. And so am I. Mosquito larvae and spider webs and tree roots and rotting fish. And the main offender – poop. Lots of poop. Nature is a wonderful place but it does not have restrooms. Animals that live in the water, poop in the water. There’s a reason fish don’t swim on the bottom. And not just fish poop. Turtle poop and muskrat poop and weasel poop and the biggest treat of all – bear poop. So if somebody pours you a glass of raw water, hold it up to the light, look at the little specs floating around in it and try to guess which one is gonna put you in the hospital.
Of course the raw water thing is just an extension of the movement towards all natural, organic meat and vegetables. There are a lot of people who want to take the chemicals out of the farming process. The logic is that whatever they spray on the vegetables to give higher crop yields or feed to the cattle to make them grow faster, is going to end up in peoples’ bodies and hurt them. Or even kill them. Nobody wants that. If you thought processed food was dangerous, you wouldn’t eat it. And neither would I. But I do eat processed food because I don’t believe it’s dangerous. I haven’t done any research. I really don’t know anything about it. If I googled ‘the evils of processed food’, I’d probably be paranoid too. Instead I just bumble along with my approach to life. I have a pretty simple way of looking at things, including all-natural organic food, based on four premises:
Premise #1 – I am not immortal. I will eventually die of something, even if it’s boredom.
Premise #2 – I trust people. I don’t believe the food industry is trying to kill their customers.
Premise #3 – I like value. Until somebody convinces me that organic food is going to make me immortal, I’m not willing to pay double for a head of lettuce that has a two-day shelflife.
Premise #4 – Historical evidence. Four hundred years ago there were no chemicals sprayed on crops and no hormones injected in cattle. Everything they ate was all-natural organic and the average life span was 37 years. Why would we want to go back to that?
I don’t run marathons either but that’s a whole other blog.