There is one, and only one processed food that I can recommend without reservation. It’s preparation is strictly watched and the standards for it are well-established. If anything goes wrong in the delivery system you are warned, and you will not be recommended to consume it until it is proven safe again.
Water out of a water fountain.
Publicly regulated water is something that we take for granted, and in places where water is not public, but a private commodity the people are miserable. Publicly regulated water is continuously monitored for purity at the water works, and they sample at the ends of the pipes that deliver it to your home. The second that something falls out of compliance you are warned in the paper and on the nightly news.
Think of how many times you have been warned that your water quality is out of bounds. I have been warned one time in fifteen years where I live in Missouri. Your record is probably similar, but it’s more likely that you have never been warned. Your public water is pure and inexpensive. The comparison between it and bottled water as far as cost is concerned is a no-brainer.
So, why do people make the choice to get water in a plastic bottle, and pay a thousand times more per gallon for it? Marketing. They have led you to believe that your tap water is impure. It’s a clever little lie. Sometimes it is. You will be warned if it is, and if it’s bad enough your water department may give you gallons of water to tide you over. Never had them give you water? Thats because there has never been anything wrong with your drinking water.
Do you avoid drinking fountains? Read this article from this morning’s NY Times…
Many people seem to be nervous about drinking from water fountains, even though it is well known that the municipal water of all major American cities is nearly always carefully monitored for germs and is safe to drink. In most cities, the water that comes out of home taps, park fountains and sidewalk fire hydrants is exactly the same.
They don’t mention it, but I will…the water found in a bottle of water bottled by Pepsi or Coke is also no different than the water from your tap. Filtering pure water is a thing, but it is not going to improve on the water in your tap.
This is not to say that you can’t find unsafe water fountains, but they are the kind you sit by, not drink from….
But Legionnaire’s bacteria have grown in decorative fountains. In one famous 2010 case, a “wall of water” feature in the lobby of a hospital in Wisconsin infected eight patients. It was growing in the foam material that was supporting the fountain’s decorative rocks. A study of the outbreak suggested that all hospital fountains be permanently shut down because of the threat to immunocompromised patients.
There you have it, a processed food I love. However, it doesn’t come in a bottle, or need a label. It is also incredibly inexpensive, and happens to be the very best unsweetened drink you can buy.