This New 'Raw' Water Trend Is Idiotic and Expensive

Unfiltered, unsterilized, and untreated water is already 2018's worst idea.

San Francisco, the worldwide leader in things nobody asked for, may have finally outdone itself. As reported by The New York Times, unfiltered, unsterilized, and untreated "raw" water is now a thing—such a thing, in fact, that the companies bottling it are selling it to us for $15 a gallon. And at places like Frisco's Rainbow Grocery, it's flying off the shelves.

Let's just get right into it: This is a terrible idea. According to the World Health Organization, waterborne diarrhoeal diseases alone are responsible for 2 million deaths each year. Though many of these occur in underdeveloped nations, the same types of contaminants can be found in the rivers and the lakes that you're used to—and moreso as climate change-related weather events cause chemical spills, sewer backups, and flooding, like the kind we saw in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico just in the past few months. 

So why opt for water that could potentially be contaminated with toxins, diseases, and E. coli bacteria? Well, the answer is obvious: Mind-control! "Call me a conspiracy theorist," says Mukhande Singh (formerly Christopher Sanborn), founder of "raw" water company Live Water, "but [fluoride] is a mind-control drug that has no benefit to our dental health." As the Times points out, fluoride's dental benefits are widely proven; the science is still out on mind-control. (Live Water's glass containers hold 2.5 gallons of "raw" water and go for $37 each, $15 for a refill.)  

Others cite "probiotics," better taste, and government control of tap water as their reasons for buying into the trend. 


In an era of anti-vaccination activists and Tom Brady's trainer, the idea of Silicon Valley giving "raw" water companies millions of dollars to mainstream incredibly dangerous pseudo-science should come as less of a surprise—but it's still disheartening. Guys, water filtration is good. Toxins are bad. Or, as The Washington Post's health, science, and environment editor put it: Do not be a fucking idiot.     

To: Anybody who drinks or is considering drinking "raw water." From: Everybody who has ever died of cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, or tooth decay. Message: Do! Not! Be! A! F! -ing! Idiot!
—Laura Helmuth (@laurahelmuth) December 31, 2017


This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Nate Erickson
Senior Lifestyle Editor
Nate Erickson is the senior lifestyle editor for He covers food, drink, travel, technology, and all other lifestyle topics.
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