February 7, 2014

Bottled water and walkability

When I was young, bottled water wasn't sexy. It mostly came in giant glass bottles that you laboriously tipped upside down into a standing dispenser and then drank from tiny conical paper cups. I associate it in my mind with not very prosperous small businesses. Then Perrier came to upscale restaurants in the 1970s, but it was much joked about as a needless extravagance.

My vague impression is that the Gulf War of 1991 really boosted the idea of drinking water from plastic bottles among consumers. The U.S. military made a fetish out of keeping troops fully hydrated, so CNN’s coverage of the triumphant American military during those six weeks was like one giant product placement for plastic water bottles. U-S-A! Bott-led-Wa-ter! U-S-A!

An often overlooked downside to things like bottled water is that buying liquids in bulk almost requires that the shopper own a vehicle: water weighs a pint a pound and therefore it’s practically impossible for a mom to manhandle a family’s worth of bottled water home on foot or on bicycle. These days everybody talks about all the advantages of walkability and how much a family could save if they only had one car instead of two and so forth, but few have changed their shopping patterns to accommodate their talk. Bottled water can be the backbreaker.

In general, a week’s worth of groceries has gotten a lot heavier per person over the last 50 years. For example, in the 1960s, my mother bought Tang at the grocery store and mixed it up with tap water at home. In the 1970s she upgraded to frozen concentrated orange juice and added three parts tap water at home. In the 1980s-90s, she upgraded to a carton of orange juice. Quality improved with each upgrade, but heaviness went up too, and along with that dependence upon having a car for shopping trips.

Buying, say, three gallons of bottled water is of course more extreme than buying a half gallon of orange juice, since the taste differential is smaller and the consumption level is greater, but lots of people do it.

So, if you are going to buy things like bottled water, you probably need a car for shopping, and if you need a car for shopping, you might as well live in a car-oriented place, and thus who cares about walkability and all that.

So, the key to reducing Carbon Footprints and all that is going back to Tang-centric consumption. And that's not going to happen.
   

70 comments:

Peter Swinson said...

Carbon Footprints are not about consumption, they are about population. No matter how much you reduce consumption, the rise in population will negate it over time. Even if our current population is sustainable, some future population level is not.

Ex Machina said...

Urban centers, at least here in NYC, have Fresh Direct. Buy the heaviest stuff you want, and still no need for a car.

Or do ZipCar.

campy said...

Grocery delivery.

Anonymous said...

You could get one of those wheeled shopping bag things that grandmothers use.

Anonymous said...

Obviously water delivery services will the void.

IHTG said...

Or you could buy empty bottles and fill them with tap water. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Tang, probably not, but those little Mio flavor squirts might work although they're awfully expensive

pat said...

These days everybody talks about all the advantages of walkability

My God man! Who are you talking to?

Albertosaurus

Unknown said...

Tand sucks and i live a block away from the supermarket and can carry 4 double bagged bags of groceries as long as they have handles.

Anonymous said...

You don't need to haul water in your car. Hinckley Springs will deliver 5 gallon bottles, and other sizes, to your doorstep, and pick up your empties.

Dave Pinsen said...

Unless you're grabbing a bottle on your way to the gym or something (and don't most gyms have water fountains anyway?), or storing some in preparation for a hurricane or something, I don't get the point of buying bottled water if you live somewhere with first world plumbing systems. We just get PUR water filters that you add to the tap. They're a hell of a lot lighter than bottled water. It takes a lot of diesel to lug all of those cases of bottled water around.

Lion of the Blogosphere said...

You obviously don't live in Manhattan. The solution is: EXPENSIVE REFRIGERATORS

http://www.subzero-wolf.com/builtin-refrigerators/BI-48S-side-by-side

"Water filtration system
Designed to reduce suspended particles, chemical pollutants, viruses and bacteria when purifying water, this low-maintenance system uses a filter built to last 1 year or 750 gallons. Replacement is fast and easy."

Also, thank you for publicizing my blog post about Ro Khanna, champion of tax breaks for big corporations, and Democrat.

fish said...

When I was young, bottled water wasn't sexy. It mostly came in giant glass bottles that you laboriously tipped upside down into a standing dispenser and then drank from tiny conical paper cups. I associate it in my mind with not very prosperous small businesses.

Au contraire...the less than prosperous businesses let you have lukewarm tap water served in a coffee cup from the break room. We thought we were in high cotton when we had access to the conical cups and a fresh jug of Alhambra water.

Anonymous said...

Brita filter.

Steve Sailer said...

