"Bottled water is on the verge of becoming the most popular beverage in the country. But what's the cost of all this water--for us and for the environment?Read more...
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"Bottled water is on the verge of becoming the most popular beverage in the country. But what's the cost of all this water--for us and for the environment? In this eye-opening book, Elizabeth Royte does for water what Michael Pollan did for food: She examines the people, machines, economies, and cultural trends that surround it on its journey from distant aquifers to our supermarkets and homes. She looks at the various sources of drinking water (including the embattled Maine town that Poland Spring exports from), the chemicals we dump into it to make it potable, and the real differences between tap and bottled. "Bottlemania "is the story of one of the greatest marketing coups of the twentieth century--and one of the most troubling issues facing our environment today. With a new afterword on the developing issues in clean water around the world. Elizabeth Royte has written for the "New York Times Magazine," "Harper's," "National Geographic," "Outside," "Smithsonian," and the "New Yorker." She is the author of "Garbage Land "and "The Tapir's Morning Bath."
One of "Entertainment Weekly"'s" "10 Best Nonfiction Books of the Year
A "Seed" Magazine Best Book of the Year
Having already surpassed milk and beer, and second now only to soda, bottled water is on the verge of becoming the most popular beverage in the country. The brands have become so ubiquitous that consumers are hardly conscious that Poland Spring and Evian were once real springs in remote corners of Maine and France. Only now, with the water industry trading in the billions of dollars, has the public begun to question what it is they are drinking and why.
In this intelligent, eye-opening narrative, Elizabeth Royte does for water what Eric Schlosser did for fast food: she finds the people, machines, economies, and cultural trends that bring it from nature to our supermarkets. Along the way, she investigates the questions that bottled water drinkers must inevitably answer about ownership rights to water and water sources, the implications and ramifications of paying for water, the safety of bottled water and the chemicals used to purify it. And, as environmental issues become more and more important, Royte looks at the environmental costs of making, transporting, and disposing of all those plastic bottles.
An incisive, intrepid, and habit-changing chronicle of the commercialization of our most basic human need, "Bottlemania" is also a powerful environmental wake-up call. "Fascinating . . . look at the water wars: between bottled water and tap water, between big corporations and local water interests, between consumers who say they want the convenience, cleanliness and even status of bottled water, and environmentalists who condemn bottled water as 'the moral equivalent of driving a Hummer, ' producing tons of plastic bottles, racking up huge transportation fees and leaving behind a significant carbon footprint."--Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"
"Fascinating . . . look at the water wars: between bottled water and tap water, between big corporations and local water interests, between consumers who say they want the convenience, cleanliness and even status of bottled water, and environmentalists who condemn bottled water as 'the moral equivalent of driving a Hummer, ' producing tons of plastic bottles, racking up huge transportation fees and leaving behind a significant carbon footprint."--Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times
""Why did Americans spend nearly $11 billion on bottled water in 2006, when we could have guzzled tap water at up to about one ten-thousandth the cost? The facile answer is marketing, marketing and more marketing, but Elizabeth Royte goes much deeper into the drink in "Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It," streaming trends cultural, economic, political and hydrological into an engaging investigation of an unexpectedly murky substance. Partway through her undoctrinaire book, Royte, a lifelong fan of tap water, refills her old plastic water bottle, reflecting that 'what once seemed so simple and natural, a drink of water, is neither' . . . by the end of the book she will have discarded the old plastic bottle too, but not the tap. "Bottlemania" is an easy-to-swallow survey of the subject from verdant springs in the Maine woods to tap water treatment plants in Kansas City; from the grand specter of worldwide water wars, to the microscopic crustaceans called copepods, present] in New York's tap water."--Lisa Margonelli, author of "Oil on the Brain: Petroleum's Long Strange Trip to Your Tank," in "The New York Times Book Review"
"Ingenious . . . Amiably, without haranguing or hyperventilating, this veteran environmental writer has produced what could be, assuming enough people read it, one of the year's most influential books."--"The Boston Globe
""A well-balanced, interesting and instructive book about our fundamental human need to drink water."--"Chicago Sun-Times"
"Could be as influential on public sentiment as "Fast Food Nation.""--"Financial Times"
"At a time of climate change and increasing risks to global water supplies, we must change the way we think about this crucial resource and begin treating it as a public good to be preserved, rather than the equivalent of an oil deposit or timber forest, ripe for corporate exploitation."--"New Scientist
""An intriguing look at a totem of the ultramodern, perhaps selfish, way we live now."--"Time Out Chicago
"""Bottlemania" makes the case that it's not in our interests to let private multinational corporations float their boats on our nation's water. That's not democracy, it's dam-ocracy, and it could damn us all if we let their unquenchable thirst for profit take precedence over our right to clean, safe, free drinking water."--Kerry True
- ISBN-13: 9781596913721
- ISBN-10: 159691372X
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Publish Date: July 2009
- Page Count: 266