"Raw water" is the latest movement to take hold on the fringes of society where the status quo, such as vaccinations and water filtration, are called into question.
Startups like Oregon-based company Live Water and Zero Mass Water in Arizona are peddling unfiltered, untreated, "off-the-grid" water to stave off wariness from those who see danger in filtered water.
Live Water's 2.5-gallon glass orbs contain "raw," unsterilized water that goes for $60.99 a pop, according to Business Insider (originally $36.99 each, before The New York Times wrote a story on the off-grid water movement). It's not the "dead water" we're used to, says Live Water founder Mukhande Singh to the New York Times. Singh says Live Water stays fresh for "one lunar cycle" before it turns green. He claims forest water helped his neighbor breastfeed her child again.
Singh (formerly Christopher Sanborn) believes public water has been poisoned, saying tap water is essentially "toilet water with birth control drugs in them" and fluoride and chloramine, chemicals used as important safety measures, are "mind control" drugs that have little benefit to our dental health. There is plenty of scientific evidence that shows fluoride aids in dental health and no evidence known to back up Singh's claims of mind-control.
Meanwhile, Zero Mass Water utilizes a less extreme off-grid water alternative: installing systems that pull water vapor from the air before it is filtered and minerals are added. Raising $24 million in venture capital, the company has installed its filtration system called "Sources" on mansions in California and even as far as orphanages in Lebanon.
Tap-water skeptics do not inhabit a brand new consciousness about the dangers of filtered water. In the 1950s, the U.S. Public Health Service made it an official policy to treat tap water by fluoridation as a reasonable measure to improve public health, analogizing it to mandatory vaccination.
And yet, even today, both vaccination and water fluoridation are still contentious subjects in the fringe communities, only this off-grid water movement is backed with million-dollar funding from Silicon Valley and the zeitgeist in the health and wellness culture.