Okay, so I’m not a dad yet and I don’t really plan on being one anytime soon. That said I can’t really take infant matters with that much seriousness. However I do appreciate the fact that people want what is best for their babies and I probably would feel the same when put in the same situation. But I also hate seeing injustic in the name of capitalism and I generally won’t stand for it. I was in a Target store today and I saw the most horrifying thing I think I’ve ever seen before: Gerber Pure Purified Water. Unbelievable that we now have a brand of purified water for babies! It’s not enough that my dear old brother had me sitting in rush hour traffic the other day to go to Whole Foods for he and his girlfriend to fill up their decanters with $.39 a gallon de-ionized water when there are at least 10 other grocery stores with a litany of bottled water choices that were much closer. But that’s fine if that’s what my full grown adult brother chooses to do with his hard earned time and money. But coddling our infants on “purified water” – I mean, really?
I was just going to let this one go when my dear sweet wife checked the label and read me the source of this water: “Public Water Supply, Zephyrhills Florida.” Really? So this “public water supply” of this place in Florida is better than the public water supply of your or my hometown? Much to my chagrin, I had to investigate.
What is So Special About the Public Water of Zephyrhills Florida: From the Zephyrhills Brand Natural Spring Water website, I came across this little nugget about Zephyrhills Florida and its water. It’s rather lengthy but instructive:
“The history of Zephyrhills® Brand Natural Spring Water begins with a small town that earned the name “City of Pure Water.” This town is located among the scenic rolling hills, citrus groves and lakes of central Florida. The town was called Abbott Station and has a history dating to the Civil War. Paying $3 an acre, Simon J. Temple purchased the first section of land. In 1909, Captain H.B. Jeffries, a Civil War veteran, chose the sight for a war veterans’ colony because of the abundance of good water. While showing the town to prospective residents, Jeffries overheard one of the guest’s remark how zephyr-like breezes caressed the beautiful hills. The melodic name suits this ideal setting and gave the captain an idea. So, on March 10, 1910, Abbott Station officially became Zephyrhills. In the same spirit, we named our water Zephyrhills because, to us, it’s more than a name; it’s a celebration of what’s most natural about Florida. We believe Zephyrhills® Brand Natural Spring Water is the best that Florida has to offer: great-tasting water from natural springs in Florida. While Zephyrhills® Brand Natural Spring Water still comes from the Zephyrhills area; we have also selected additional spring water sources in Florida that will continue to deliver the clean and refreshing taste of Zephyrhills® Brand Natural Spring Water for many years to come.”
Okay, got that? Still, I would imagine that a “public water supply” is different from this obviously controlled “natural spring water” which has been commercialized and exploited and (likely) compromised. Or they may not have anything to do with each other at all! I’m not even sure if this brand of natural spring water shares anything to do with the public water supply from which Gerber Pure Purified Water finds its source.
Gerber Pure Purified Water: So then I did some more research and I came across the Gerber Pure website. Now, Gerber Pure is apparently from a variety of different places; among them Zephyrhills Florida. From their website:
“GERBER PURE Water is made for mixing, with minerals added for taste. Because GERBER PURE Water undergoes an extensive, multi-step process to ensure consistent purity and quality, you can be sure that it is clean water, pure and simple*. Specially designed for infants, GERBER PURE Water is just right for mixing with infant formula or cereal. GERBER PURE Water is a fluoride free choice-because babies less than 6 months don’t need fluoride.”
Gerber Pure goes on in a variety of fashions trying to validate their reason for existence, but I couldn’t figure out how any of them added up.
Gerber Pure on Associated Content: My Google search for all things Gerber Pure actually turned up an article from fellow Associated Content producer Steve Helmer. You can read his full piece HERE. I’ve got to say though, from what I read in his piece, Helmer didn’t seem convinced either. “I’m not going to say the Gerber Pure brand is any better than any other purified nursery water brand out there. I really can’t because it is just water in my opinion and there is likely no difference.” Helmer went on to allow Gerber Pure some leeway, saying that his daughter did seem to like the Gerber Pure water more than others “I’m not 100 percent certain on this so don’t take it as gospel. But, she seems to enjoy her formula more when we use the Gerber Pure water to make it. With the other brands, she will still eat it, but will only take a half bottle at a time. She will consume a full 8 ounces in a sitting when we use the Gerber Pure. I’m not sure if that’s just coincidence or if there really is a difference in taste (I’ve never actually tasted the water so couldn’t tell you either way).”
Gerber Pure Purified Water Conclusion: In the end though people, I wonder what the heck any of us did before things like bottled water and the like. My grandfather who I’m staying with for the summer is 83 years young; he is still as healthy as an ox and he, to this day has always drunken one kind of water: Tap water. You can’t always teach an old dog new tricks, but you sure can corrupt a pup into believing that the only kind of water they can drink is de-ionized, purified, and from someone else’s public water supply.