Lesson #1 Water, the Essence of Life!

Discussion in 'You Are What You Eat!' started by skip, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

    Water, the essential ingredient for life, is the most important thing that we drink. It makes up 70% of our bodies. Yet we take it for granted, and most of us really don’t pay attention to its quality, nor the quantity that we imbibe.

    Potable water is becoming more scarce and expensive every day around the world. As big corporations attempt to privatize control of water sources from the public utilities, the average person must pay more and more for what was once a “free” public resource.

    So as with food, water too is becoming a political issue. We must keep this in mind when we consider the implications of what we eat and drink and how we vote.

    Our health is directly related to the quality of water that we drink. Even in the most developed western countries, water quality varies greatly. Whatever the source, it’s important for you to know where your water comes from, and what is in it.

    To find out this information, you need only contact the agency that manages your water supply. They should be able to provide you with a detailed analysis. This should indicate any (but not all) contaminants measured, including the usual metals and chemicals they test for in addition to nasty micro-organisms that might be present.

    Unfortunately these reports don’t always include all contaminants, and in fact may omit some that aren’t routinely tested, like mercury. I’m aghast that my water district doesn’t test for mercury, yet they draw water less than a mile from an abandoned mercury mine (on the EPA’s superfund list!). Therefore I have no idea how much residual mercury is present in my water supply.

    You might have a similar situation where you live. I remember years ago I lived in Las Vegas, and one summer nearly everyone in town came down with severe diarrhea. It turns out a nasty organism was making it past the treatment process, but there was no public acknowledgement of this fact.

    When I went to the doctor to get the remedy for it, (flagyl), nearly everyone in his waiting room had exactly the same problem. It was major health crisis, but the powers that be preferred to keep it quiet, rather than risk a downturn in tourism to Vegas.

    So you can never be sure what you are drinking. Therefore, I recommend you filter all water you drink using a three-stage process if possible. I use PUR filters because they’re guaranteed to filter out 99.7% of the mercury in the water. They also filter out the nasty micro-organisms like Giardia.

    You might think this is an over-reaction, but it’s just being smart, and preparing yourself for a world in which most food and drink is contaminated.

    To be clear, I’m not concerned at all about the usual bacteria found in our water supply. I don’t subscribe to the “anti-bacteria” marketing hype that big business is foisting upon us. I find those products to be abhorrent and counter productive. By killing the most common (helpful) bacteria, it allows the worst kind of bacteria, the most resistant to thrive.

    It’s the man-made contaminants that should concern us most. The more water you drink from one source, the more likely you are to eventually have health problems if the water isn’t pure enough.

    Water is important for cleansing your body of excess elements. If you were going to do a water fast, you certainly should be aware of the quality of what you’ll be imbibing exclusively for the fast.

    The quantity of water that we drink is important too. The recommended daily requirement varies according to a number of factors. But the image of celebrities with the ever present Evian bottle in hand is a reminder to always keep yourself well hydrated, especially when exerting yourself, and when it’s hot.

    Be aware of your hydration level. There are signs that we are becoming dehydrated, but they’re easily ignored. Dry mouth, lack of perspiration, headache, dizziness, dark urine, weakness, nausea and vomiting.

    If you develop the habit of always having a drink handy, you’ll avoid the problem.

    Another issue is how much to drink while having a meal. I know people who rarely drink while eating a meal. This seems foolish to me for a number of reasons. Not only can it lead to dehydration, but it impedes digestion. Drinking helps your digestive juices get diluted and disbursed through the stomach. It also helps you expel any air/gas trapped amongst the food you’ve just eaten, thus preventing that “bloated” feeling later as the gases make their way thru your digestive system.

    It’s reached a point now where most people rarely drink plain water anymore. It’s got to be bottled, flavored, carbonated, sugared, colored for most people to drink it. Not only is this more expensive and bad for the environment (too many plastic bottles), but it’s obviously less healthy than drinking straight water.

    Even “pure” bottled water, is mostly just city tap water that’s been treated with chlorine and other chemicals. So why buy your water pre-bottled, unless there is no other choice where you live. Even for convenience, why buy a bottle to take with you in the car, when you can just fill up a non-plastic container over and over from the tap?

    This is where awareness of what you’re doing is important. You make so many choices everyday that affect the rest of the world. By supporting the commercial “water industry,” you empower them to take control of more public water resources, to further market their products world wide (imagine the wastefulness of ships full of bottled water going around the world!).

    Our bodies need water everyday. The form in which we drink it, determines the economics and politics of our future water supply. We must keep our water from being controlled by a few corporations for profit.

