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4 Things to Know About Raw Water, Silicon Valley’s New Fad Beverage

Other than not to drink it yourself

Live Water/Facebook

According to a recent New York Times trend-watching article, at least some rich, gullible health nuts in the San Francisco Bay Area are purchasing and consuming “raw,” untreated water, and honestly, good for them. It’s just the latest fashion in an area known for chugging Soylent and following Ketosis diets, and it’s a very natural, organic culmination of that obstinate libertarian streak running through Silicon Valley: Clean water that’s rigorously tested and delivered by pipes isn’t a human right and a cool technology, some seem to think it’s a state-sanctioned burden.

So: Should you drink raw water? Of course not. But here are four things to know about this whole silly business, which just might make some very annoying people very sick. That is their right, as they seem to feel very strongly.

It’s popular with Doug Evans, the guy behind the $400 juicer company Juicero

For his next act, Doug Evans, the founder of the failed juicer company Juicero, has been hyping raw water, telling the Times that he hasn’t consumed tap water in years. This fall, Evans was on a “raw water” cleanse in Mill Valley, drinking only raw water from the brand Live Water, which sells its perishable water from an Oregon Spring in glass jugs.

It’s sold at Rainbow Grocery, but it’s currently out of stock

As the Times article points out, raw water is sold at the (otherwise reputable) Rainbow Grocery, a worker-owned cooperative in San Francisco. But as representative Paul Knowles tells Eater SF, the store’s supply of raw water, which is from Live Water, has been depleted. “We’ve had it for about six months, and demand has been growing steadily,” Knowles says. But it’s not due to interest following the Times article that it’s out of stock. “The delivery is kind of... well, what they’re able to provide has fluctuated. That also increases the demand, and we haven’t had any in stock for a week.”

It turns green after “one lunar cycle”

Live Water claims that it’s full of natural probiotics and free from additives like fluoride, which is beneficial to dental health. Live Water’s founder, Mukhande Singh (born Christopher Sanborn), disagrees: He believes fluoride is a mind-control drug with no dental health benefits to speak of. While his website claims that “no one has ever gotten sick from drinking the water we bottle,” because the water’s untreated, he does encourage it to be kept cold and consumed within one lunar cycle, before it turns green. Cool!

It’s expensive

At least at Rainbow, Live Water will cost you. The bottle deposit is $22, and the water itself, 2.5 gallons of it, is now $16.49, up from $14.99. That doesn’t include health bills you might incur from bacteria and disease found in untreated water, like Hepatitis A, E. coli, carcinogenic compounds, metals, and parasites like Giardia.