Silicon Valley is home to quite a few different bizarre health crazes, like biohacking. Their latest craze involves drinking untreated raw "live water," and it feels like something straight out of a Parks and Recreation episode. Actually, it kinda is, to be honest.
According to an extensive feature from the New York Times, this new "live water" movement involves people wanting to get away from tap water. Their argument is that the filtration processes remove "beneficial minerals," healthy probiotic bacteria, and disconnect drinkers from "big infrastructure." It's gained so much appeal that folks are willing to pay up to $60 per gallon to get their hands on this untreated, unfiltered water.
One of the allures to this raw water is the fact that it doesn't contain any fluoride. The chemical is commonly used to treat our water and kill bacteria, but Live Water CEO Mukhande Singh told the Times that it does more harm than good.
"Tap water? You're drinking toilet water with birth control drugs in them... Call me a conspiracy theorist, but [fluoride] is a mind control drug that has no benefit to our dental health."
By drinking unfiltered water, those in the movement feel that they are drinking more pure and healthier water, and the lack of fluoride is a big reason. However, what folks aren't taking into account with the raw water is that it's chock full of bacteria and pathogens, many of which are deadly. Cholera, giardia, E.coli, and Hepatitis A are all just some of the commonly found microbes to watch out for.
It was fluoride that got these out of tap water and eradicated most of those diseases from first world countries to begin with. The thought of risking the returns of those potentially deadly illnesses should be enough of a warning to know not to drink raw water.
For those who need more convincing, a controversy like this has been discussed before in Parks and Recreation. In season 6, episode 8, main character Leslie Knope is fighting to prevent a fluoride ban on the drinking water of Pawnee. However, fear mongering of fluoride as a dangerous "chemical" has the town convinced that the ban should go through. Luckily, some clever marketing from Aziz Ansari's character, Tom Haverford, persuades people that the health benefits far outweigh the fear-mongered risks.
Maybe someone should try pitching T-Dazzle to the live water advocates to help save them from the eventual sicknesses they will develop if they keep drinking the unfiltered stuff.