Can We Industrialize the Bottle Battle?

Back awhile, American tourists traveling in Europe tended toward bemusement on noting that Europeans drank bottled water. Everybody warned us before a trip to Italy not to drink water from the taps, it would make us sick. We felt smug about our potable tap water we’d always taken for granted at home.  And we caught an Italian waiter refilling water bottles in the back of a restaurant…from the tap. Hmnn…

A decade later, Americans were drinking bottled water too or at least younger ones were, and without WWII destruction of water facilities as an excuse.  Marketers had pointed at sophisticated European habits and enlisted fashion leaders to leave tap water as suitable for yokels and somehow less ‘pure’ and the public was happy to buy in, though much of the bottled product originated out of city taps (unmentioned, of course). Now, some of those fashion leaders have noticed piles of discarded plastic bottles rising high enough to replace the shuttle as a staircase to the space station and decided: Bottled water is so  1980’s! You can read of it in: “Wastrel Water.” It’s expensive too, somewhere between gasoline and perfume per ounce. So now, if you want to be a fashion leader, go out and proclaim the superiority of the humble tap. Well, a filtered tap, if you want to be fancy. It’s all kind of amusing, seems to me…

America’s bottled water fad reminds me of America’s industrial history in a way. The U.S. built the world’s leading industrial production machine along with the world’s most advanced, large-scale municipal water systems. In order to be more like Europeans, Americans have turned their backs on both, though there’s never been any need to do that.

Now, the fashionistas are telling us to do a one-eighty on the water; we’ll be seeing: “The New Cuisine, Cook with Chlorine” in trendy cookbooks, no doubt. Well, that’s okay, I guess; I’ve been drinking room temp tap all along. See what a real fashion leader I am? All instinctive, too. I’ll be one of the beautiful people, soon as I can figure out how to be beautiful. As an American male, that immediately suggests buying a set of 44D’s; that seems the unisex way to do it nowadays and it probably wouldn’t shock anyone but there’d be something still missing. And it’d likely make my wife jealous and I can’t cook. Oh, well!

Now, if we could just find some leaders interested in restoring American industry…

About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
This entry was posted in Business, Capitalism, Competition, Environment, Europe, Food and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Can We Industrialize the Bottle Battle?

  1. Tracie Louise says:

    You will never get rid of bottled water whilst there are people making money from it… why do you think you still have cigarettes.

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