I once did a consulting project for Peapod, one of the leading grocery store delivery companies. I did it so long ago that my chief recommendation was that they get on this new thing called the Internet. In other words, home delivery of groceries has been going on a long time, but it still hasn't taken off.

Dave Pinsen said...

Why not just a PUR water filter for $35 or however much they are at Costco?

Auntie Analogue said...


The debut of bulk-selling warehouse stores, such as Price Club, Sam's Club, and Costco gave impetus to the necessity for family vehicles. In fact the rage for minivans and SUV's seems to have followed the spread of warehouse stores, which made the trunk of the family sedan insufficient to haul warehouse store bulk purchases.

The bottled water industry boom sprung from two things: laziness and snobbery. U.S. municipal water is as good as, and is often better - healthier - than costly bottled water. Bottled water would not have become profitable had it not been for advances in the blow-molding of PET bottles, advances which produced ultra-thin-walled bottles cheap enough to reduce unit package costs so that sale of bottled water became profitable (the same advances also made possible and profitable plastic bottles for soda, juice, milk, and other liquid comestibles).

About nine years ago I bought a 12 ounce bottle of water and I still have and use that same bottle, refilled from my tap and chilled in my fridge. In summer I fill it to about seven-eighths of its capacity, then leave the cap slightly unscrewed to allow for expansion and air purge of the unfilled eighth of the bottle, as I freeze overnight the entire bottle; on the following day I take it out to bring with me in the hot weather; the all-ice in the bottle melts into water in just about the time the heat moves me to want a drink, and it maintains a cooling ice core in the chilled melt-water for up to two hours. This method also furnishes a ready ice pack to apply to bruises or minor burns.

Auntie Analogue said...


Some three decades ago from my brother's old workplace (since eliminated by computers) he gave me one of those huge Great Bear Springs glass water dispenser jugs - and the wooden carboy in which Great Bear transported those jugs (his employer had cancelled its purchase order with Great Bear, whose route driver then never showed up to collect the empties). I used it to save pocket change that, at each day's end, I dropped into the jug; it took about three years to accumulate enough change to fill about one-tenth of the jug, and then a need arose for extra cash, so I emptied the jug and was delighted to find its coin content amounted to over three hundred fifty dollars.

I still have the jug in its original carboy - it's a nice retro piece and for company - of a certain age, if you know what I mean - it's always formed something of a conversation piece.

Uncle Peregrine said...

As recently as Heathers (1988) bottled water had a different connotation, at least as Hollywood imagined Midwestern attitudes. I personally associate bottled water with a childhood trip to Egypt so it has an unavoidable taint of third worldliness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6poJuGZ0cl4

Anonymous said...

So, the key to reducing Carbon Footprints and all that is going back to Tang-centric consumption. And that's not going to happen.

Or, just don't buy 3 gallons of water at the shop. If you buy a carton of orange juice at the corner store every other day, it's not exactly going to break your back hauling it up. In walkable neighbourhoods, because the living units are generally smaller and storage space more limited, the expectation is that you'll do groceries more often, but that doing groceries will be more convenient because you can just pick up your essentials at the local grocer rather than having to trek out to a giant supermarket in the middle of nowhere.

Like everything to do with walkable communities, you end up paying more because you can't buy in bulk anymore. But that's a premium many people are willing to pay -- prices don't get bid up high in walkable communities because people are forced to live there. There's still significant demand for that kind of way of life.

Anonymous said...

Buying in bulk to me always meant getting rice, dried beans, honey, etc. in large quantities. This saves on packaging, is economical and promotes healthy eating.

The Costco model of buying large pallets of Vitamin Water or two 64 oz boxes of cereal isn't "bulk" purchasing. It is just the equivalent of McDonald's selling jumbo fries or giant sodas for a quarter more.

NYC has the cleanest, best tasting water in the country. The people who tend to stock up on bottled water here are often Dominicans, etc who think drinking from the tap is for poor people.

I remember when people used water fountains...they are still around but I never see anyone drinking from them.

Anonymous said...

Oh, conical cups! I thought Steve said comical cups (which they were.)

Anonymous said...

I remember when people used water fountains...they are still around but I never see anyone drinking from them.

Water fountains are fine, but they definitely have a certain taste to the water.

Anonymous said...

Buying in bulk to me always meant getting rice, dried beans, honey, etc. in large quantities. This saves on packaging, is economical and promotes healthy eating.

The Costco model of buying large pallets of Vitamin Water or two 64 oz boxes of cereal isn't "bulk" purchasing.


