A Cure and A Poison
I never really started to think about such an obvious thing as water until we once came home from a swimming pool. The skin of my third child was all itchy, dry and red. I did not fully understand the issue until I had red eyes after every hair wash. Until I noticed that there are red deposits on our toilet which just wouldn't go away even after vigorous cleaning. And then, after doing my research, I realized that water, the substance you drink every day from a tap, that you shower with, that you make your tea with, can be a cure and a poison.
There exists a so called 'tap water toxicity', which encompasses a presence of toxins in our water supply — things like dangerous chemicals, compounds and metals. In 2009, Environmental Working Group found 316 chemicals in tap water throughout the U.S. There were, among others, lead, Chromium-6 or hexavalent chromium (remember the movie “Erin Brockovich”?), nitrates and others. Europe's water is contaminated as well - in France's rural areas, where agriculture is more prominent, tap water is more contaminated and, in some places, even polluted with pesticides, bacteria, and more.
Chlorine in water is another big issue which you may notice if you or your child have sensitive skin. There is a range of side effects associated with showering with chlorinated water including dry or irritated skin, hair that is brittle, dry or frizzy, hair loss, red or irritated eyes, iirritated sinuses.
I will not discuss here the question of fluoride in tap water as it is thoroughly explained in this article.
What Should You Drink?
After reading all these alarming facts, you might ask what the heck should you drink. Buying water in plastic bottles is not an option as plastic creates waste and after a big study in which 259 bottles from 19 locations in nine countries across 11 different brands were analyzed, an average of 325 plastic particles for every liter of water being sold were found.
Before moving to our new home, a renovated farm in french countryside, I meticulously reviewed all options. Bottled water? Nope. Unfiltered water from the tap? With fields all around us? Not an option. With four kids in our home and a serious issue with chlorine on my side, I wanted to be sure the water we drink is as clean as possible. Anyway, we should drink at least 2 liters of water per day, shouldn't we? After many reviews, we chose an at-home water filter with UV light to kill bacteria and microorganisms and reverse osmosis (filters that use a semi-permeable membrane that can trap any molecule bigger than water, more effective than carbon filters since they are able to remove fluoride). But as cooking with demineralized water, like reverse osmosis water, reduces the amounts of vitamins and minerals found in whole foods, we opted also for a remineralizer.