Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Stupidity As An Addiction

"We have to be aware that there are many species out there that are defecating, that are emptying the contents of their enteric tracts onto the land and into the water."
"There's a long human history of consuming raw water over millennia and centuries and that has resulted in numerous documented outbreaks of serious infectious diseases and fatalities."
Dr. Ray Copes, Public Health Ontario

We do have a tendency to think of fresh-water streams as crystalline pure. Dr. Copes reminds us that any water taken directly from nature is likely to contain bacteria such as E.coli, salmonella and campyilobacter, along with parasites like cryptosporidium and giardia, disease-causing microbes that farm animals, for example cattle and sheep, not to mention wild animals shed into the environment. All their shedding contaminates surface water.

When you take your companion pet to the veterinarian for an annual check-up and vaccination, you're given options to protect them against picking up any of these microbes occurring naturally in the environment that can be a threat to their health as well. Should they become contaminated they will become ill. Just as humans are likely to, and when that happens because a number of people have taken to a new fad the potential for disease outbreaks can shake our confidence in modern health science.

It's not that modern health science is in any way deficient, it is that people seem to have a tendency to cluster around any new idea that celebrates itself as 'green', or 'natural'. In this particular instance, it's 'raw water'. the rage among that demographic of environmentally aware/unaware people who believe that 'natural' means healthy. If they gullibly believe what promoters of the new raw water bottling assure them, it's because they haven't been responsible enough to themselves to educate themselves of the dangers inherent in the belief that 'natural' is superior for human consumption.

But guess what? Humans may be civilized to the point where we flush what we defecate down a toilet and do the same with the waste from our domestic pets and that waste is then processed at waste treatment plants, but animals in the wild consider nature itself to be their toilet. Everything gets washed by rainfall into streams and rivers and lakes. If you happen to be out enjoying nature by camping in a wilderness area, camping gear includes a vital piece of equipment, to render lake water sterile of most bacteria.

But now a new health craze appears to be sweeping the United States, the belief that raw water (read untreated) is "healthier" than water that pours out of a tap, or alternately bottled water. Healthier because it won't contain fluoride, retaining beneficial minerals and "good" bacteria otherwise removed by disinfection methods or through sanitary filtration. Remember what Dr. Copes explained? There's a kind of reverse psychology effect going on here.

But that scientific/health point of view doesn't appear to have given second thought to groups promoting living off the water grid such as Live Water, based in San Francisco, delivering untreated water to clients, water they source from Opal Spring in Madras, Oregon. The water that its promoters celebrate as 'raw' just incidentally, may be free for them to scoop and bottle, but they sell it for $70 a 9.5-litre jug. If it were freely given away, as a sweetly charitable act of public good after all, no one would be interested.

The great likelihood is that untreated water carries a host of micro-organisms that can cause severe illness and even death. Knowing human nature and the suspicion of science by those committed to a more 'natural', 'healthful' way of living and eating, however, some people are just hard to convince. Until such time as they become predictably ill and modern medicine aided by scientific protocols responds to rush in and save them from themselves.

It's a pretty safe bet that those people who love and respect nature and who make it an important part of their lives, searching out unspoiled areas of forest and mountain, lake and ocean to explore and simply enjoy the serenity and beauty of it all, have the knowledge it takes to ensure they don't become ill through that kind of exposure. They take precautions by carrying with them the gear required to make the most of their outdoor experience and closeness to nature while guarding against consuming or imbibing harmful organisms natural to the landscape.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

()() Follow @rheytah Tweet