Why isn't it bulk purchasing? Cereal is processed grain, like rice.

Whiskey said...

Walkability means low crime which means the population is White and Asian. Think Portland or Seattle or SF. Not Oakland or LA. There is even a keep Oakland ghetto movement.

Anonymous said...

Lots of Manhattanites order groceries to be delivered to them. I shop at a Whole Foods near work and I often see a Whole Foods delivery van there being loaded up before going on its rounds.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

If you want to see how walkable neighborhoods work, look at Japan. Some of the newer areas are car-centric, but all cities, and I mean down to the tiniest villages, have a walkable core that comprises the majority of the city.

As for groceries, you just pick stuff up every day, or nearly every day, in the course of running other errands or coming home from work. Sometimes when my wife goes in for a big shopping deal, she gets it done and then calls me up to help carry stuff home.

Of course, the grocery story is only a block away or so, so this is no big deal.

Steve is usually pretty smart, but this was a phenomenally wrong-headed observation.

a Newsreader said...

Eventually water delivery systems will become so sophisticated that they will pipe it into people's homes.

Florian Geyer said...

When I lived in Berlin there was always a drink store within a block away, and most users of this would have a hand-truck for hauling crates of bottles back and forth from their apartments. I would personally prefer beer to bottled water, though. The hard part was getting the crates up six flights of stairs, but we viewed this as earning your turns.

Anonymous said...

When I was living in Mexico City, I just picked up a 5 liter (20 lbs) garrafon of water every two weeks and threw it over my shoulder for a two block walk home (and up three flights of stairs).

It was easy enough to carry. You can get it delivered, but then you'd have to listen for the guys who come around through the neighborhood selling them and I was usually out in the middle of the day.

Ed said...

There are alot of different points mixed up here, but US water regulations require utilities to dump dubious chemicals (principally fluoride, which the paranoid right was correct about) into the water supply. This is also pretty unique compared with other countries. This is sufficient to explain the recent popularity of bottled water. People -rightly- just don't trust what is coming out of the tap.

When I lived in New York, buying groceries in bulk from Trader Joe's on 14th Street and taking the 3rd Avenue bus uptown to my apartment worked fine. In most of the rest of the country you definitely need a car to go grocery shopping -this was even true in Jersey City, right across the Hudson from New York- when I lived there, but then you pretty much need a car to do anything else. Steve is overthinking this.

Anonymous said...

About nine years ago I bought a 12 ounce bottle of water and I still have and use that same bottle, refilled from my tap and chilled in my fridge. In summer I fill it to about seven-eighths of its capacity, then leave the cap slightly unscrewed to allow for expansion and air purge of the unfilled eighth of the bottle, as I freeze overnight the entire bottle; on the following day I take it out to bring with me in the hot weather; the all-ice in the bottle melts into water in just about the time the heat moves me to want a drink, and it maintains a cooling ice core in the chilled melt-water for up to two hours. This method also furnishes a ready ice pack to apply to bruises or minor burns.

Looks like Martha Stewart reads isteve too.

Anonymous said...

The sudden explosion in the popularity of bottled water was one of the weirder phenomena of my lifetime. People were suddenly paying for something that they could get for free (or practically free).

But the tide has turned. Colleges have started banning the sale of bottled water on campus. Drinking fountains are sprouting up everywhere with features that allow people to refill bottles quickly (so as to discourage them from buying new ones).

Bottled water is out. Because the environment.

Reg C├Žsar said...

SS: …you probably need a car for shopping, and if you need a car for shopping, you might as well live in a car-oriented place…

So car-oriented in some cases that Costco was able to persuade/bribe/crowbar a suburban city council into condemning a church so they could expand a parking lot. I've boycotted them since.

The height of walkability is not so much being able to do your errands on foot-- it's being able to make your kids do them for you.

Alice said...

Except lots of bottled water comes from the same sources the tap water does, people just don't realize it.

Bottled water is now evil. Banned on college campuses, looked down upon at liberal work places. The new solution? $20-30 thermos bottles made of plastic-that-isn't-bad-plastic-so-it-costs-a-fortune or aluminum. The walking sustainability crowd all own several of them.

David Davenport said...

The debut of bulk-selling warehouse stores, such as Price Club, Sam's Club, and Costco gave impetus to the necessity for family vehicles. In fact the rage for minivans and SUV's seems to have followed the spread of warehouse stores, which made the trunk of the family sedan insufficient to haul warehouse store bulk purchases.

