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Avoid Bottled Water: Preventing
Disease for You and the Environment

Every sip of water you take can help prevent disease for you and the environment. Drinking sufficient water daily can prove beneficial for many reasons:

1. Water helps the body break down food for digestion and absorption
2. Water lets us utilize certain vitamins, like Vitamin C that need water to break down and perform their function
3. Water is necessary for respiration
4. Water hydrates and lubricates cell so they can carry out their functions of maintaining and achieving growth.

In essence, water is essential for life. Our bodies don't produce enough of it daily so we need to obtain it from outside sources, otherwise known as food and beverages. In addition to essentiality for humans, it is essential for land. Water is needed for plants to thrive and grow and photosynthesis. Therefore, contamination of the water supply via the environment is contamination to our bodies.

It is easier to spot dirty water by site than it is to spot a dirty environment. You can see what is in a clear substance but you can't see what is mixed in the soil. Since the environment deserves the same treatment we do, it behooves us to treat it in the same respectful way.

One easy way we can aid in decreasing contamination to the environment is through the water we drink. As citizens of the earth, we have the right to clean, unadulterated pure water. In recent years, large food companies have encouraged us to think differently. They have convinced us to pay for and confine to disposable plastic containers what used to be free flowing. This has come with high price to the environment.

Plastic containers are both harmful and costly. Populations are putting trillions of plastic bottles in the garbage yearly, a number that is steadily increasing. Plastic bottles leach BPA (Bisphenol-A), a toxic chemical that is now entrenched in the soil. Many other side effects of plastic production have been linked to Breast and other types of cancers. In addition to damaging effects on the land, there are damaging effects on our wallets. Bottled water costs thousands of times the price of tap water and is often full of the same contaminants. We can use affordable water filters to reduce the contaminants in tap water by more than 95%. Use a reusable BPA-free water bottle like CamelBak or any reputable stainless steel (preferably insulated) bottle for storage and portability of your filtered water.

If we continue on the destructive path, we will only have ourselves to blame. Drink plenty of filtered water for health and drink it for free. Your body and the environment will thank you.

Shari Portnoy, MPH, RD, LD/N is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. She holds degrees in both Nutrition and Public Health and has completed the U.S. Food Laws course at the Michigan State University Institute of Food Laws. She has been a featured speaker at the American Culinary Federation National Convention and a board member of the American Dietetic Association.

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