The Dwindling Supply Of Good Water On Our Planet

Let us start off by saying that our water is flowing pure and clear from the center of the earth here to our Boston Clear customers.  But we are fortunate.

As we in Massachusetts vote on Tuesday, consider your public officials’s stance on issues related to water.  While water is a national issue, its safety is best addressed at the local level where citizens can demand that their leaders do something beside issue statements that say our ‘water is safe to drink.’  If the water around the country is so clean, then why are so many people sick?!!!!

Each week we want to bring you information on water, not to scare you (though there is plenty to be scared about) but to inform you.   Through sharing stories of the struggles and the solutions surrounding the world’s clean water supply, we will solve this problem.

Water sources across the world, are under pressure from contaminates like lead, polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), manganese … that are all making people sick.  In many cases, people drink the water from the tap because that is all that they can afford, so the poorest among us are the ones getting the most contamination.  In the past, those testing water were looking for obvious contaminates, like lead, but now there are so many complex chemicals that have leeched into water supplies that are believed to cause high blood pressure, cancer and autism.

The contamination crisis of PFASs in the water is something that should concern a number of communities across the country.  According to Vice, PFAS are used in products to create items that are durable, heat resistance, and provide water- and oil-repellency. They can be found in carpet, apparel, fast food wrapping, non-stick substances, firefighting foam, and more. They are throughout the United States and, after decades of production, they have found their way into our bodies.

For many Americans, the phrase “water crisis” conjures thoughts of lead contamination in Flint, just a few hours’ drive northeast of Parchment. But increasingly, it’s also making them think of the chemicals countless drank—or may still be drinking—every day. From military bases to corporate waste sites, and in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado and beyond, new awareness of PFAS pollution and its long-term effects has left Americans horrified at the unusually durable “forever chemicals” they’ve been ingesting for years.

Lead paint was believed to be the cause of poisoning people in generations past, but could it have been in our drinking water?   However, conditions like high blood pressure are up and a new study suggests that it could be linked to lead;

It’s possible that lead exposure from decades past is helping feed the growing epidemic of high blood pressure, said Sung Kyun Park of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, who led the study team.

“Lead is a widespread environmental toxicant. As you have seen in Flint and many other cities, there may be continued exposure,” Park told NBC News.

Michigan’s drinking water is worse than what we read about in Flint, MI, which breaks our hearts.  While lead was the culprit in Flint, it is only one part of the problem;

Michigan’s experience with emerging contaminants is a clarion call to a nation that has forgotten some critical lessons from the past.  In all corners of the state, experts see a family of chemicals, once ubiquitous around the globe for decades, now linked to a series of deadly cancers, thyroid, autoimmune, metabolic and neurologic diseases, along with decreased fecundity and endocrine disruption. 

In places like El Salvador, water crisis is leading to outbreaks in violence.  According to one local, “The well doesn’t produce a lot of water and when it dries up, we have had problems with people fighting.”  Of course they do and it is going to get worse.

In Gaza, a war-torn area of the Middle East, water contamination is likely going to lead to an epidemic.  Children will be hit first, then, as it creeps into the lives of adults they will revolt.  Battles with neighboring Israel will likely occur if the water crisis is not addressed.  Water, a source that once drove people to come together, could lead to fighting that will certainly drive us apart.

Water is necessary for our existence, but before we run out of water, we are going to resort to fighting over it and about it.  The quality of our water and how we protect it, could be the single source of peace in the world … something to think about today as we head into Thanksgiving.  This year, give thanks to clean water.

Come to our Hate Free Zone and enjoy some of the finest water in the universe.

America’s Battle For Clean Water Has No Easy Answer

We expect honesty from those in our government (we won’t get any more political  than that here).  However, when it comes to our safety, we expect both honesty and transparency.  Never has there been a time when we need both of these when we look at our water supply.

As Pocahontas Spring’s natural flow slows at this time of year before returning to its more robust self in a few weeks , we reflect on how special this amazing resource is to us.  When you taste the purity of our water, you will never want tap water … you will never want bottled water again!  However, when it comes to tap water, it is more than just taste, it is about safety.

