Design Your Own Water

Staying Hydrated and Safe


Few things are more valuable than that which is free—namely, water. And yet, we read and see crises in places like Flint, MI, where the water is too toxic to drink, its effects too harmful to imagine and the social consequences too big to accept. But we must accept these facts because, for the preservation and enhancement of our own health, we deserve the chance to design our own water; which is to say, we have a right to consume the water we need without resorting to expensive, bottled alternatives.

At the same time, we need to ensure that the water we drink does not taste like—and does not contain—a chlorinated stew of chemicals. Hence, the importance of giving people the chance to design their own water: To remove certain impurities, and enjoy the refreshment they want; the refreshment they deserve.

I approach this issue as a scientist because of my training as a biochemist and my preference—no, my demand—for water that tastes like . . . water. All of which explains the need for a water filtration system that is as effective as it is elegant, a centerpiece of composition and conversation: A replacement for that heavy, bulbous water cooler with something better; something that is the result of the union between art and science, between health and wellness and industrial design, which offers a refreshing alternative to conventional forms of hydration.

I refer, specifically, to the Water Fall from KOR Water, a “pour-over” water filtration product for the home or office. (Full disclosure: I am not an employee of or a consultant to this company. I am, however, a discriminating customer—and a discerning critic—on behalf of, respectively, health-related products and various medical trends. My comments are my own, which reflect my independence as a contributor to this magazine and my freedom of inquiry for the good of science.)

By enabling people to “brew” their own water, just like they can savor a customized serving of pure Rwandan coffee, or sip a bottle of handcrafted beer from their favorite microbrewery, the use of multiple glass carafes enables users to enjoy filtered pitchers of superior water. And, unlike that eyesore at the office, unlike that dispenser of lukewarm, foul water, these carafes—with a filter suspended above each of these items—give you a complete filtration system.

Allow me, too, to offer some additional context about the importance of design. For the construction of a health and wellness product can inspire trust—or induce an aversion to the product itself. It is not enough, in other words, for a product to uphold its claims and deliver on its promises: It must also be a physical statement of excellence, which proves that as much labor goes into creating this product as much as (or more than) what goes out of it—which, in this case, is sustainably sourced water.

These benefits are too important to ignore because our collective health is too significant to dismiss. If we want to strengthen the cause of corporate wellness, and secure the integrity of our drinking water, then the choice is obvious.

Let us choose quality.

Michael Shaw is an MIT-trained biochemist and former protégée of the late Willard Libby, the 1960 winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Based in the Greater Washington (DC) Area, Michael is a frequent writer and speaker about a variety of public health issues. 


Posted 9/12/16

NOTE: The statements presented in this column should not be considered medical advice or a way to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. The opinions presented here are those of the writer. WholeFoods Magazine does not endorse any specific company, brand or product.