Innovation or charlatanism? The fashion of raw water

Innovation or charlatanism? The fashion of raw water


Raw water is thriving in the US. According to enthusiasts, the water we drink is contaminated by chemicals, so they offer the product without treatment. Check here at Eat Innovation why you should stay out of it.

When I heard about this new product, I thought for three days if I should write about it. Not because I want to avoid a good discussion, but because this kind of product needs everything but publicity. In times of flat Earth and anti-vaccines, it is even dangerous that untreated water is considered an innovation.

Anyway, I chose to write because the news finally reached the Brazilian media, it will not be long before the enthusiasts of the subject appear (fear!) And the best antidote to ignorance is to share knowledge, so let’s get to the point?

What are we talking about?

Briefly we are talking about raw water. This is untreated water, sold in a store in California, Rainbow Grocery, the “delicacy” goes by the name of Live Water and costs about 6 euros a liter and comes from a spring in Culver, in Oregon.

raw water live water san francisco 2

The salty price of water that turns green in a month. The name is suggestive: fountain of the truth.

The product was caught up in the “water awareness” movement. According to company founder Mukhande Singh, using a reverse osmosis filter, you will have sterilized water, but it will be a dead water, so raw water turns green if not consumed in up to one month, a lunar cycle time (really!). He also states that public water is poisoned.

Christopher Sanborn, the founder, prefers to be called by the name he adopted, Mukhande Singh, his guru name.

It is worth saying that the government and the food industry do not want to kill you. Forget the conspiracy theories, keep it simple: you consume products and pay taxes. Why would they want to kill the source of profit?

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The search for pure water is not new, there are several theories against fluor and chlorine that are added to the water of the public system. Because of this, products like this flourish and profit from people desperate for health. At Liquid Eden, a San Diego water store, there are a range of options that even include alkaline water from “mineral electrolytes,” they already sell more than 900 gallons of water per day.

Other startups of the genre have emerged in recent years, such as Tourmaline Spring and Zero Mass Water, both in the US. The first, markets bottled raw water and the latter sells a complete system of nearly $ 5,000 to obtain 10 liters of water per day directly from atmospheric air. Demand is so high that Zero Mass has raised $ 24 million in venture capital.

Tourmaline Spring

Tourmaline Spring

Zero Mass Water and the CEO, Cody Friesen

What are the risks of raw water consumption?

  1. Basically there is the risk of contracting any waterborne disease, including cholera and E. coli. And that’s the biggest reason.
  2. There is misleading advertising, the benefits attributed to the product are not proven, and the beliefs that guided the founder to the creation of the company are worthy of the best plot of fiction films. He believes that the water in the public system has contraceptives among other equally stupid beliefs. It’s just pseudoscience.
  3. The rules for the sale of bottled water are imposed by each state, there is an acceptable limit of chemicals and bacteria, but Tourmaline Spring has obtained an exemption in its state and so says that it is within the law and in fact it is. What about consumer safety? Whose responsibility is it if someone drinks contaminated water?
  4. The nomenclature is uncertain, some call raw water, others prefer living water, real water and even unprocessed water, which hampers the understanding of the consumer and further reinforces the idea that processed are bad and unprocessed are good, and that is how foods are also treated today.
  5. Thinking coldly as an innovation specialist, to be considered innovative the product needs to be better than the existing alternatives and in this case is not, on the contrary, is worse.
  6. Still talking about innovation, one of the biggest advocates of Live Water is Doug Evans, creator of the already bankrupt Juicero (we have analyzed the Juicero case and the reasons that led to its ruin in this post here).

There is nothing that prevents adults from buying all kinds of useless thing, there are those who buy even air in pots (this is also serious, see the news here), so whoever wants to challenge the luck, know well the risks involved.

Can taking such a risk be considered healthy?

References: TecMundo, Business Insider, The New York Times, Time, Jornal Nacional, Grub Street, Forbes, Indian Times

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