Curious what the man who introduced the world to Juicero, the $400 machine that cold-pressed juice about as well as your bare hands did, is up to in 2018? Doug Evans’s free time since the company shuttered in September has allowed him to explore new things, like vanishing into a sandstorm at Burning Man, and apparently becoming a full-throated defender of “raw water” after cleansing on it and nothing else for ten days.
His newfound passion is just one part of a larger New York Times trend piece about Silicon Valley’s latest silly craze. The story notes that several brands have jumped on the bandwagon, and now sell “unfiltered, untreated, unsterilized” water in jugs for as much as $15 to $25 per gallon. Almost exclusively available on the West Coast, they join a larger anti-tap fad filled with start-ups like Arizona’s Zero Mass Water, which has already raised $24 million in venture capital.
It’s true — you could bottle this water for free yourself. And, in fact, sometimes Evans does:
But “spring hunting” isn’t easy, he tells the Times. A wrench actually got thrown into his sourcing: The closest spring for him in the Bay Area was recently blocked by a landslide, so now he must trespass across private property under the cover of night to reach it. (“Literally, you have to carry bottles of water through the dark.”)
Still, it’s been “a long time” since Evans has tasted tap water, partly because he also gets delivery from Live Water — sometimes styled “Līve,” so you know to stress it like alive. Evans likes to plug it on social media, and it’s a product created by Mukhande Singh (born Christopher Sanborn), whose sales pitch seems to be that, yes, filtering water is going “to get 99 percent of the bad stuff out. But now you have dead water.” What the “real water” movement backed by him and Evans offers is agua that expires. (“It’ll turn green,” he notes.) Some might consider that a liability, but there are other selling points. Like that it hasn’t been poisoned:
Mr. Singh believes that public water has been poisoned. “Tap water? You’re drinking toilet water with birth control drugs in them,” he said. “Chloramine, and on top of that they’re putting in fluoride. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it’s a mind-control drug that has no benefit to our dental health.” (There is no scientific evidence that fluoride is a mind-control drug, but plenty to show that it aids dental health.)
Here’s approximately $130 worth of Live Water and orb-holder thingies that you can purchase as add-ons:
* This post originally said Zero Mass sells the same “raw water” promoted by Evans, but its $4,500 system actually extracts moisture from thin air.