Maxx loves the spring and those New England Patriots

In Newark, NJ, the city conducted an engineering study and found that measures to prevent lead from leaching into drinking water were failing at a treatment plant.  The New York Times described the problem as one approaching the level of Flint, MI.  However, officials stated on the city’s website, in all caps, that “NEWARK’S WATER IS ABSOLUTELY SAFE TO DRINK.”  Then mayor Ras Baraka clarified the statement saying “In fact, Newark has some of the best drinking water. The problem is that our infrastructure is not safe.”  WHAT?

Problems with water stretch to rural areas as well.  NPR reported in small Martin county Kentucky town on the West Virginia border, a place where you might think the water is so pure, but found contamination so bad that some teenagers have no memory of ever drinking water from the tap.  Just like in Newark, the problem is not that treatment plants are putting out contaminated water (though some add chemicals to make sure the water is “clean”), the problem is the delivery system of pipes.  According to a Gail Brion, a University of Kentucky professor who specializes in water infrastructure:

“The treatment plant operators can’t control the quality of the water in the pipes if they cannot keep the pipes intact.  This is really not on the water quality coming out of the plant. It is on what happens to the water as it goes through this leaky straw.” 

In Miami, the rising water associated with global warming (whether or not you think humans are to blame is not the point) is leading to a crisis in that major city.  According to Bloomberg, Miami-Dade is built on the Biscayne Aquifer, 4,000 square miles of unusually shallow and porous limestone whose tiny air pockets are filled with rainwater and rivers running from the swamp to the ocean. The aquifer and the infrastructure that draws from it, cleans its water, and keeps it from overrunning the city combine to form a giant but fragile machine. Without this abundant source of fresh water, made cheap by its proximity to the surface, this hot, remote city could become uninhabitable.

So what is the fix?  First, come to our spring and fill your glass containers.  But we realize that not everyone can do that.  The Environmental Protection Agency estimates it will cost the nearly $400 billion to repair the millions of miles of eroding pipe that is the main culprit of dirty tap water.  The money for that will mostly come from those who are on the main water supply that is run by a municipality or private companies with oversight from government regulators.  For places like Martin county, one of the poorest counties in the country, its residence may never be able to afford repairs and will be forced to purchase bottled water (also a big expense).

Locally, we have seen towns across New England that have encountered problems with tap water, including our own Lynnfield, MA.  These crises are often viewed as temporary after some action taken … then assurances that the water is safe.  This trend, sadly, is most likely going to continue because there are no easy answers.

What’s In Your Water?

Let’s start off by asking “What is in our water at Pocahontas Spring?”  The answer is “what Mother Earth put into it with the addition of fine filter to capture debris (don’t want rock parts in your water) and we hit it with a ultraviolet light to kill any bacteria.  Ultraviolet (or UV) light is a type of radiation. In simple terms, when any type of bacteria or microbe is directly exposed to certain types of UV light, the DNA (its fundamental building block) of the cell is damaged, preventing it from replicating. If a cell cannot reproduce, then the cell cannot cause infection, which is how UV light kills bacteria.  This does not affect the quality of the water (taste, smell, pH, alkaline or mineral makeup), it just kills the bacteria.  From there, the water goes out the vending spouts to your containers.

But water that goes through metropolitan treatment facilities, often have added chemicals, like chlorine and fluoride.  However, people are now concerned about the things that are being added to the water they drink.

Chlorination is the process of adding chlorine to drinking water to disinfect it and kill germs. Different processes can be used to achieve safe levels of chlorine in drinking water.   While the chlorine could be harmful in high doses, when it is added to water, they all mix in and spread out, resulting in low levels that kill germs but are still safe to drink.  The reason for adding chlorine is that the source of water that is being treated is a combination of a feed of water sources (lakes and streams) combined with runners off from sewers and land.  This means that treatment plants have a lot of stuff to kill before it gets to your house.  It also has to have enough chemicals in it to safely pass through pipes to residences.  To us, water like this is good for flushing and bathing, but not so good for drinking … but hey, we’re particular about our water.

Then there is fluoride.  The addition to fluoride, once hailed as an outstanding healthcare achievement since it was found to curb tooth decay, began being controversial in the 1950s.   Today, people have developed a number of theories, many of which have been debunked,  as to the dangers of the naturally found compound.  There is a big movement by many municipalities to have it removed from their water treatment, believing that it causes autism and a number of other negative health conditions.  The fact is, people want less added to their water.

