By Elizabeth Royte
Having already passed milk and beer, and moment now purely to soda, bottled water is at the verge of turning into the preferred beverage within the kingdom. The manufacturers became so ubiquitous that we are rarely unsleeping that Poland Spring and Evian have been as soon as actual springs, effervescent in distant corners of Maine and France. in simple terms now, with the water buying and selling within the billions of bucks, have we started to question what it really is we are consuming.
In this clever, finished paintings of narrative journalism, Elizabeth Royte does for water what Michael Pollan did for nutrition: she unearths the folk, machines, economies, and cultural tendencies that carry it from far away aquifers to our supermarkets. alongside the best way, she investigates the questions we needs to unavoidably resolution. Who owns our water? How a lot may still we drink? may still we need to pay for it? Is faucet secure water secure to drink? And if this is the case, what percentage chemical substances are dumped in to make it potable? What occurs to all these plastic bottles we supply round as predictably as mobile phones? and naturally, what is larger: faucet water or bottled?
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Extra resources for Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It
He designed a green bottle shaped like an Indian exercise club, the kind he’d used to strengthen his arms after the automobile accident; the shape would become as unique to bottled water as Coke’s shape is to soft drinks. He invented a slogan—“the champagne of table waters”—and, ignoring the French market for the time being, sent his little bottles to the British army in India. The military endorsed the product, and Perrier went on to conquer thirst in the other British colonies, and then at Buckingham Palace.
America had hundreds of regional bottled-water companies in the nineteenth and even twentieth century. But the bottlers focused, for the most part, on home and office delivery: they supplied offices with water for coolers. Single-serve water bottles, known in the biz as “packaged water,” hadn’t entered the public consciousness. All that changed with Perrier. S. revenues of $110 million. Perrier’s lighthearted TV ads, which had a lot of fun with bubbles, were ubiquitous. They gave American consumers the idea that a touch of luxury was not beyond their means.
When I tell a local I bought an egg-salad sandwich at its deli counter, he physically recoils. The main drag features a bank, a few utilitarian stores, a smattering of private offices, and the Fryeburg Water Company, whose unprepossessing appearance, on the bottom floor of a two-story frame house, belies the company’s position at the red-hot center of Fryeburg’s multimillion-dollar water woes. Fryeburg is old, established in 1762, and a little inbred: the same dozen names show up on buildings, parks, cemeteries, hills, and rosters of elected or appointed officials.