Nope, the "rage" for minivans and SUV's is largely due to having one or more children needing a gooberment mandated child seat. Try using a child seat in a small econo car, even one with four doors.


Or, just don't buy 3 gallons of water at the shop. If you buy a carton of orange juice at the corner store every other day

What corner store? Proper Aryans live in suburbs or exurbs or outright rural areas.

Like everything to do with walkable communities, you end up paying more because you can't buy in bulk anymore. But that's a premium many people are willing to pay -- prices don't get bid up high in walkable communities because people are forced to live there. There's still significant demand for that kind of way of life.

Demokrat Pertei shtetl/North Korean lite bullsh*t.

Anonymous said...

When I lived a student and later a young-married life in Toronto in the 1990s, most of my friends, like me, didn't have cars. A few people I knew actually did get water in those giant water-cooler bottles. Yes, they were DELIVERED, weekly, biweekly, whatever. As for supermarkets, most of the ones nearby offered free delivery, and if not you could always spend $5 on a cab.

That's how it was done.

hbd chick said...

@anonymous - "Obviously water delivery services will the void."

water delivery services BY DRONE!!

(~_^)

Anonymous said...

The specialty butcher in my local mall just closed. Apparently not enough call for wild boar and grass fed beef in an AB (mmm maybe just B) catchment.

But it's OK, the company has internet ordering and delivery.

I don't know. If there are only seven SWPLs (heh - grim joke if you knew me) in my suburb, then how does that change the economics? We don't freeze meat, so it's not like we're ordering a forequarter. How, then, does anyone run a truck twenty miles to bring me four sirloins?

Gilbert P

Anononymous said...

Tap water? Like in the toilet?

stari_momak said...

"Buying liquids in bulk"

Totally. It's hilarious to visit the 'juice' section of you supermarket's cold case. Half the stuff is frozen and reconstituted. You can walk down to the freezer section and get the same stuff at half the price and a quarter of the volume.

SQT said...

It's funny how many people are contradicting you on this but I think they must not live in the suburbs. I live in NorCal and we don't do the home-delivery of groceries and there are a whole lot of SUVs around here-though I'd argue that CAFE standards are the main reason for the latter. Costco is HUGE here and you can get a pallet of water bottles for around $4; and those things are heavy!

Anonymous said...

Has here in Blighty, Ocado is multi million company.

Anonymous said...

I have an acquaintance who is obsessed about carbon footprints. He has had a book published about the subject. He would like us all to ride bikes rather than use cars. He would like us to be more like the Netherlands (where cyclists are 25% of road deaths as compared to 2% of road deaths in the US). He cites other examples like Copenhagen and Malmo. I've suggested that he just has a thing for thin blondes, who just happen to be riding bikes.

An interesting site that compares road deaths in different countries. Those countries that are known to like a drink have lots of pedestrian deaths.

http://roadskillmap.com/#41.11246878918086,28.125,2

Georg said...

Why
do Americans drink botteled/container water at all?
What about tap water?
BTW keeping water in any container free of germs is not an easy task. The moment the water comes in contact with air pseudomonads will develop within minutes.
So much about those water containers used in dispensers.
In Europe there is much ado about "mineral" water in bottles, but those contain carbon dioxide as a preservative against the pseudomonads.
But this is more a kind of luxury nonsense, tap water (at least in wetern/central/north Europe) has drinking water quality.

Anonymous said...

RegCaesar: The height of walkability is not so much being able to do your errands on foot-- it's being able to make your kids do them for you.

Yes, and the kids being able to do their own things without parents driving them everywhere. Walkability is liberating for both parents and kids.

SoCal Patriot said...

"...walkability..."


You and your readers may be interested in the following website:

http://www.walkscore.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walk_Score


The Walk Score site can be especially useful for those who are thinking about moving to other parts of the country that aren't so dependent on automobiles.

Places such as Portland, NYC, or Austin may be ideal. :)

Podsnap said...

Steve you are a genius and I love your blog, but some of your posts verge on the Aspergerish.

The logical sequence seems to be -

Bottled water was not popular

Then came the Gulf War - it became popular

Bottled water is heavy - you need a car to shift it from the supermarket

More cars = more carbon dioxide

Therefore to reduce carbon footprint we need to move away from (SWPL-loved) bottled water
and drink more (prole-fodder) Tang.

I suppose all this may be generally true, but the logical sequence is brutally linear.

We drink more bottled water now for a lot of reasons. We use cars now more for a lot of reasons.
Can't we leave it at that ?

