Is bottled water good or evil?

"Would you like bottled or tap water with your meal tonight?" That's the first question servers ask when you sit-down at a restaurant table. Diners love having the choice. But what if you were no longer given the option to select what kind of bottle you want? Well, if the non-profit organization Food Water Watch wins its campaign against the use of bottled water at New York restaurants, then NYC tap water will soon be the only option.

By launching the Take Back the Tap campaign, FWW is hoping to point out all the social, economic, and environmental problems brought on by the overuse of bottled water. How? They're encouraging approximately 1,000 New York City restaurants to stop selling bottled water.

Bottle fans may have another option. A newly launched company, GIVE water bottles, helps diners donate funds to one of three causes: children in need, women with breast cancer, and environmental concerns. All you have to do is purchase a blue-, pink- or green-colored water bottle; every time you buy a bottle of this natural spring water, ten cents is donated to your cause of choice. In other words you can become what the people at GIVE refer to as micro-philanthropists.

What if your local restaurants offered either tap water or GIVE water? Which would you chose?

Carolina Santos-Neves grew up in Brazil, Mexico City, and New York City. Her interest in the culinary field first surfaced in the second grade, when it became clear she only liked to play with edible play dough. Years later, after graduating from Brown University, she attended French culinary classes at the New School, honed her skills at the Grandaisy Bakery in Manhattan, and studied food writing. Her favorite pastime: perusing restaurant menus for Brussels sprouts, banana desserts, and eclectic ice cream flavors (like black pepper gelato). She attributes her interest in food to her mom's stories about growing up as an Ohio farm girl and to her dad's love of food and travel.


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