…but, which drop to drink?
Our kiddos slept over at Grandpa and Grandma’s house last night. Lark has previously had sleepovers with them (and without us), but this was Hart’s first time.
We headed down to Seattle early this morning in order to pick up the final component for our Pacific Northwest cheeseburger – which will be ready to reveal on Monday. I got to thinking about what I should write about today in lieu of an iconic American food post.
Here in Washington, we are surrounded with water. There’s ocean. There’s lakes. There’s falls. And, of course, there’s rain. Water is so important when it comes to cooking, and for life in general, of course.
The properties and benefits of water are pretty obvious to most, but let’s have a quick run down on a few fun water facts.
1 According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are made of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. I assume that not drinking enough fluids is probably bad for your health. Maybe, a little bit.
2 Being that it is made up of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms, it could technically be called dihydrogen monoxide. Offer your party guests a glass of this at your next dinner 😉
3 Each serving of fruit contains up to approximately 1/2 cup/120 ml of water. So, eat ’em up, buttercup.
So then, as an avid local food eater, what is there to say about water?
In the Pacific northwest, we are fortunate enough to have access to decent tasting tap water straight from the faucet (at least in my experience for the most part). Not everywhere is as lucky. When we lived in Arizona, tap water ranged from tolerable to… ermm… disturbing.
When it comes to looking at the alternative, you can buy bottled water. In a 2011 study by Food Surveys Research Group, they found that the average person aged 20 and older was drinking 60% of their total plain water intake as tap water and the remaining 40% as bottled water each day. This did vary somewhat by age and gender. Our local tap water is sourced from the lake near our house. However, what about bottled water? Is there really any point locally sourcing that?
When you consider the great distances which that water may have had to travel in order to arrive in your fridge, you should be able to start putting together a few other pieces of the puzzle. Many bottling companies (reportedly almost half) use “municipal” water sources – meaning tap water. They do treat it in some manner, but I see little reason in my mind to drink someone else’s tap water. If you really love your bottled beverages, you could look into a locally sourced company – whether spring or otherwise. I am sure there is water bottled from our local mountain ranges: the Cascades.
Something else that that study found which I thought was pertinent to the subject was that 76% of people over the age of 2 drink some plain water on any given day. I didn’t actually find this to be a particularly encouraging statistic. Let me explain why:
First, finding how many children under the age of 2 lived in the US in 2011 proved pretty difficult, but population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau in July 2015 suggest that there were approximately 24.2 million under 5. That same bureau stated that the total population was 311.7 million. So, even if we subtract the larger figure of those under five from the total population and proceed to calculate 24% of that amount… Well, that’s 69 million people in the US who aren’t drinking plain water on an average day.
I know that this is actually a personal struggle of my own. So, let’s drink more local plain water together. Starting today, I will be drinking an increasing amount of plain water. Let’s call it the Local Plain Water Challenge.
- Day one: drink one eight-ounce glass of plain local water.
- Day two: drink two eight-ounce glasses of plain local water.
- Day three: drink three.
- Etc. Until you reach eight full glasses of plain local water.
- Challenge complete.
*Make sure you are drinking a total of at least eight glasses of fluid (including your plain local water) each day to stay healthy.
Let’s get hydrated plain and local. #localplainwaterchallenge
From mine to yours,