You greatly overemphasise the power of cognition and rational explanation, and have a blind faith in the power of analysis (a very common failing in intellectuals these days). Your dislike of say Malcolm Gladwell is most explicable as a type of intra-species rivalry.

Of course the great strength of your blog is its hard insights, but I would give the Tang boosting a rest.

Anonymous said...

I live along the Gulf Coast (think flat, rockless land with lazy-moving muddy rivers) and our city was forced to switch from well-water to lake water for environmental reasons. (Environmentalists seem obsessed with ground water, but now they don't even want you to use it, apparently.) Since then, the tap water tastes so bad I've quit drinking it, ever. And people with the typical designer faucet heads can't fit filters on them. So, when I drink water now, it is bottled water.

And I've never heard anyone talk about the desirability of walkability.

I doubt NYC has the best tap water in the whole country, as someone asserted. The tap water in Boulder is the best I've had.

Jerry said...

Big deal... in Hong Kong we use an old suitcase and can carry 6x75cl x 4 total over 16 L of Pellegrino (it's cheap here) in one short walking trip. Bottled water is a small symptom of the general decline of trust in organizations (not just necessarily the government) and a Bowling Alone mentality. (In Hong Kong we get our water from China, so that's a bit different.)

Anonymous said...

Carbon footprint?

Our population is barely making replacement levels.

OUR population!

Gordo

Anonymous said...

From a foreign perspective, I think a problem in North America is that tap water tastes horrible, even if it's safe to drink.

Granted, I've only been to San Diego, LA, the SF Bay in the US and Montreal, Toronto and all over southern BC in Canada. In SD it was sandy, in parts of BC it was downright murky, and everywhere it was chlorinated like not even the public pools are here in central Europe.

Americans just can't get decent tap in my experience. No wonder it's iced to hell in restaurants. Keeps the chlorine taste down, even if it's so cold your teeth hurt. Would be better to boil it out and let it cool down, but of course the energy costs and storage space would be horrendous.

Europeans generally wouldn't tolerate that kind of municipal water.

I think that it's just plain cultural. Food & drink just isn't as important to you guys, I've observed many times, except for BBQ and beef in general. It's probably just an Anglo thing, it's pretty much the same with the Brits vs the Continentals, right down to most people eating whatever's there, and some going totally nuts as foodies in Anglo cultures. Here, there are few foodies, but everyone cares about the taste of their food. Probably also related: Hard to play status games when the prole next door is just as passionate about the taste of his braised pork...

You really only get what you care about.

Anonymous said...

I plugged my address into this walk score calculator just for kicks. My house got a walk score of 83, a transit score of 82 and a bike score of 58, which seems about right. I find it much easier to walk or take the bus to my destinations than to cycle, due to urban street traffic. A thoughtful redesign of the main arterial street nearby could remedy that.

phil g said...

Or simply put tap water (filtered if necessary for taste) into reusable bottles and save the trash and heavy purchase logistics and MONEY.

Bottled water comes in handy in certain situations but is way over used.

ben tillman said...

Obviously water delivery services [f]ill the void.

Yeah, when I lived in Manhattan, there was a sophisticated delivery system that brought delicious water from the Catskills straight into our home. It was less than a penny a gallon.

Bottled water is out. Because the environment.

Thank God. The Pacific garbage patch is an obscenity.

pat said...

Water has been on my mind lately. That's probably because last week the water main in front of my house broke. The East Bay Mud (municipal utility district) people dug a big hole in front of my drive way. They had two guys down in that hole all day. The sun set and they were still there.

After about ten hours the water was back on - except for my kitchen sink faucet and my toilet.

You can make a toilet flush if you can fill it up manually, but
is sure isn't convenient.

All is well now after about a week. In that week I talked to several water department guys. They think I have enough water stored for the coming earthquake. I expect two weeks disruption in service. That's if we get a 7.0 quake. I'm so close to the fault I probably wouldn't survive a 8.0 so there's no point in preparing for that. I have three commercial emergency water tubs I had delivered from some 'prepper' company on Amazon. I filled them up and forgot them.

All three of the water department guys recommended I use the water in my hot water heater too. So drinking water is not a concern. I can go without a shower too. I only worry about the loss of the toilet. Where I live even that's not going to be that much of a problem. I'll be the bear and all around me are the woods. But in the high density flatlands it will get pretty messy in the streets when the water lines break.

Albertosaurus

Cail Corishev said...