When it comes to bottled water that you see in the store, there may be no chlorine or fluoride in the water but there may be something you never thought should be …. PLASTIC.  The perception of bottled water being clean and pure is being challenged by a global investigation that found the water tested is often contaminated with tiny particles of plastic.

A number of factors  are going to determine our fate as a planet, clean water is one of them.  We came across this  article in Wired that said climate change could impact the production / cost of beer!!!  Say it ain’t so!

There is also the issue of contaminants being purposely put into water sources that is meant to do no harm.  In Minnesota, they are using a chemical in lakes to get rid of the algae that is growing out of control … but some are skeptical as to whether or not it is harmful to those who later drink that water.  You decide, but we think when man tries to resolve one problem, he often creates two.

We prefer water from the earth, from deep within the earth.

Big Problems Require Big Thinking … Our Growing Population And How To Feed It

We have addressed, and will continue  to  address, the issues surrounding how we provide safe drinking water to people locally and nationally.  One of the issues that has caused our water problems has been the expansion of our population that has led  to pollution, loss of  clean water supplies and over use of  chemicals to treat an aging  infrastructure to deliver clean water.   The sheer size of the world’s population is posing  yet another problem, how to feed us  all.

In an exceptional  article in the  Washington  Post, Joel Achenbach says that one of the solutions to feeding the masses involves less reliance on meat  and the adoption of more fruits and vegetables (just  like your mom told you).  Looks like the vegan  lifestyle was more  practical than many of us thought … it is the future.  According to a report published in the journal Nature:

The food system is a major driver of climate change, changes in land use, depletion of freshwater resources, and pollution of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems through excessive nitrogen and phosphorus inputs. Here we show that between   2010 and 2050, as a result of expected changes in population and income levels, the environmental effects of the food  system could increase by 50–90% in the absence of technological changes and dedicated mitigation measures, reaching  levels that are beyond the planetary boundaries that define a safe operating space for humanity. We analyse several options for reducing the environmental effects of the food system, including dietary changes towards healthier, more  plant-based diets, improvements in technologies and management, and reductions in food loss and waste. We find that  no single measure is enough to keep these effects within all planetary boundaries simultaneously, and that a synergistic  combination of measures will be needed to sufficiently mitigate the projected increase in environmental pressures.
One driving factor of the pollution of the earth (and there are many) is the consumption of meat (poultry, beef and pork).  Achenbach’s assessment is that “… efforts to keep climate change at an acceptable level won’t be successful without a huge reduction in meat consumption.”  Eat your veggies.
Here are some other facts you  might find interesting (shocking):
  • Half the planet’s ice-free land surface is devoted to livestock or the growing of feed for those animals, Richardson said. That’s an area equal to North and South America combined
  • Some 70 percent of the world’s fresh water is already used in agriculture
  • Rising income in China and many other formerly impoverished countries brings with it a higher demand for meat and other forms of animal protein
  • The current food system is incredibly wasteful, with about a third of the food produced eventually being discarded because of spoilage
  • About 3 billion people are malnourished today and 1 billion of them suffer from food scarcity

Changes in how we treat our planet will come about by either careful planning or necessity.   I think we know which one is preferred.

Here Is What We Are Working On … And There’s Plenty

THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!

We are so appreciative of the support everyone showed during our Lynnfield Zoning Board of  Appeals meeting on October 2.  We prevailed at the hearing and many of you got to speak on behalf of our spring.  We know you had other things to do  and greatly appreciate your taking the time to attend.  Now our work continues.

Our goal is to provide our wonderful water to you and to educate you on what we see are challenges to water supplies around the world.  While we note challenges, we also want to provide solutions.  As we  carry out our mission, we will continue to be focused on writing here on the following issues:

Our Spring – We provide updates on our spring and share the stories of the people who visit it.  Our articles contain hyperlinks to the sources of our stories … NO FAKE NEWS HERE!   We know that people who visit  our website and spring have interest in water and conserving our planet … so we turn you on to news and resources  that keep  you informed.   Here is a good article we found on Indians who have no drinking  water when there is a Nestle water bottler nearby!  It is stories like this that we want to bring to your attention.

