Juicero, the startup that brought us $399 cold press juice machines that work as good as your bare hands, shut down earlier this month. While his company was being squeezed dry, founder Doug Evans reportedly posted a video of himself vanishing into a sandstorm at Burning Man. And now, a few weeks later, Evans has apparently emerged to embrace a new overpriced beverage: raw water.
In an Instagram story posted late Tuesday night, Evans announced from a location deep in the Marin County forest that he was “about to embark on a minimum of a five-day water fast,” as The Outline’s William Turton first noted on Twitter. Evans then showed off his spirit guides on this aquatic journey: several two-and-a-half galloons jugs of Fountain of Truth “fresh raw spring water,” priced at an incredibly fair $15 a piece (or as a little as $11 if you buy 20 jugs at a time) with an also very reasonable deposit of $22 per jug.
Evans isn’t unique among his Silicon Valley brethren in his pursuit of fasting. The Guardian ran a profile this month on a number of techies who are intermittently starving themselves in what they like to glorify as “biohacking.” Former CEO of Evernote Phil Libin, CEO of nootropics company HVMN Geoffrey Woo, Y Combinator partner Daniel Gross, and cofounder of European tech conference LeWeb Loic Le Meur are among the tech leaders adopting periods of fasting into their lifestyle. In fact, Libin told the paper that he along with “around 20 other CEOs and investors in the Bay Area” participates in a WhatsApp group called “Fast Club.” The HVMN Facebook group alone has over 6,690 members to date.
It’s evident that intermittent fasting is a growing trend, especially among techie types, but pricey glass jugs and shady science are an incredibly suspect route to a healthier life. Furthermore, high-powered individuals extolling the practice (whether it’s through Facebook support groups or Instagram stories) could encourage others to follow their lead without first seeking medical advice. “If you are going to do an extended fast, which I recommend against, then consult a doctor,” eating disorder specialist Shrein Bahrami told The Guardian.
And despite some pretty bold claims, Live Water, the company Evans got his water and hydration accessories from, makes a less than convincing case for the benefits of its “naturally probiotic” raw spring water.
“Major science has concluded that their [sic] is a body of water with a larger volume than all our oceans combined in the core of the earth,” the company’s website states. “In it’s natural cycle water is infinitely chemically and energetically complex. Water goes down into the soil and becomes the perfect probiotic as it passes through microbes and micro-organisms in the humus. It picks up bio-available mono atomic elements and minerals that just can’t be replicated.”
As a disclaimer at the bottom of the Live Water website notes, the FDA hasn’t evaluated any of the company’s claims and its services “are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
But what, exactly, is “raw water”? Live Water helpfully explains (emphasis ours):
For cheaper transport and shelf stability all other bottled, filtered, spring, and tap waters are sterilized with ozone gas, irradiated with UV light, and passed through a sub-micron filter It’s similar to juice that’s pasteurized so it can sit on shelves for months. Fresh squeezed juice is clearly better, but what about fresh squeezed spring water? Our water is kept cold and transported within days of collection.
Have you tried putting it in a bag, though?