Monday, June 21, 2010
Today's family encounters a wide variety of products in the supermarket. Housewives who are concerned about better health and nutrition for their families usually select "natural" products versus those which have "artificial" flavors, coloring or "synthetic" fibers, nutrients, and so forth.
On the other hand, shoppers looking for a bargain, usually select the "synthetic" or "artificial" brands, without too much concern regarding qualitative or quantitative nutrient characteristics.
Because naturally-occurring ingredients are more difficult to obtain, and many times more expensive because of their scarcity, store shelves tend to be dominated by the "artificial" and "synthetic" varieties---thus catering to the bargain shopper, rather than the shopper intent on better nutrition.
Turning down the supermarket aisle where bottled water is stacked in neat rows, we see a similar situation. In the bottled water section we see all types of "additives" in small bottled water containers, so-called "nutrient" waters, de-ionized waters, reverse osmosis-treated waters, filtered waters, spring water and steam distilled water.
Only the last two types of waters---spring and steam distilled are natural products. Spring water is bottled as it occurs naturally in nature---usually directly from a ground source, and un-touched by other human, synthetic processes.
Steam distilled water is produced by a completely natural process, simple heating and cooling, exactly like earth's natural rain process, resulting in a product with completely natural qualities.
Tap water is being shunned by nearly half of California's population---either because of poor taste or because of fears of chemical contamination of various sorts. The rush to alternatives, namely the supermarket, vending machines, delivered water and water stores has produced much confusion regarding the benefits one may or may not obtain from these various alternatives to tap water.
The public is unaware that even well-known organizations such as the American Medical Association have correctly pointed out that "...the body's need for minerals is largely met through food, not drinking water".
Even the National Water Quality Association, not usually known for it's excursions into areas concerned with nutrition, has stated "...the amounts of minerals found in water are insignificant when compared to those found in the foods we eat".
True, these artificial waters might taste better than tap water when spiked with carbon dioxide, salts, sugars and other additives, but there is no proof whatsoever that any of these synthetic or artificial waters provide any nutrient benefits other than making one increasingly thirsty because of the sugar and salt additives.
We harp on our children because of their near-continual consumption of various types of sugary colas---while we grownups fill our own shopping carts with "designer" waters, simply an adult version of sugary colas.
The smart alternative in purchasing pure drinking water is simply to obtain pure, unadulterated H2O, uncontaminated with salts, metals, chemicals and additives that our body cannot use and most certainly must expel because of their undigestibility.
This alternative reduces to either steam distilled water or a top-quality spring water.
It is not uncommon to find warning signs in industrial and manufacturing environments which warn against the use of de-ionized water for drinking.
Even though millions of gallons of this clean, synthetic, artificial water are readily available in the workplace, bottled spring or distilled water will be found in those manufacturing and industrial workplaces for employee drinking needs.
To be more specific, there are no processes in nature which duplicate either reverse osmosis or de-ionization. In fact, reverse osmosis is the exact opposite(or reverse) of a natural process, osmosis. In attempting to create pure, industrial-grade water many years ago, scientists found that by reversing a natural process(osmosis) they were able to produce a fairly good quality of water. It was not a natural product, but it did meet their industrial requirements.
Today, this inexpensive industrial process has spilled over into the drinking water business where some bottlers, water stores and vending machines use the reverse osmosis technology to produce an inexpensive, moderately clean grade of artificial or synthetic drinking water.
On the other hand, steam distilled water is used in virtually every pharmaceutical where pure, natural absorption of nutrients or medication is required, in all naval vessels where pure, uncontaminated drinking water is produced from incredibly impure seawater and hundreds of other applications where pure, natural water is necessary.
Because of it's natural structure, the taste of distilled water is also much cleaner and smoother than de-ionized or reverse osmosis water.
The production of distilled water is with stainless-steel components while various types of synthetic rubber and plastic components are used to produce reverse osmosis water. It is therefore easy to understand why steam distilled water has no aftertaste while one with a sensitive palate can still taste the residue of the plastics and rubber components in the reverse osmosis water.
The only thing that reverse osmosis water seems to have going for it is it's lower cost---and that again is because of it's lesser purity than steam distilled water.
Remember, there are two pump at every gas station---one with regular gas, the other premium. These two pumps provide widely different qualities of gas---at two quite different prices.
I guess the most interesting thing about observing these pumps at a station is that the "premium" pump fits every gas tank---while the "regular" or leaded pump fits only a smaller portion of gas tanks.
The same can be said about naturally pure water such as distilled water. While it might costs a few cents more per gallon, it will meet everyone's needs because of it's higher purity.
