I’m a fan of the Food Network’s Food Detectives. I record it every week. On Food Detectives, they do experiments to solve those nagging questions, such as, is there any validity to the 5-second rule? (No.) Does eating turkey actually make you sleepy? (No.) Do you really eat less if you use smaller plates? (Yes.)
It’s great because it combines two of my favourite things: facts and food. Facts are good because I can then recite them and look smart. And food… Well, everything is good about food: eating it, cooking it, reading about it, talking about it, even watching it on TV.
So a recent test they did was of public water fountains. Just how bacteria-filled is the water from those things?
Actually, not that bacteria-filled at all. They’re cleverly designed such that the water arcs out of them, not really coming into contact with the spout. As long as your mouth touches only the water, not the spout (some people don’t, so the spouts do end up somewhat bacterial), you’ll be fine.
The water from the office water coolers, though… woah. Bacteria city! Not so well designed. Activated by bacteria-covered hands. In contact with reused, improperly cleaned water bottles… And rarely cleaned. Result was much worse than any of the tested public fountains.
Now I haven’t used the office water cooler in years. I’d like to say it was because of a well thought-out concern about bacterial contamination, but actually, it was because of a completely paranoid concern about water sitting in plastic for so long potentially picking up carcinogens. So instead I’ve been drinking bubbly water out of glass bottles, which I hope is slightly more environmental than plastic bottles–but I’m not sure.
At any rate, I have been remarkably cold- and flu-free the past few years. And it seems that, at least partly, this is why.