Silicon Valley’s Newest Obsession: Raw Water

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In one of the stranger new fads to come around, raw water has come onto the scene, touting itself as an unfiltered, untreated, and unsterilized spring water. If you’re thinking of buying some, I hope you don’t mind spending about $36.99 or more for as little as a 2.5 gallon jug of the stuff. People who swear by this stuff say that this “raw water” contains beneficial minerals that are removed when water is put through filtration and purification treatments. In addition, it is said to not contain any chemicals, like fluoride, that are normally found in tap water. Mukhande Singh, the founder of a raw water startup, told the NY Times, “Tap water? You’re drinking toilet water with birth control drugs in them. Chloramine, and on top of that they’re putting in fluoride. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it’s a mind-control drug that has no benefit to our dental health.” The water is said to have a “sweet, yet smooth taste” according to a store manager that sells gallon jugs of raw water.

Raw water has been around for several years, but has since become more popular with many Silicon Valley executives. Doug Evans, the founder of “smart juicer” startup called Juicero, announced last year that he went through a five-day “water fast” in which he only consumed raw water. Another Silicon Valley software developer said her skin was “plumper, and revitalized” and that her body was absorbing nutrients better after drinking raw water for a week. 


While it shouldn’t have to be said in the first place, it needs to be understood that water that has gone through some sort of treatment or purification is absolutely crucial. These treatments removes a wide range of contaminants in water, including parasites, bacteria, and pesticides. In the developing world, access to clean water is a huge issue that has caused widespread illness and even death. Diseases can absolutely originate from water-borne bacteria, including cholera, which poses a major threat in third-world countries. While our clean water system is not perfect here in the United States, it is still considerably safer than most countries, which attributes to our low amount of illnesses caused by bacteria or parasites in the water we drink. 

The raw water trend is another example of people eschewing hard science in lieu of supporting unfounded claims in health trends that are referred to as “all-natural” or “organic”. People will think that things were better before when everything was done without preservatives or protections in place, but in reality, they are there to protect you and keep you healthy. This raw water trend is not only an unnecessary drain on your wallet, but also poses a critical risk to your overall health, while being backed up by many different expert opinions. This serves as an important reminder for us to truly research what trends we choose to follow, and to develop an understanding of what it is, rather than buying into a herd mentality.

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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