Prisoner of Starbucks?

I moved to Asheville recently and was delighted to find so many “healthy” restaurants serving organic local produce.

By contrast however, I was sad to run into so little consciousness regarding water.

An iced-tea hound, I visited local coffeehouses. The usual reply to my “Is your water filtered?” question was: “Yes, we run it through a coffee maker which filters it.” Other times I was told: “We boil it.” The responses were always accompanied by a baffled look, implying: “Filter our water? Why would you ask such a silly question?”

One fellow behind a counter proudly explained how Asheville has some of the best city drinking water in the country.

In response, I quote the Asheville Department of Water’s Web site: “Lake water from the pristine North Fork Reservoir is pre-chlorinated and mixed with aluminum sulfate to coagulate suspended particles that come from the lake. After mixing, the water flows through the filters, which remove coagulated particles. Following filtration, the pH is adjusted, fluoride is added for dental-health purposes, corrosion inhibitors are added, and the water is once again chlorinated for further disinfection.”

Anybody for a cup of corrosion inhibitors?

And for those unfamiliar with the dangers of chlorine, I suggest:

I’m surprised to find supposedly health-conscious people here are comfortable ingesting chlorine and fluoride on a regular basis, along with other highly toxic chemicals. As we all know, coffee filters are designed to remove java grounds, which are like boulders compared to the molecule-sized, potent chemicals dissolved into the water supply.

I deeply wish to support local coffeehouses, but not at the expense of my health. Having healed myself of cancer using alternative methods, I learned to place pure drinking water at the top of my list. I am sad that Starbucks, which offers quality water filtration, wins again. (For the record, I am neither affiliated nor employed with Starbucks in any way—just a health-oriented tea lover hoping to raise public awareness, out of the selfish desire to have more places I can drink tea.)

Please, won’t somebody out there prove me wrong? Will you owners of local cafés write letters declaring: “Of course we filter our water. Why would you ask such a silly question?”

— Heidi Fox

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4 thoughts on “Prisoner of Starbucks?

  1. lotsalove

    I filter my water at home with a Brita pitcher… never drink it out of the tap. If you stick your nose near the compartment you pour the water into and smell it before it gets filtered, it smells like a swimming pool. Nope… I wouldn’t trust city water at all before filtering it myself.

  2. bluegrassbrad

    Let me preface this by saying Im not a huge anti-govt person, or a big conspiracist or anything like that. Im a realist and like to bas emy decisions on factual information. With that said….The FDA?! Are you serious!? The FDA makes mistakes on drug safety all the time. A large portion of these mistakes are caused by rushing through the approval process under pressure from the extremely powerful pharmaceutical lobbies (Just a few examples: Vioxx, Acutane, Celebrex, Redux, Phentermine (aka Phen-fen)). The EPA!? Once again are you serious. This is the same EPA that lets large corporations pollute at will (once again money talks when setting policy). The same EPA that just admitted it was influenced by the White House about what to tell the public about the safety of the air after the 9/11 attack in NYC? You’ve got to be kidding me. Educate yourself.

  3. Les

    You simply haven’t tried every local coffee house. True Confections does, ask.

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