Los Angeles

Thinking Locally: Water

waterday.jpgFrom our Slow Food colleagues and friends in northern California, who asked, “why not water?” when considering the scope of their support for local resources and producers:

Among the new questions about bottled water: Is it spring water or filtered tap water? Does it come in plastic or glass? How much energy is spent to bottle and ship it, often thousands of miles from Italy or France? And are municipal water supplies at risk from corporations thirsty for bigger shares of the lucrative bottled water business? . . .

“Our whole goal of sustainability means using as little energy as we have to. Shipping bottles of water from Italy doesn’t make sense,” says Mike Kossa-Rienzi, general manager of Chez Panisse. . . .

Not all decisions about bottled versus tap come down to food miles and bottle-clogged landfills. Other issues include how it tastes, chlorination and, for the immune-impaired, some microbes. There are concerns about industrial chemicals that can infiltrate water supplies and worries about chemicals that leach from plastic water bottles. But those questions cut both ways, since most bottled water starts as tap water.

(Read the complete article by Carol Ness of the San Francisco Chronicle on the SFGate site.)

You may also enjoy the NPR interview with Mike Kossa-Rienzi of Chez Panisse about the restaurant’s transition from bottled to (filtered and, upon request, carbonated) tap water.