There are alot of different points mixed up here, but US water regulations require utilities to dump dubious chemicals (principally fluoride, which the paranoid right was correct about) into the water supply. This is also pretty unique compared with other countries. This is sufficient to explain the recent popularity of bottled water. People -rightly- just don't trust what is coming out of the tap.

So you get a filter. Aren't the people who want to avoid fluoride also paranoid about BPA and other goodies in the plastic bottles? (The serious paranoids I know only use glass or stainless steel bottles.) And why would you trust the water bottlers any more than you trust the utilities, when there have been numerous exposes showing that bottled water frequently contains stuff it shouldn't, and sometimes is hard to tell from tap water?

Mr. Anon said...

"When I was young, bottled water wasn't sexy. It mostly came in giant glass bottles that you laboriously tipped upside down into a standing dispenser and then drank from tiny conical paper cups. I associate it in my mind with not very prosperous small businesses."

For some reason I always associate those with short, harried, middle-aged guys named Morry, washing down their nitro pills with one of those little white paper cones of water.

"My vague impression is that the Gulf War of 1991 really boosted the idea of drinking water from plastic bottles among consumers."

I chalked it up to AIDS, and the resulting concern with pathogens. Starting in the 80s, nobody wanted to drink from water-fountains anymore (water-fountains that the previous user might have sneezed, coughed, or drooled on). Public drinking fountains used to be as common as phone-booths, whereas now.......they're as common as phone-booths.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Powdered water.

Anonymous said...

Home delivery of groceries is massive in the UK. 100% coverage of the country I believe. Of course population density is much higher here.

Tesco.com,

ASDA (Walmart),

Sainsbury's,

Ocado and

Waitrose.

Anonymous said...

>> water weighs a pint a pound

No, it's a pound/pint. And moving the temperature (in either direction) of that one degree F takes exactly one BTU worth of energy. And moving 200 BTU/second is a "ton" of air-conditioning power.

And moving one kilo of water one degree C, takes one Calorie.

Cancel my subscription to the Steve Sailor Physics-For-Poets lecture series, please.

Anonymous said...

>> Water fountains are fine, but they definitely have a certain taste to the water

No. The dirty, un-changed filters inside them pass a taste onto the water.

the Isteve blog is swarming with city boys, it seems. Next they'll be teaching us that meat "just grows" inside plastic-wrapped plastic trays.

Anonymous said...

Some bottle water is just tap water. From what I can tell, bottled water drinkers either live somewhere where the tap water tastes bad, or they have some status need, or they bought into some world class hype about the health benefits of expensive water.

Walkability left the building years ago, regardless.

Anonymous said...

They were delivering milk and orange juice daily in the UK up to the 90s. Thanks to reading 'The Mezzanine' I know that that practice ended earlier in America; perhaps it's an idea whose time has come again.

Anonymous said...

The best drinking water I've had was in my grade school in the 70's in the suburbs of Chicago. The water in the fountains was so cold it made my teeth hurt.

They don't make drinking fountains like that anymore. After you got done drinking, you could hear it start up again.

The Chicago area has good water.

Anonymous said...

"principally fluoride, which the paranoid right was correct about"

Care to explain?

You may be right, but the old familiar additives that I know of - flourice, iodine and vitamin D were good for the US. Our main problem is that we are too fat.

Brian said...

My wife, who is from Russia, grew up without a car. The tap water there, as some journalists have now gleefully shown the world, isn't safe to drink, so they used a lot of bottled water. They had it delivered to their apartment. Her mother still does this.

Anonymous said...

http://www.businessinsider.com/movies-with-most-overseas-revenue-share-2014-2?utm_content=bufferb3b06&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Steve. I'm living in Kyoto, where the tap water is horrific. A lot of people drink bottled water, and almost no one has a car. Traveling through southeast Asia, I also noticed a high bottled water to automobile ratio. Only soft, pasty Americans think bottled water requires shopping with a car. Here in Japan, my local supermarket has a large dispenser and people bring gallon+ cube-shaped plastic containers that they fill up at the dispenser. No problem.

Anonymous said...

The nearest supermarket to me is about a 90 second walk around the corner; on several occasions, I've almost hyper-extended my elbow trying to carry home all of my groceries and save myself another trip. I respond now by making sometimes 3 or 4 trips per week, which wouldn't be possible if it were even a little further away. On the plus side, frequent trips are a great way to fill up the freezer with "Manager's Special" heavily-discounted meats that are one day away from expiration.

I don't even buy bottled water, either, for a few stacks I bought once to keep on hand in case of an emergency, though I do regularly buy seltzer for use in cocktails.