The Year in Food 2007

Bottled Water Dries Up

A few years ago, restaurants Poggio in Sausalito, California, and Incanto in San Francisco stopped serving bottled water, citing the waste inherent in bottling and shipping the stuff—particularly in a country blessed with perfectly drinkable local tap water. It didn’t exactly catch on. But when Chez Panisse did the same thing last year, the food world took notice: In 2007, serving bottled water became a grave ecological sin. A few restaurateurs complained that cutting out fancy water was like cutting out booze—its stratospheric markups can seriously boost a restaurant’s profit margin. But the anti–bottled water bandwagon has momentum. Even New York City is now promoting its “Cool. Healthy. Clean. … NYC Water.” Meanwhile the bottled-water industry continued to launch new designer brands like 420, and struck back with this hilarious story in which bottled-water “experts” and “consultants” said things like “Bottled water is the next wine” and “Water is an amazing thing. It will reach out and touch something.” —Nicholas Day