The first health craze of 2018 has officially found us, people. 'Raw water' is the latest trend to sweep the foodies and health folk of San Francisco — at least, those with a wealthy income.
Live Water is offering unfiltered, untreated spring water for those seeking an alternative to bottled and tap water (the former being bad for the environment and the latter arousing concerns about flouride and contamination due to lead pipes) and wish to exclude themselves from the water system altogether. The demand is so high for raw water that prices start at $36.99 for 2.5 gallons, and has even risen to as much as $60.99 in some grocery stores since the New York Times first reported on the craze five days ago. And apparently, it sells out almost immediately.
The idea presented by the company is that human beings are meant to consume the microbes that exist in natural water — the problem is, as the Center for Disease Control points out, those microbes can be deadly, causing parasites, viruses, and even Cholera or Hepatitis A. It's for this reason that the CDC recommends that even hikers in the wild treat natural water by boiling it or using chemicals.
Now, this is not to say that our water system in the U.S. isn't flawed; the life-threatening conditions of water supplies in Flint, Michigan due to lead pipes revealed an infrastructure that clearly needs work. But positioning ourselves outside the system altogether is not necessarily the solution.
So far, no deaths or serious disease have been linked to the drinking of raw water in Silicon Valley, but the 'product' is still new — only time will tell.