Is it possible I was the last to know?
I mean, really, do all the rest of you already know about the K9 Water Co. that markets four types of “vitamin-fortified” bottled water for DOGS?
That would be Toilet Water (chicken flavor), Gutter Water (beef), Puddle Water (liver) and Hose Water (lamb).
Trust me, I’m not making this up. My imagination isn’t that good.
During a recent panel discussion at New York University’s Fales Library – part of NYU's "Critical Topics in Food" series - I learned about the pooch hooch from my fellow panelist Alex Prud’homme.
Apparently, manufacturers want us to believe that it’s not just water they’re selling but a “beverage.” To that end, we now have Toilet Water, Tibet 5100 from Tibetan glaciers; Kona Deep from 3000 feet under the surface of the ocean around Hawaii; Cloud Juice, which is rain water from Tasmania and, swear to God, Holy Spring Water said to be blessed by a rabbi, a priest, a monk, and a shaman.
Am I the only one that finds this sheer lunacy?
Pets owners who shell out big bucks for flavored bottled water was just one of the fascinating factoids dispensed by the group. Moderated by national restaurant consultant Clark Wolf, the “Water: A Global Discussion of a Critical Topic” panel featured Marion Nestle, the author of “What To Eat” and professor of Nutrition, Food Studies & Public Health at NYU; Chef Rick Moonen of rm seafood and r bar café in the Mandalay Bay resort, Las Vegas; Prud’homme, who co-authored “My Life In France” with Julia Child and who is currently writing a book about water; and myself.
The hour-long discussion will soon be on-line at the NYU TV & Media Archive. In the meantime, consider these “sound-bites” from the discussion:
** “The consequences of bottled water have an enormous effect on the “social contract,” said Nestle. “Water is supposed to be free and a mark of what a society does for its people.” But, she continued, with the “privatization” of water today, the water fountains on the school playground are broken or turned off and kids are forced to buy water or do without.
** Dentists are reporting a significant rise in the number of cavities in Americans of varying ages. Instead of drinking the municipal water (that tax money typically pays to fluoridate), citizens are drinking bottled water that contains no teeth-protecting fluoride.
** Some bottled water companies are attempting to deflect criticism by “creating serious initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint.” Fiji Water claims to pump a percentage of profits (the exact percentage not revealed) into forest preservation of Fiji. Icelandic Glacial sends a portion of profits to African villages in need of sanitation facilities. Starbucks’ Ethos water has a similar “altruistic” program. The panelists recognized these efforts, while expressing cynicism over the companies’ motives, and suggesting that the world would be a better place if those bottles of water hadn’t been manufactured, filled, transported, refrigerated, sold and dumped in landfills in the first place.
** “There’s absolutely no evidence” that humans need to drink eight glasses of water a day, said Nestle, adding that there’s plenty of water in other things that we eat and drink, from coffee and tea to foods such as lettuce and, even, she joked, in vodka.