The Retail Water Markets – We know that you pass through shopping markets and see water labeled as “spring,” “mineral,” “pure,” etc.  But what we continue to read about mislabeling of water that is nothing more than filtered/chemically treated water. Lawsuits against giants Nestle and LaCroix provide a disturbing look into what goes into water that many people drink each day.  Whether people enjoy these water products for convenience or safety (public water supplies are another problem) they trust that these companies and the government organizations that provide oversight will provide a safe product.  This may not be the case.

Quality of Our Public Water – We are the first  to admit that Boston has done a lot to clean up the harbor and rivers … but it probably had nowhere to go but up!  Boston Harbor is the cleanest it has been in decades and the The Charles River is almost swimmable (not that we would recommend that).  However, each week we seem to see problems with local water supplies … like in Stoneham,

Plastics And Our Oceans – Our oceans are in trouble.  Plastics, overfishing and pollution spilling into the oceans is killing our most abundant resource … WATER!  Again, some of these issues  hit close to home like this story of seals dying along our coast earlier this year.  The specific reasons for this type of damage are not known, but it is clear that it has to do with our continued mistreatment of our oceans.  For our part, our business model is based on reusing containers (preferably glass) through vending refills.  This eliminates millions of plastic bottles from our landfills and oceans.

Saving Our Planet – We believe that our  spring provides a way for people to connect with the earth.   It is more than just saving our planet from pollution, it is about getting to know more about the planet so we care enough to save it.  To some, our spring has been a place of spiritual enrichment and others a place to meditate in a busy world.  There is a spiritual awakening going on around the country and we see it everyday at Boston Clear.

Whatever your reasons for visiting our  spring, we thank you.  We thank you for sharing your stories and stopping by to talk to us in the office.  We thank you for your support and we look forward to serving future generations the finest water in the galaxy!

 

 

 

 

October 3, 2018 – You Were Heard And The Spring Stays!

It is with gratitude that we inform you that Pocahontas Spring at Boston Clear will remain open.  We had so many supporters who stayed until near midnight to hear the Lynnfield ZBA come  to its decision.   THANK YOU!!

While we will not dwell on the past, we take from this experience just how much this place is loved by so many people.  Now we move on to serving you the best water in the galaxy, bringing you life enriching stories and welcoming you to the spring.

Our  focus will now turn to serving you better.  The coming water crisis (both the shortage of and its treatment by chemicals) is a  growing concern.  In India, where access to clean water has become a health crisis, one technology company has started water ATMs around cities.  The company, Janajal, is at the forefront of delivering water to millions of people in India.  We see that same trend here in the U.S. as there are numerous reports  on how cities are struggling to deliver clean drinking water to its citizens.  In New York,  they recently announced a $200 million plan to  provide clean water.  It will take years to implement, so what do citizens do until then?

Bottled water is an issue.  It creates other problems such as concerns for how plastics interact with the water and the disposal of the plastic container.  In some situations, there will always be a need for plastic bottles, but the days of lifeless water being stacked on pallets at the store  will come to an end as consumers demand that their water offer something more than H2O.

The future of water is upon us and your support for our spring means that we will be her to be a part of the solution to the coming water crisis.  From all of us at Boston Clear …. THANK YOU!

 

A Story From A Loyal Customer And WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

We are always reminded of the quality and character of the people who visit us here at Boston Clear.  Each one of you has a story and we honor every one of them.  Serving you is our mission, which brings us to one more battle that we must overcome.

Please mark your calendar for October 2, 2018 at 7:30pm for the Lynnfield Zoning Board of Appeals (TOWN HALL- H. JOSEPH MANEY HEARING ROOM 55 SUMMER STREET, LYNNFIELD, MA).  While we are confident in our position, the neighbors who have lodged their compliant seek nothing less than shutting the spring and leveling all structures on the land.   Such an action would be unconscionable.  We need everyone’s support … and Andrea’ note, below, is why we work so hard.