    Assignment: Contact your local water supplier and obtain a recent report of the water quality in your area. Check to see that it contains measurements of those contaminants you are most concerned about locally. Question the water supplier about other contaminants not listed in the report. Decide for yourself if they’re being completely honest and report back to us what you find, and whether you are going to do something about it, like installing/using a filter. You could also take a sample into a laboratory for testing if you don’t mind paying for it. I recommend all homeowners, and those drinking well water do this!
  2. Bilby

    Bilby Freerangertarian Staff Member Lifetime Supporter Super Moderator

    In the words of Bill Mollison,
    " Water is my responsibility."
    However the more I look into it the more complications arise from collection it myself. What about lead flashings on roofs of soft solder used galvanized rain water tanks?

    Druminnmama says in Colorado people are not allowed to collect their own rain water. That sounds like fascism to me but there again I am not a resident of the USA.
  3. Fedora

    Fedora Member

    Hi Skip,

    I checked on the water report for our city. It was easy to download off internet. It looks like there are a lot of N/A's showing. And since you had mentioned mercury I called to ask. The person I talked with said they checked for a lot more than showed up on the charts but when something did not register they did not put results or list it. There were no violations for the year 2006 (2006 all that was available he said over the phone). He said another would be posted next year. Most of the things showing up were middle of the road between the two extremes of normal. One thing that has always bothered me though is about once a year we get a notice saying that something was found in our water that could possibably be dangerous but was taken care of so there was no farther reason to be worried or some reason why water was cloudy. We purchased a water purfying system that attaches to the end of our spicket last year and are pleased with it. It is a BRITA system. I also apprecieated you writing about the bottled water b/c in the past we have drinked a lot of it. We used to reuse the plastic bottles until we heard this was a great place for bacteria to grow. But I do want to check into other type bottles to refill. I think the herb store down the road sells a non-plastic version. Anyway thanks for teaching the class and look forward to reading more from you. Peace be with you!!!
  4. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

    Fedora, that sounds a lot like the same type of report I get. I think they're somewhat standardized now. I get annual reports and notices when they exceed some limit.

    What I wonder is whether they would admit a chronic unsolvable problem?
  5. Divinaeon

    Divinaeon Member

    My town's water report seems to be extremely healthy...with the exception of a lot of minerals in it, which can always be removed with a filter. Cheers to good water!
  6. wyldwynd

    wyldwynd ~*~ Super Moderator

    does boiling water actually work in making it clean drinking water?
  7. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

    No. It will only kill micro-organisms. If you have toxins in the water it won't affect them at all. So heavy metals and other pollutants remain. Although there is the possibility of a further chemical reaction due to the heat. If anything it would act to combine the chemicals into even worse forms...

    Boiling water is only worth doing if you are unsure about the levels of bacteria or other life forms in the water, usually from outdoor sources (streams, lakes, etc.)
  8. wyldwynd

    wyldwynd ~*~ Super Moderator

    I got the water report for this area, and there were no violations,,the water report was good. They do add flouride to the water :( i looked up how to remove the flouride from the water and there is filters available that will remove it, but also i wanted to add that boiling water with floruide in it, concentrates the flouride, which would make it worse! Soo yah boiling water is not a good option to purify water.
  9. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

    Boiling water will remove some of the chlorine as it evaporates. But in the process of boiling, chlorine gas is released, which isn't too healthy... esp. if there are ammonia fumes present (the two together will kill you). But that happens whenever you boil water, so it's not that big a health risk. The levels of chlorine are usually pretty low in drinking water.
  10. wyldwynd

    wyldwynd ~*~ Super Moderator

    It seems like boiling water doesnt help it at all, but actually makes the water worse,,,thanks for the information skip !!! cuz i was always under the impression that boiling water did help.

  11. shaggie

    shaggie Senior Member

    Here's a useful page that compares various water filters.


    I've used the Pur filters and they work well.

    The Aquasana AQ-4000 is a neat unit.


    It has a hose that connects an external filter that is much larger than the Pur faucet-mount units. The cost per gallon is about half that of the Pur. With the Aquasana there's nothing bulky attached to the faucet. Looking at the table in the first link, it filters better than the Pur.

  12. shaggie

    shaggie Senior Member

    I've recommended the Pur and Aquasana filters to various people. Often times, they say that the filtered water tastes 'unusual'. I ask them what they mean, and they say that it doesn't taste like anything or that it's flat. Then I tell them, "Good! That means it's working!"

