There is a new health trend sweeping through the United States — and it’s one of the most bizarre yet.
According to Business Insider and the New York Times, an American start-up called Live Water is selling nine-liter glass “orbs” of raw water for a staggering $78.
Demand for the spring water — which is unfiltered, untreated and unsterilized — is so high in San Francisco that stockist Rainbow Grocery can’t keep enough stock on the shelves.
The Live Water website uses a stream of pseudoscientific buzzwords to tout its wares, posting: “In its natural cycle, water is infinitely chemically and energetically complex. Water goes down into the soil and becomes the perfect probiotic as it passes through microbes and microorganisms in the humus. It picks up bioavailable monoatomic elements and minerals that just can’t be replicated.”
But it’s just one of a handful of raw water companies which have sprung up in the US in recent years, with start-up Zero Mass Water actually installing systems for customers so they can collect water from their own properties.
According to the New York Times, there’s even an underground movement of pure water aficionados who enter private property in the dead of the night to collect natural spring water for free.
Raw water enthusiasts claim regular water — the stuff found in taps — has had important minerals and nutrients removed through the treatment process. They are also wary of fluoride which is added to tap water and the lead pipes which water passes through on the way to our kitchens.
Unsurprisingly, health experts have slammed the dangerous trend, and they say raw water can contain harmful bacteria including cholera, E. coli, Hepatitis A and giardiasis.
Food safety advocate Bill Marler told Business Insider the fad could be deadly. “Almost everything conceivable that can make you sick can be found in water,” he said.