Andrea Vallario was drawn to yoga through the interesting blend of spirituality through body sense, philosophy and poetry. She began practice by studying with a variety of styles and teachers and almost immediately began training with alignment and heart-centered focused styles while maintaining an open internal curiosity toward direction of further study (all from her website).  She, like you, is just one of the special caring people who are blessed to to connect with at the spring.  Here is a letter that she wrote to us and gave us permission to share it here:

With hope I write to tell a little of my story. I have been working through some health issues for some time now, and have come to find what I have been looking for in a local practitioner and clinical herbalist. During one of my appointments, he offered to fill my bottle with the water he had in his kitchen. At some point during the session, I was compelled to ask him, since I have been coming to see him some time, and every time I enjoy water from his home, my body would seem to respond positively. I noticed a difference in taste, how my body felt, and how it responded to drinking the water that was offered. He of course shared a little bit about how most people get their water supply. And although for 3 years I have been appreciating the purified, filtered water from my place of work, it tasted nothing like the water that was given to me at my practitioners home.
 
Since that time in the office, I have been making trips, approx 40 min drive) to Boston Clear Water and sharing what I have with friends. It’s worth it.  I feel a sense of foundational support when I drink the water from the spring, something noticeably different from the water from work, or any other filtered or bottled water which I have had over the years. I even do my best to ration it while working for I feel a sense of emptiness in the water that is not from BCW.
 
Additionally, I write to support BCW mission to provide safe and healthy, affordable drinking water to many people in our area. And most importantly, I feel a sense of peace and welcome when I am at the site, with it’s prayers, statues, candles, sanctuary. I notice how the people who come all have a sense of gratitude and warmth, one of generosity and peace. When I am there, I feel like we are all together receiving blessings of nature and giving back. 
 
Please consider the words of many who come here for healing and how we walk away in better spirits with an attitude of service and responsibility to each other.
Thank you,
Sincerely, 
Andrea Vallario
Andrea Vallario RN, RYT 500
Thank you Andrea!!!!

A Mineral Spring With A Spiritual Side

We welcome everyone to drink our water and we want you to come to our spring.

Each day people come down the long drive, park near our red building, pull out their containers and fill them.  We love seeing you, and that is the most important part of our work here.  One of the most rewarding experiences is talking with all of you and we marvel when we see parents teaching their children about our natural mineral spring … one more generation.

Sharing a small symbol of love at the spring

Boston Clear’s primary mission is to preserve this special place so that many generations will be nourished by our water and be moved by the peace that surrounds the spring.  We learn more about how special our spring is by gathering information on its history and talking with the people who come here.  Anyone who knows Anthony and sees him at the spring, knows that they are going to get more than water when they poke their head into his office.  It is about sharing, talking and connecting with the earth.

When Anthony purchased the spring, he envisioned a sanctuary for people.  That meant cleaning the place.  For those of you who have come here for years, you will remember that the previous operators were not only poor at running the spring, they were careless with the land.  Anthony had car parts and trash pulled from the wetlands soon after he took ownership. It was an arduous task.  While the debris has never had any affect on the quality of water coming into the spring house that is delivered to you through our vending operation, it was tarnishing the history and spirit of the spring.

For centuries, Pocahontas Spring has been a gathering place for people who honored the land surrounding the spring.  At times, it meant communing with neighbors and at others it meant a spiritual connection with the earth.  That is why it was important for Anthony to create a place where people do more than fill containers, it is a place where people come together … and you have to have respect for any place that brings people together.

The spring is open because we want people to come.  Anthony has preserved a peaceful garden where couples come to sit on our bench, individuals come to contemplate difficult decisions and children giggle as they place their hands in a running stream of cold water.  You cannot help but feel the magic of this place.  Certainly you can find most any place to meditate (here is a good article we found) but why not have THE place to go … Pocahontas Spring.

You will see statues and symbols around the property.  While they individually may seem to represent a certain faith, belief or heritage, the main message of all of these is that we are all connected.  As Anthony is fond of saying of the spring, “This is a hate free zone.”

The spring calls you to come and we will always fulfill our mission to allow you to have access to it … for water, for spiritual healing or for peace.

Plastic Is Choking Our Planet … Some Solutions

We at the spring are committed to clean water and that means a clean planet.  In addition to getting the finest water in the galaxy, you are doing your part to save our plant from plastic.  Refilling your containers at Boston Clear means fewer plastic bottles.  So let’s do a little calculation to let you know how you are contributing to a better world by not picking up a 12 oz bottle of water:

1 gallon of water equates to approximately 10 water bottles (12 oz each)

x 5 gallons/week = 50 bottles

50 bottles x 52 weeks = 2,600 plastic bottles NOT USED

So as you pass someone at the spring and see them filling their bottles, realize that their actions are keeping plastics out of our landfills … and our oceans.  Plastics have a life of nearly 400 years before they completely decompose … they decompose faster in water but that is just poisoning our oceans.

