6.26.2009

The serious drinking problem of our generation

Hah hah hah! "You still drink out of metal, huh" is the best line I've seen in a comic in awhile. I just discovered "Pictures for Sad Children" because this one was "Digg"ed. And it is pretty funny, but nothing is as funny as "You still drink out of metal, huh" because it's so particular to the current time and place in which we find ourselves.

Until last spring (2008), I was drinking out of bad plastic water bottles like everyone else. You know, the thick plastic kind you can buy for $0.99 at CVS/Duane Reade/Long's or empty Poland Spring (or generic) water bottles refilled over and over again with tap water. Like everyone did! I even had a Nalgene (before they made them BPA-free), although I never managed to drink out of it without spilling water all over myself, even with the special insert for uncoordinated people.

Last spring, amidst all the BPA brouhahah, I switched to the new safer metal but...ugh...there was the cockroach incident. The cockroach incident was the one wherein I washed the bottle out and put it upside down to dry in the dish drainer overnight. I refilled it in the morning, screwed the top closed, and drank out of it all day. When I opened it to refill it later in the day, I saw a (live, skittering around) cockroach inside. That convinced me not to drink out of anything opaque. Ever again. (I did receive a lovely birthday present of a fancier, insulated, metal water bottle with a mesh cover that one could drink through--called an ice guard, I think--which could also be left in while drying, thus denying entry to wily, water-resistant cockroaches. It's too heavy to shlep around Jerusalem, but I hope to use it when I'm at a point in my life where I am sitting in one place for long periods of time and want to drink safe, chilled, cockroach-free water.)

Anyway, so after the traumatizing cockroach incident (which, incidentally, caused me no harm at all), I switched back to the old bad plastic. Specifically, refilled Mey Eden bottles with the colorful sports caps. They're a good size.

While in the US this past March/April, I got a new, good, BPA-free plastic bottle. But it seems to unscrew itself and spill everywhere, so I will ultimately need something newer/better to drink out of. Recommendations welcome. I want something I can drink out of without spilling all over myself (i.e., smallish opening), that I can drink out of quickly (not a sports cap that requires sucking rather than guzzling), that has or accepts a clip for attaching to the outside of a backpack, and that can be opened up fully for a thorough cleaning every once in awhile. I thought this bottle was it, and it was, except for its unfortunate tendency to open and spill everywhere.

What's does your drinking history look like?

Incidentally, when people started walking around with water bottles all the time (late 1990's? I don't really remember when it started, but know that people didn't used to walk around with water all the time, even in the summer when it was very hot), my maternal grandfather, z"l, commented to me about about how silly it looked to see adults drinking out of bottles like babies. I guess the ubiquitous sport-top water bottles reminded him of baby bottles. (They do look similar.) I told him that I preferred screw-top bottles, because they were easier to drink quickly out of, and he said that was better, but not by a whole lot.

Why did people start drinking so much water? Or at least, carrying it around with them? Are there fewer drinking fountains? Was there a spate of illness/death due to dehydration? Was it after the 8-cups-a-day thing was first publicized? (For more on this, see #4 here, #1 here, and this--she convinced me. If you don't trust random personal blogs written by people you don't know--and I don't know why you wouldn't!--see this.)

I don't drink eight cups of water a day, but I hate being stuck somewhere, very thirsty, without water. It happened earlier this year, when I was delivering food to people before Purim, after I had eaten two slices of salty pizza and had nothing to wash it down but a cup of Coke. I was so thirsty and there was a sink but nothing to drink water out of--it drove me crazy. I also walk a lot in the hot Jerusalem sun, so I think that dehydration could be an actual issue.

4 comments:

RAK said...

Too many links; I haven't had a chance to look at them all! My water bottle history has been quite a disaster. I too started out with refilling disposable water bottles. Then I got one of the super-cheap ones in the dollar section of Tar-jay, but it didn't stay closed tightly. At some point I had one that had a sports-type cap and left it in my car, closed, on an August day in DC and, well, it opened on its own--and not at the sports cap. Then I got one that I really liked with a flip cap but it too leaked a bit, and then I lost it. I replaced it with the exact same one and used it for quite some time until the strap that connected the lid to the bottle broke. It also was not BPA-free, and it leaked, so I decided to get a new bottle. I got a great one that is BPA-free and even says on the tag that it is leak-proof, but...I didn't notice the HUGE HOLE in the cap. Not a clue how that makes it leak proof. Ugh. I've had another one that's BPA free but it is too big to fit in the water bottle pockets of my backpack, too big to fit in the cup holder of my car, and is of the spill-all-over-yourself variety. I need to be able to drink my water while walking, without slowing down. All this to say: I can't help you identify the perfect water bottle, because I'm having the same problem!

LeahGG said...

i stick to the neviot bottles and refill them

Abacaxi Mamao said...

LeahGG -- From every perspective but environmental/health, that is definitely the best solution to this serious drinking problem. (That is, convenience, ease of drinking, cleanliness, etc.) However, studies about endocrine disruptors and BPA and other things I haven't quite kept up with suggest that a lifetime of that practice could be dangerous. Dangerous enough to go through the trouble of finding a different water bottle? I don't know. I think it's okay as long as you don't reuse the same bottle TOO many times (I am wont to reuse bottles for months), or put hot water into it.

Abacaxi Mamao said...

See this New York Times opinion piece from June 27, 2009 if you want to be scared. Skip it if you don't!