Dietribes: Water Water Everywhere! Part Two


For those of you whose thirst wasn't quenched with the last Dietribes, here's another round of water facts for you to paddle, wade, swim or float through:

"¢ Worried about drinking your 8 glasses of water a day? Turns out it may be a myth ...

"¢ However, there is definitely the possibility of drinking too much, which results in water intoxication. In some cases it can lead to death. In fact, Andy Warhol's estate charged that water intoxication caused by the hospital led to his fatal heart attack.

"¢Â There are some creatures who don't need water very often at all - camels, for instance. But is it because they store water in their humps? No! The humps store fat, not water. "Camels get all the water they need from the plants they eat and thus may go six or seven months without drinking. During the summer, [...] camels drink only every five days. "

"¢ There are of course alternatives to the tap (Quite a few of you mentioned last week about the good or bad taste and quality of your local water; and yes, Florida water tastes the worst in my opinion ... sulfur!) - check out these stats on the growing use of bottled water. Of course, states are ready to cash in on this as quickly as they can.

"¢ The varieties of bottled water are endless - you can buy bottled Holy water, bottled water for dogs or even "plain" tonic water ... which glows in the dark under a black light thanks to quinine!

"¢Â In the 1940s scientists noticed a link between tooth decay and the amount of naturally occurring fluoride in water supplies. So, In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan, adjusted the fluoride content of its water supply to 1.0 ppm and thus became the first city to implement community water fluoridation.

"¢Â Water can also be carbonated (as discovered by Joseph Priestly, whose other credits include discovering oxygen and inventing the rubber eraser). But there are other, stranger ways to add bubbles. In the town of San Pellegrino Terme, Italy, there is a spigot that runs all the time, providing San Pellegrino water free to the local citizens--except that free Pellegrino has no bubbles. The bubbles in San Pellegrino are extracted from volcanic springs in Tuscany, then trucked north and injected into the water from the source.

"¢Â Finally, if you want to sleep on the water but can't afford a boat, consider a water bed (originally called a "pleasure pit" and was more of a water blob placed on the floor). In 1987, water beds accounted for 22% of all mattress sales. (Do any of your Flossers have water beds? Did your parents?)

"¢ For anyone who's interested in issues of US water supply and water rights, Cadillac Desert is one of the best books I've read on the subject. West Coast dwellers might find it especially interesting!

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.