Thursday, April 03, 2008

Snake Oil: The Rebuttal

So my brother (we'll call him Rorro for the sake of keeping things uniform) read my post about the pH water changing machine my mom bought. He decided to send the link to someone who holds himself out as an expert in all waters kangen, or "full of crap" (and from what I understand, has a link to Enagic, the company that made the $4000 water filter), and here is the response he got:

Thanks for your email. (I'll use this response in the next mail out to my list).
For some reason Gmail sent it to the spam folder, so I didn't see it right away.
Here are some basics. Enagic use the term Kangen water and sell one of their machines for $4000. The Japanese use the term kangen sui (water) which means return to original water in much the same way we refer to kleenex. Enagic USA have used it as a marketing term. Whilst I still have the website, [link omitted] I am no longer affiliated with Enagic. I am affiliated however, with IonWays.
Sorro: Cheeth, can I get a confirmation of this?
I found most of the people I met in Southern California involved with Enagic to be all about hyping it up and making false claims. I can't really say I was surprised, but I'll accept a person in Utah with much different sensibilities is likely to be very different in the way they present the machine and it's benefits. Who would you really like to see suffer here? Your Mom or the ultra-materialistic SoCal jerk with the slicked back, greasy hair and trophy wife?
S: What is the point here? I don't want to see either suffer, so why did you bring SoCal people into this? I'm quite confused. One thing is for sure: this guy hates people from California, people who use hair product, and people who have trophy wives.
I do have a machine and would regularly test the pH all the time with drops when I first got it to ensure I was drinking high pH water. I always found it to be accurate and am now at the point where I can taste the difference between 9.5 pH alkaline water and straight tap water.
S: I can taste the difference between the water too. Of course, I can also tell the difference between Dasani, Aquafina, Fiji, and the stuff from my tap. That doesn't mean the pH is different though. I saw the "drop test" and it's a load. Use litmus paper - there's a reason it's the standard. I can have different drops and toss it in the water and have it do stuff too. I never trust the marketing materials somebody is using to scientifically prove how great their stuff is - you have to get it from an impartial source.

Like 98% of the educated, naturally cynical people out there, I did my due diligence before I bought a machine and examined the science by reading such books as Reverse Aging and Alkalize or Die. It was after that -- not the amateur sales pitch from the person involved -- I realized drinking alkaline water and saying no to soda was going to be of benefit to my health.
S: I'm not going to debate the "soda is bad for you" part of this, because I certainly don't think it's a health drink. Subbing any water for any soda is probably a good rule of thumb for getting healthier. On another note, is either of those books peer reviewed, or are they the rantings of madmen passed off as science?
I'm at the point now where I get too many emails from people to really worry if someone isn't interested. I drink it, I know it's good for my health, but if you or Mary in McKinney, TX don't think so, that's quite ok. You can blog about it, email all sundry, shout it from the rooftops and in fact, just the mention of kangen water is bound to get some people interested and when they search, they'll inevitably find my #1 ranked site. And if they don't want they water, they might like to try the stem cells product [he had a link here - I'm not giving him the free press though], which means you're effectively doing me a favor by sending me free traffic, thanks.
S: You're welcome for the traffic, because I will continue to blog and I'm sure Rorro will continue to "email all sundry."
I think life is about choices -- we are free to make them of our own volition and live with whatever consequences arise. I know that disease is a result of diet + lifestyle choices and that most people would be better off health wise if they simply drank more plain tap water, let alone restructured alkaline.
If someone wants to spend thousands of dollars on a water machine, it's their money, so it's their choice. Others spend it gambling on horses, and still others collect Superman figurines. One could argue they are also wasting money, but as the saying goes -- to each his own.
S: I agree with him here, life is about choices and disease can certainly be influenced by diet and lifestyle choices and drinking more water is generally good advice. I also agree that it's their choice to spend $4k on a water machine that acts as a really expensive placebo. (Oh, side tangent - they claim that it changes the absorbability and surface tension of the water by rearranging the molecules. Rob, as the resident scientist here, what's your take? I'm not a surface tension measurer.) Where I disagree is that I think they're idiots for wasting the money. The Superman figurines might have a decent ROI if you hold on to them long enough, whereas the water machine...makes water...and maybe filters stuff out. Gambling can get you a quick score too. Nevertheless, comparing something of "great worth" with two worthless activities doesn't help your cause. Imagine if Churchill compared defending Great Britain against Hitler to getting bread down at the bakery or kicking back and having a pint at your local pub. I think that the British would be sieg heiling all over the place.
Please feel free to use my response at your blog if you like.
S: Done and done, although it's not at his blog, but mine.


Rob said...

This is a bunch of garbage. Even if you take in fluids at different pH's your body is a buffered, biological system that will keep the pH around 7. For example blood pH is around 7.4. So whatever magical properties alkaline water has will be changed once it goes into your system. It's a moot point anyway because you've shown that the water from these systems isn't even at a higher pH. All that absorbability, surface tension stuff sounds nuts. Your body has no trouble absorbing normal water. This kind of stuff really ticks me off. The fact that he claims people are free to make choices after he feeds them unsubstantiated lies is particularly offensive.

themickel said...

You gotta love a salesman who, when defending the quality of his product, plays the "hey, people are free to make their own decisions in life" card for his primary argument. Because he pretty much admitted the product is absolute crap.

In other words, "Hey, shut up, man. People are putting down 4K for a water filter-I've got a good thing going here!"

I think you should have your bro link this guy to your blog Sorro. I'd love to hear more from him.

themickel said...

Oh yeah, I also love that he cites a book called "Alkalzie or Die" as part of his impartial, objective scientific research.

I'm serious, let's get this guy to write a post for your blog.

Michael Brady said...

Beau, there are only three kinda people in the world who coulda done what you've done here:

Murphy Brown
Beau Sorensen
...and THIS GUY