Reverse osmosis water(although it is still "water") fits a much smaller percentage of needs because of it still contains small amounts of a wide variety of impurities and is not a natural water product.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Water (H2O) is the most abundant compound on Earth's surface, constituting about 70% of the planet's surface. In nature it exists in liquid, solid, and gaseous states. It is in dynamic equilibrium between the liquid and gas states at standard temperature and pressure. At room temperature, it is a nearly colorless with a hint of blue, tasteless, and odorless liquid. Many substances dissolve in water and it is commonly referred to as the universal solvent. Because of this, water in nature and in use is rarely pure and some of its properties may vary slightly from those of the pure substance. However, there are many compounds that are essentially, if not completely, insoluble in water. Water is the only common substance found naturally in all three common states of matter and it is essential for life on Earth. Water usually makes up 55% to 78% of the human body.
Forms of water
Like many substances, water can take numerous forms that are broadly categorized by phase of matter. The liquid phase is the most common among water's phases and is the form that's generally denoted by the word "water." The solid phase of water is known as ice and commonly takes the structure of hard, amalgamated crystals, such as ice cubes, or loosely accumulated granular crystals, like snow. For a list of the many different crystalline and amorphous forms of solid H2O, see the article ice. The gaseous phase of water is known as water vapor (or steam), and is characterized by water assuming the configuration of a transparent cloud. The fourth state of water, that of a supercritical fluid, is much less common than the other three and only rarely occurs in nature. When water achieves a specific critical temperature and a specific critical pressure (647 K and 22.064 MPa), liquid and gas phase merge to one homogeneous fluid phase, with properties of both gas and liquid. Since water only becomes supercritical under extreme temperatures or pressures, it almost never occurs naturally. One example of naturally occurring supercritical water is in the hottest parts of deep water hydrothermal vents, in which water is heated to the critical temperature by scalding volcanic plumes and achieves the critical pressure because of the crushing weight of the ocean at the extreme depths at which the vents are located.
In natural water (see Standard Mean Ocean Water), almost all of the hydrogen atoms are of the isotope protium, 1H. Heavy water is water in which the hydrogen is replaced by its heavier isotope, deuterium,2H. It is chemically similar to normal water, but not identical. This is because the nucleus of deuterium is twice as heavy as protium, and thus causes noticeable differences in bonding energies and hydrogen bonding. Heavy water is used in the nuclear reactor industry to moderate (slow down) neutrons. By contrast, the term light water designates water containing the protium isotope, in contexts when such distinction is needed. An example is the term light water reactor to emphasize that the reactor type uses light water.
Physics and chemistry
Water is the chemical substance with chemical formula H2O: one molecule of water has two hydrogen atoms covalently bonded to a single oxygen atom. Water is a tasteless, odorless liquid at ambient temperature and pressure, and appears colorless in small quantities, although it has its own intrinsic very light blue hue. Ice also appears colorless, and water vapor is essentially invisible as a gas. Water is primarily a liquid under standard conditions, which is not predicted from its relationship to other analogous hydrides of the oxygen family in the periodic table, which are gases such as hydrogen sulfide. Also the elements surrounding oxygen in the periodic table, nitrogen, fluorine, phosphorus, sulfur and chlorine, all combine with hydrogen to produce gases under standard conditions. The reason that water forms a liquid is that oxygen is more electronegative than all of these elements with the exception of fluorine. Oxygen attracts electrons much more strongly than hydrogen, resulting in a net positive charge on the hydrogen atoms, and a net negative charge on the oxygen atom. The presence of a charge on each of these atoms gives each water molecule a net dipole moment. Electrical attraction between water molecules due to this dipole pulls individual molecules closer together, making it more difficult to separate the molecules and therefore raising the boiling point. This attraction is known as hydrogen bonding. The molecules of water are constantly moving in relation to each other, and the hydrogen bonds are continually breaking and reforming at timescales faster than 200 femtoseconds. However, this bond is strong enough to create many of the peculiar properties of water described in this article, such as the those that make it integral to life. Water can be described as a polar liquid that slightly dissociates disproportionately into the hydronium ion (H3O+(aq)) and an associated hydroxide ion (OH−(aq)).
2 H2O (l) H3O+ (aq) + OH− (aq)
The dissociation constant for this dissociation is commonly symbolized as Kw and has a value of about 10−14 at 25 °C; see "Water (data page)" and "Self-ionization of water" for more information
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Water is essential for life. The amount of fresh water on earth is limited, and its quality is under constant pressure. Preserving the quality of fresh water is important for the drinking-water supply, food production and recreational water use. Water quality can be compromised by the presence of infectious agents, toxic chemicals, and radiological hazards.