Raw food advocates have been expounding the health benefits of a “raw” diet for a long time, but now there is another “raw” fad that has come into existence and it is not a food. It is water!
Raw water is water that has not been treated, processed, or filtered and so contains all of its original properties as nature has deemed it to be.
While not quite a mainstream diet craze as of yet, raw water, as it has been coined recently in a New York Times article, has been picking up steam and there are new companies cropping up every day trying to profit on the potential health fad that may be looming on the horizon.
It’s An Expensive Habit
One thing is for sure, natural water is not cheap. Just how much does natural water cost? As of right now, one can find a 2.5-gallon bottle of raw water for $36.99. Now that is some expensive water!
Despite the high price tag, raw water companies have been experiencing a shortage of supply as the demand for natural aqua has been increasing on a daily basis, so much so that venture capitalists have seen a huge potential in this product and are pouring money into these new raw water startups just as fast as consumers are buying what they are selling.
Treated Water Vs Raw Water
Perhaps the first question that should be answered is if treated water is safe.
Experts in the field of public health and safety are quick to point out the tremendous benefits that treated water has had on public health in the United States.
After the U.S.started incorporating filtration and treatment methods for public drinking water over a century ago, many illnesses like cholera, almost completely disappeared.
Still, raw water does have some added benefits that treated water can not offer. For one thing, natural water has no fluoride or any other harmful metallics and substances that are often associated with treated water. It also contains essential minerals that the body needs since it has not been tampered with and stripped of its nutritional components.
This does not mean, however, that untreated water is completely safe as mother nature also provides her water with natural substances, such as arsenic and radon, that are not friendly to the human organism.
This is one of the main reasons public water was introduced in the first place, to regulate and diminish the amount of naturally occurring contaminants in the public water supply.
The Final Verdict
While it might be too early to reach a definite verdict as to the safety and health benefits of raw water over treated or filtered water, institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO) cite a list of diseases that could be induced by drinking untreated water.
The list includes:
Raw water enthusiasts, however, still maintain that treated water strips the water of many beneficial minerals and adds many harmful additives to the water that can cause long-term health consequences.
Not to be deterred by this argument, public health officials still believe that untreated water poses more of a threat to health than the substances added during filtration and chlorination do and that the main purpose for drinking water is to hydrate the body and not to increase mineral intake. That, they say, is the job of food.