I’m not a big fan of bottled water and I rarely buy it, but I haven’t given it a whole lot of thought either. Tom Standage on the other hand, who happens to be technology editor for The Economist, has given it a great deal of thought. In his New York times article he writes about a water taste test he conducted with some friends to see if anyone could distinguish tap water from bottled water. Only one person guessed correctly.
He claims that bottled water doesn’t taste any different and has about the same amount of additives and bacteria as tap water, and yet people are willing to pay exorbitant amounts for it. In fact, you may be surprised to find that bottled water costs more than gasoline.
The article hasn’t really changed my mind about bottled water because as I already said, I don’t buy it to begin with. For those of you who do read it, you may want to try a taste test.
Standage concludes by saying, “If you don’t believe me about the taste, then set up a tasting, and see if you really can tell the difference. A water tasting is fun, and you may be surprised by the results. There is no danger of a hangover.”
Update: Another downside of bottled water is the waste that it creates.