Despite its exorbitant prices, the new trend of raw, unfiltered Live Water may actually be poisoning those who drink it.
Now, other startups like this “raw water” firm have contributed to an upswing in the buying and selling of untreated, unfiltered, unsterilized drinking water for human consumption.
According to a recent report by The New York Times, Live Water and several other startups have gained traction, particularly on the West Coast, over the past few years thanks largely to Silicon Valley venture capital. One Arizona-based firm, Zero Mass Water, which installs systems allowing people to collect water from the atmosphere around their homes, has already raised $24 million.
Meanwhile, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Doug Evans has embraced Live Water and become, as the Times wrote, “the most prominent proponent of raw water.” Evans, who brought 50 gallons of Live Water to the Burning Man festival this year, stated that the raw water trend now has a legitimate foothold: “I’m extreme about health, I know, but I’m not alone with this. There are a lot of people doing this with me. You never know who you’ll run into at the spring.”
Evans indeed isn’t alone. The Times reported that 2.5-gallon glass orbs of Live Water were selling for $36.99 (which includes the cost of the container) at San Francisco’s Rainbow Grocery. In the few days since that report went live, Business Insider stated that the price rose to $60.99.
“It has a vaguely mild sweetness, a nice smooth mouth feel, nothing that overwhelms the flavor profile,” store manager Kevin Freeman told the Times.
Matters of taste aside, those paying such a price for raw water are likely motivated by raw producers’ claims that treated water eliminates beneficial minerals and probiotics while adding in harmful chemicals. According to Singh (born Christopher Sanborn), as quoted in the 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.’ (There is no scientific evidence that fluoride is a mind-control drug, but plenty to show that it aids dental health.)”
Furthermore, Singh believes that raw water can cure certain ailments, including, for example, a mineral deficiency that was preventing one woman from being able to breastfeed her child, as Sing explained in this Live Water video:
Despite these claims, and Singh’s contention that even BPA-free containers can cause cancer, health experts have now condemned the raw water movement as wholly unsafe. According to Business Insider, which spoke with lawyer and food safety advocate Bill Marler:
“Unfiltered, untreated water — even from the cleanest streams — can contain animal feces, spreading Giardia, which has symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea and results in roughly 4,600 hospitalizations a year. Hepatitis A, which resulted in 20 deaths in a California outbreak in 2017, can be spread through water if it isn’t treated. E. coli and cholera can also be transmitted via untreated water… Most Americans don’t personally know anyone who died of Hepatitis A or cholera, thanks to advances in technology and more stringent safety standards. As a result, they had a hard time realizing the risks involved in consuming untreated water.”
In addition, as Dr. Donald Hensrud, the director of the Healthy Living Program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. told the Times, “Without water treatment, there’s acute and then chronic risks. There’s evidence all over the world of this, and the reason we don’t have those conditions is because of our very efficient water treatment.”
Nevertheless, Singh hopes to one day provide raw water — the “ancient source of all life,” as he calls it — to the entire world.
Next, read up on the Silicon Valley CEO who received just 30 days in jail for beating his wife. Then, learn about the biohackers using DIY science to give their bodies superhuman abilities.