The Hippiecritical: Edition #3

Welcome to your weekly dose of weird, where I share new age trends and dig up gems from the counter-culture. You can sign up for the newsletter or find last week’s edition here.

Oz Chen
Published in
4 min readJan 21, 2020


This week we cover: Raw Water, Erowid, New Age Statistics, Legal Psychedelics and Stardust.

How do you like your water, raw or well-treated?

Raw water is “water found in the environment that has not been treated and does not have any of its minerals, ions, particles, bacteria, or parasites removed.” (Wikipedia)

Companies like Live Water are selling raw water like hot cakes. It’s part of an “off-grid water movement” that involves drinking unfiltered, untreated water.

The trend seems to be a confluence of these forces: distrust of the public water supply (think Flint), the raw food trend, and the idea that anything “natural” must be good.

Add conspiracy theories about government mind control, and you’ve got the makings of a hit new age product.

Vox and Verge talk about this concerning trend, in which enterprising companies stand to make a significant profit while potentially making their customers sick.

“Proponents claim that raw water’s health benefits include naturally occurring minerals and microbes. But the reality for any inadequately treated water from the tap or a spring is that those minerals can sometimes include arsenic, and those microbes can be deadly.”

The most damning coverage came from Men’s Health. Reporters went to Opal Springs, the source of Livewater’s raw water, and found that their pricey water is just “tap water from Jefferson County, which residents get piped into their homes for about one-third of a cent per gallon.”

(Btw, who expected such great investigative journalism from Men’s Health?)

Check out other people’s “trip” logs on Erowid