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No bottled water at this fine restaurant

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

You won't find San Pellegrino or any other fancy imported water at Incanto, an Italian restaurant in San Francisco. In fact, you won't find any bottled water at all. Despite significant profit loss, Incanto's owner, Mark Pastore, refuses to pollute the oceans and air by shipping heavy glass water bottles across the ocean. Water bottled in plastic, produced domestically, is also out of the question for Pastore because of the plastic building up in our landfills and the large amount of petroleum needed to make it. But his customers need not be deprived of clean, bubbly water: Pastore has equipment to filter and carbonate his tap water. Some other prominent Bay Area restaurants, including Chez Panisse in Berkeley, have also stopped selling bottled water.

Good for them. Bottled water undermines consumers' confidence in their local water systems, allowing those with the resources the illusion of buying themselves out of "dirty" water. Illusion? Despite what water marketers would have us believe, bottled water faces less stringent regulation than tap water because it’s regulated as a food product, falling under the jurisdiction of FDA rather than the EPA.

EWG is currently working on a bottled water project. Tell us what you're drinking and help us build our database.

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