    People get used to the taste of minerals in regular tap water. It seems strange when you taste nothing. The filtered water doesn't have any plastic taste either that one often gets with bottled water.

  13. RainbowRoot

    RainbowRoot Member

    Hi All :)

    A friend, whose mother works for the towns water supply company, came across some private readings and informed me of a really disturbing "problem" the water suppliers have been struggling with...

    When people have been undergoing kemo therepy, unfortunatly some of the radiation gets into the water supply in the vomit flushed down the toilets. There is no known water treatment that can rid the water of this radiation so they have chosen to keep quiet about it.

    I don't understand why they dont have patients vomit in waste recepticals or something, instead. Maybe someone can help me with ideas on how and who to pitch that idea to?)


    On a happier note there is scientific evidence that water responds to positive and negative energies (In music and in spoken and written word) in ways which impact our health.

    I wish I still had the link... But I saw this documentry online about this chinese doctor who developed a fascination for the way water crystalizes. Tap water blobs when frozen and pure spring water makes beautiful crystals.

    Distilled water looks neither blobby or crystalized and seems kind of -neutral-. However when played classical music distilled water will crystalize.

    They also taped various words to jars of water from which they took samples to freeze and found that negative words like "you fool" would turn frozen distilled water blobby while positive words like "thank you" would make the distilled water crystalize when frozen.

    A mother and son heard about this project and tried it with rice using the same words. The rice which had "you fool" was told "you fool" by the son every day for a month, it turned black and moldy. The rice with "thank you" on the jar was told "thank you" by the son each day, and after the month period was a golden colour and had a sweet smell like fermented rice.

    Needless to say after seeing this I made a beautiful patch for my water jug. It says "very happy water" and has many rainbows on it. Guests who notice seem to think its very cute :)

    Thanks for reading! :rainbow:

    <edit:> So I almost forgot!! Water that crystalizes when frozen is being used sucessfully by this doctor to treat illness :)
  14. see, my problem is that my apartment complex is on a well system...we dont go through city utilities...
    i contacted my landlord on this matter, and he said that it is tested the same way the city tests their water and it fits all criteria that city water does. hes kind of a shady character, anyway.
    so, i started to look at what else i could do, filter wise. they actually make refillable water bottles that have filters built into them...in cheater than dirt...(a catalog i get) you can get one with replacement filters for like 15$.
  15. i wish you did know the site, that sounds interesting as hell :)
  16. BeOna

    BeOna Member

    For some reason? I have the feeling that humans may not have acess to storebought water filters at some point. Does anyone know how to make a decent water filter?
  17. CrystalDove

    CrystalDove Member

    I looked at the report for NYC water which was very convinient to find as Fendora did. I was impressed by its pH of 7.1. Thats pretty much perfect if itwasnt for the .1. And as for the crystalization of the water, that is so interesting. I might follow RainbowRoots idea and make somethin similar to her container and make my water happy!
  18. flytothe_sky

    flytothe_sky Member

    My water report seemed pretty good, on the list of contaminants there were no violations.
  19. Lady of the Freaks

    Lady of the Freaks Senior Member

    reverse osmosis filtration combined with a carbon/ceramic filter is the only way to get most the contaminants and biological hazards removed from drinking water. as far as i know, nothing claims to remove all radioactive compounds. in the case of fluoride, you have to change the filters more frequently than the manufacturer recommends because after a few months the fluoride level starts to rise again. the special filters for removing fluoride are activated alumina, and i wouldn't use them unless you plan to monitor your filtered water for aluminum content. this gets expensive. but then, so are medical bills, time lost from work due to illness, etc. ideally you should have some way to divert the 'wasted' water from the RO filter where it is used rather than just running it down the drain. the cheapest way of all to filter water is to stop polluting mother nature's natural water filtration system, of course.
  20. RiffRaff

    RiffRaff Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    I was able to get my water report online too. It actually gave what components where of a level that caused a violation. These are:

    Haloacetic acids (HAAs) - a common undesirable by-product of drinking water chlorination. Exposure to such disinfection by-products in drinking water has been associated with a number of health outcomes by epidemiological studies, although the putative agent in such studies has not been identified.

    Trihalomethanes (THMs) - chemical compounds in which three of the four hydrogen atoms of methane (CH4) are replaced by halogen atoms. Many trihalomethanes find uses in industry as solvents or refrigerants. THMs are also environmental pollutants, and many are considered carcinogenic. Trihalomethanes with all the same halogen atoms are called haloforms.

    Not good. I'm glad I'm using a filter. I use one of the best on the market, eSpring. If anyone would like information, pm me.

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