Water and Quality of Life. Talk with Marina Chugunkina, water expert
Interview by Elena Malikova
Code de Vino continues its research into the properties of water, and would love to involve both professionals and ordinary consumers in our efforts. We all drink water and other liquids every day, but few of us ever actually consider how deeply it can influence our lives. Meanwhile, the problem of water quality is becoming increasingly important in society today.
For this issue, we had the chance to sit and chat with expert Marina Chugunkina (from OrganicFood). When it comes right down to it, the question of quality ultimately centers around individual taste. In the process of her constant analysis and comparison, Marina arrived at an interesting conclusion she would like to share today with the readers of Code de Vino.
— Different types of water vary in how they can influence our bodies. How can someone tell good water from bad by looking at its appearance, shape, color, transparency, smell and taste?
— Water structured by nature itself is very clean and transparent, with an almost soft natural glow. Its taste may vary from bland to slightly salty or sweet, depending on its composition. The smell is normally not strong enough to serve as a reliable characterization method. The closest description I can provide is probably freshness.
You might also consider parameters such as the feeling it has on your tongue and palate. It should be like a gentle, soft touch. By the way, natural seltzer water has its own natural gas, albeit quite light.
— We can’t open a bottle and try water in the store, so what other aspects can we use to determine its quality?
— First of all, the bottle itself. It should be made of fairly thick glass or high-quality plastic. Take the bottle and look at it in the light. Then examine the contents, especially the mineral composition of the water. Any table water that can be consumed without limits should have a maximum 1 g/L of minerals. Water with a mineral content from 1 to 10 g/L is medicinal table, while water with more than 10 g/L of minerals is considered medicinal, and can only be consumed after a physician’s consultation.
Take Selters as an example. It is still water with a mineral content of 0.45 g/L, so even nursing mothers can drink it safely. All other Selters water has 1.45 g/L of minerals, and can be consumed in unlimited amounts as table water. Also make sure that the water is bottled in the same location where its spring or well is located. It is not uncommon when famous water brands bottle products in regions on the other side of the country. There is no sense in paying more for this kind of product.
— How trustworthy and reliable is the price-quality ratio?
— I am adamantly convinced that quality should always be higher than price, and only in this case can it be trusted. However, this happens rarely, and only with the best brands.
— Many people, when they try Selters for the first time, notice right away its positive effect on their health. Yet Selters is not rich in any specific minerals that can produce such an immediate positive effect. What causes this nuanced but potent effect right after consumption?
— This is all thanks to its contents, structure, and energy. What happens to our bodies when they come into contact this water? First, it interacts with our sensory organs, then moves on to the internal organs. You feel less tired, your mind clears up, and your body feels invigorated. In a word, you feel like a whole new person. If you drink this water on a consistent basis, you are sure to notice its beneficial healing effect. It flushes out harmful elements from your body, retains what’s most beneficial, and restores and enriches our very structure.
Natural mineral water passes through various layers of rock, and is filtered and cleansed naturally. Due to its slow flow, it absorbs minerals, micronutrients and carbon dioxide, which imbues each type of water with its unique taste. Since it is all natural, our bodies absorb and digest such water easily.
— Some experts believe that our quality of life depends almost entirely on the quality of water we drink. Can you say that your life actually changed after you started learning about the nature of liquids and drinking Selters water?
— Quality food and water change a person’s view of life. Above all else, my consciousness has changed. When you study this topic, this product and its production processes, for a long time, it causes shifts in your consciousness and attitude to what and how we consume. It is not poor-quality products that cause our bodies harm, but rather a lack of knowledge and understanding. You see, a lot of people think: «Well, it’s fine if it didn’t kill me!» Indeed, very few understand that being alive is not analogous to living a tasteful, healthy and fulfilled life.
Over time, you understand how few truly high-quality, environmentally sound products are out there, and how much we really have to do to make our production environmentally friendly to save our planet.
— What discoveries in the world of taste has Selters water helped you make?
— The first surprise when you consume such a natural beverage, is how clean and invigorating it makes you feel.
— Today, the number of springs with fresh mineral water has been gradually declining, but people have invented other technologies to structure water. These methods include magnetization, physical-chemical activation, freezing, and enrichment with micronutrients and even microorganisms (for example, what’s known as coral water).
Can artificially structured water be a substitute for naturally mineralized water? Is there any vital difference between natural and artificial structures?
— I don’t think natural water can be substituted by artificially structured water. It won’t have the same invigorating and healing effect that, for example, Selters water does.
I’ll use an example from our own experience. A while ago, we received an inquiry from a lab in Saratov that studies water. They were interested in the contents of water, and conducted experiments in the creation of «living» and «dead» water, i.e. structured and distilled. The employees of this lab were focused on the natural still Selters, as its research indicated truly amazing qualities, as if it was a legendary «water of life.» Not a single artificially structured water can compare to it.
— What do you think about all those theories that deposits of fresh water on Earth will soon be depleted?
— If we treat water sources with respect, they will continue sharing their gifts with us for a very long time.
— What position does wine occupy in your life?
— I prefer dry aged wines, and I like to dilute wine with water. You should understand that when you drink some water after wine, the effect is different. Each wine requires its own type of water. Dry white wine with a bright acidity (white Burgundy, Riesling) goes well with soft sparkling Selters. For aged tannin wines with a strong nose, I recommend natural Selters, while semi-dry wines with a slight fruity flavor make a perfect match for sparkling Selters. There are also a number of other rules. The ideal serving temperature for Selters to accompany wine should never exceed 7–12°C. The amount of water you drink should also be two times more than wine. Replenish the water glass frequently to maintain the proper temperature.
— Do you agree that naturally structured beverages such as wine, or kumis, can substitute food?
— This method is excellent for people who are well-prepared. I enjoyed the concept I read in your magazine, about how you should eat beverages and drink food. One can start by gradually reducing the amount of coarse food they consume, and increasing the volume of liquids—only of a high quality, of course. Then you can analyze your state and adjust intake accordingly. But one thing is universal—more people need to be consuming more liquid and less food than they are used to. Just keep in mind that proportions are always defined individually.