We always try to bring you good news here as well.  While we are trying to do our part to help the planet, we are thankful that there are some really intelligent people coming up with solutions.  One we found recently was an inventor who has launched a vessel to clean our oceans that are polluted with over 5 trillion pieces of plastic (wow!).  You can follow the progress of the project here.  Boyan Slat, a 24 year old Dutch entrepreneur, has built the largest floating barrier ever deployed that uses the ocean’s own currents to capture plastic to clean up the massive Pacific garbage patch.  It works like a giant piece of floating pipe that collects plastics then barges are dispatched to collect the trash clinging to it.  Will it work?  We hope so!!  It just launched and updates will be coming soon.  The challenge will be trying to figure out what to do with all the plastic it collects.

There are some other uses for plastics and we found some inspiring stories (and a few tragic ones) portrayed in pictures as to the life of plastic bottles.

So what else can you do to save our planet from plastic?

  1. Use glass containers and fill them at Boston Clear Water 🙂
  2. Say no to plastic – no bags, no straws
  3. If you use plastic or aluminum, recycle
  4. Shop at local farmer markets and bring your own bags
  5. When you are on the beach, pick up a piece of trash and put it in a barrel

Every little bit makes a difference.   It reminds us of a story from Sir Richard Branson who once told of a little girl who was walking the beach and picking up sand dollars and throwing them back into the ocean.  A man walked by and asked, “What are you doing there young lady?”   To which she replied, “I’m tossing these sand dollars back into the ocean because they will certainly die here on the beach as the tide is going out and the sun is hot.”

The man looked down the beach and said, “There are so many sand dollars here on the beach, you could not possibly get to them all.  So what difference does it make?”

The little girl picked up a sand dollar at her feet and threw it into the ocean then looked up at the man, “It made a lot of difference to that one.”

Make a difference today!  We want to eliminate 1,000,000 plastic bottles as a result of our efforts.  Stay tuned for updates!

A Registered Nurse Speaks Out About Her Search For Clean Water

We love  sharing stories of people who either visit our spring or share our love of springs.

Mary Richardson (BA, MS, RN, IBCLC) is a  registered nurse who is on a search for clean water.  So much so that she moved from her home in central Pennsylvania to Manitou Springs, CO (1,600 miles !!!!).

Mary shares a pic of a glass of water from Manitou Springs

She reached out to us at Boston Clear on her journey across the country and her passion for mineral water.  Mary informed us that there is a worldwide Baby Friendly movement, a group dedicated to standardizing care for infants … clean water being one of them.  However, clean water for babies is not the only thing they need,  they need nourishment that comes from a mother’s milk … so when some hospitals encourage powder formula, we introduce a water problem.  According to Baby-Friendly USA, U.S. hospitals that have received a Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) designation must follow certain rules about when and how they offer formula to new parents.

Young mothers, parents, are looking for guidance in their first days after giving birth.  Some hospitals provide free formula for newborns (courtesy of large formula makers like Nestle).  The fact is, this sort of give-away deters women from wanting to breast feed and then mothers’ milk soon dries up.  The result is that we have too many babies on formula that would be much better served having something better for them.  Mary recognizes that mothers can choose, but are they getting all the facts to make the right choice or are these choices driven by profit?

Many doctors recommend breast feeding for up to a year.  So how many mothers choose breast feeding for their child?  In the U.S., about 80% of women start out breastfeeding but a number of studies suggest that this percentage drops off quickly after the first month of life.  Only about half of U.S. babies (51.8 percent) are still breastfeeding at 6 months of age … by the time the child is one year old, only 34% are being breastfed.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

“Many mothers begin breastfeeding but need community support to help them overcome challenges they may face in the hospital, when they go home, or after they return to work. This support might include breastfeeding education programs, improved maternity care practices in hospitals, peer and professional support for moms; and adequate space and equipment to breastfeed or express breast milk in workplaces and childcare centers.”

