Just when you thought you were doing the right, healthy thing by drinking bottled water from the health food store Whole Foods, you come to find out that you would have done better just drinking your home faucet water. Recently, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) found that extremely high levels of arsenic were found in Starkey Water, which is owned and sold by Whole Foods. This is disturbing for many reasons, beginning with the fact that we just can’t seem to trust that the FDA has our back when it comes to identifying harmful chemicals in our food and water.
When you pay your taxes, you expect the Food and Drug Administration to work overtime in discovering ingredients that just don’t belong in the foods or liquids that is sold in our stores. In this case, it was the CEH that found the problem, leaving citizens to fear for their health even more. “Consumers are being needlessly exposed to arsenic without their knowledge or consent,” is what the CEO of the CEH stated when discussing the problem. Michael Green, the CEO that is currently attempting to make sense of this mess went even further by stating how consumers pay high costs for bottled water because they believe that it is healthier—only to discover that it would be safer to drink tap water. We truly believe the hype when we purchase our products in Whole Foods, as well as other healthy grocery stores that profess to sell items that are healthier than those items found elsewhere. We spend our money and walk away feeling good about the fact that we paid more to get more. Unfortunately, this is not so.
When the news of contaminated bottled water hit the news, there was nothing mentioned of how the companies that produced this water would pay for such monstrosities. It goes without saying that people rely on the companies that they purchase products from to do the right thing and research the ingredients to their products prior to it becoming an issue. Additionally, we hold health food stores to a higher standard and expect them to be extra cautious in the distribution of their goods. When these stores fail us, we can’t help but wonder just how safe we are with the ‘organic’ foods that we eat. We are told that the foods and liquids are healthy and safe for our consumption, yet we later discover that not only is this false, but that we are also intaking harmful chemicals that can lead to deadly diseases.
In situations such as this, we are all led to wonder just how safe we are when we purchase foods and water that profess to be healthy and safe. If we can’t trust that we are purchasing safe and healthy products, then who and what can we trust? Are we to plant our own foods and somehow boil our water, even though the water is bottled and claims to be fresh from the Alps? One can’t state that reading the ingredients of bottled water is imperative because one can’t find ‘harmful metal’ listed. It’s a dangerous crap shoot and we are the ones who will lose.