A look at a map of breastfeeding statistics reveals a concern that some states, particularly the poorer states, experience shorter breastfeeding terms for their babies … the population in these states, the ones who can least afford additional costs, appear to choose the additional cost for formula over babies’ health.  That just does not make sense!

Our own Anthony Gattineri on his way to Manitou Springs, CO … connecting the water.

While Mary acknowledges these challenges, many hospitals do not fully inform mothers of the dangers associated with formula along with the great benefits of breast feeding.  As Mary put it, “Hospitals hand out formula like it’s candy.  I love babies, being a mom/baby nurse and when I found out, well my heart collapsed.

Mary presented all the information she could to the hospital about the trap in which they were putting new mothers and their newborns.  They took a tough stand and when Mary saw that there was no hope of her employer becoming “Baby Friendly,” she made the move.  Now, living in Colorado, she has found a new hospital and a new way of life.

The springs in Colorado are renowned and Mary has visited a number of them in the area.  One of the things we noted was that one of the websites we visited about the springs said that they believed that the springs “once were thought to have healing powers.”  Mary said they absolutely have healing powers!  The photo here is one Mary snapped on her porch enjoying a cool glass of water.

So what makes Manitou so special:

Rainwater and snow melt from Pikes Peak and surrounding mountains soak into rock fractures. As the water penetrates to great depth, it becomes heated and mineralized. The warm water naturally flows up into cavernous limestone where it becomes carbonated, then issues from the numerous natural and drilled springs throughout Manitou. Because the water takes thousands of years to complete its journey from mountain sources, it is totally free of industrial and atmospheric contamination.

Makes us thirsty just thinking about it.  As for Mary, she loves her move but misses her home in Pennsylvania.  Her dedication to exposing how big companies trade babies’ health for profit is to be commended.  Her hope is that the comradery among her new co-workers will spark some renewed energy to fight on.  Mary said,

“I think of our children and the future for our planet every day and feel I have a moral obligation to do my part.  I want to leave this world a better place.  My voice may not be the best, but I have one.”

Mary believes that the lack of information on what we ingest has spread to our water.  As she put it, we believe we can turn on the faucet and the water that comes out is safe … it is not.  Like formula, it is full of chemicals that imitate the real thing but fall short.  Mary told me, “We have to realize that we are taking toxins into our body if we drink water from a tap.  As a society we have to realize that we are causing our own diseases.  The search for pure, natural, nourishment will help us all live long, happier, lives.”

Mary asked me to share a poem she wrote about how big companies are robbing our babies.  We with her luck in her new life and will certainly keep you all posted on her spring journey:

FIRST ONE IS ALWAYS FREE

Dealers of liquid formula, pushed through open doors,

Supplying a neighborhood nursery, non-“Baby Friendly” floor.  

Watchful nurses taking note, heed this curious sight,

Bottles appear mysteriously, cloak and dag by night.

Central nursery cabs and bins, always plumply stocked,

Ready to feed formula, complete with swanky tops.  

Polished logos shining bright, glossy picture themes,

Fess uncertain knowledge and quite possibly, malice schemes.

Special hand-held bottles, come desperate to defend,

We comprehend, we realize, our moms are hooked again.   

We’re solemn and profess our part, and wipe our conscience clean,

“Just one to help a real tired mom, we pray she doesn’t wean.” 

We struggle to unravel, this contorted paradigm,

You see, breastfeeding education, demands a massive chunk of time.

Working thru the dead of night, grim reality sets in,

There is no rest, we do our best, keep baby skin-to-skin.

Request for aide and some relief, a real Lactation Team?

I guess for now, yet somehow, tonight we only dream. 

Bravely marching forward, call bells unending ring,

We require reinforcement troops, to fight this dreadful thing.  

We have borne some heavy losses, during these Baby Friendly Times, 

We call upon our government to halt these human crimes.

The WHO CODE needs our grave support, to protect the weak and poor,

From predatory companies, with delusions of grandeur.   

Our under-education is a disrespectful shame,

To not call out an industry, that both profits and seeks to maim.  

Ours moms and babes deserve better, though a third world-wide apart,

We stand united together, until death do us part.

  • Mary Laura Richardson