Coral Water®: Okinawa coral skeletons in a bottle.
One of the dream destinations I've quietly cultivated for a couple of decades is Fiji, escaping to one of the remote outer islands with no hotels--in fact, no dwelling taller than a thatch hut and with still-unspoiled reefs.
That said, I routinely pass on the stacked display of Fiji Water being sold at the Vermont village grocery where I often shop. The notion of shipping bottles of water 8,000 miles from a tropical island to small town in northern New England has struck me as farcical, not mention environmentally indefensible. The native water here is actually pretty good, perhaps because its been percolated through some of the world's oldest fossil reefs, ancient coral beds that line the shores of Lake Champlain.
So when a friend passed along a promotion for Coral Water® , an "organically remineralized" tonic made with ground stony corals, harvested from living reefs off Okinawa (about a 1,000 miles closer), we had to take notice.
According to Coral Water Manufacturing, LLC, the Largo, Florida manufacturer, this may be the Ultimate Green product, good for you and good for the reefs:
Bring on the Coral Sprigs
Here's what their website has to say:
"Our coral procurement process delicately scrapes a thin layer of coral from the top of the bed of these reefs which is actually beneficial to the coral reef. Once this aged layer of coral has been removed from the bed, new growth in the form of coral sprigs begins to emanate from the reef’s bed. The coral reef becomes healthier with its new growth and Coral Water® consumers become healthier by drinking this organically produced water. A win-win situation for all."
Inventor Paul Simmons of Rost Laboratories, the developer of Coral Water®, says the materials they use are "dead coral, over a hundred years old, harvested from the water." Florida water is percolated through reactor columns of granulated Okinawan stony coral material, and, voila: Coral Water®. (Simmons says he has "all the paperwork from Greenpeace........actually a Japanese environmental group like Greenpeace" to say that the harvesting is done sustainably and that the claims of causing new corals to "sprout" on the reef are true.
In an interview with Microcosm Aquarium Explorer, Mr. Simmons said he has not been to Okinawa and could not remember the name of the Greenpeace-like Japanese group. He was uncertain about the "coral sprigs" claim, but said that the Japanese certifying group had put it all in writing. "You are invited to come and look at all paperwork."
Coming Soon: Coral ???™
Also from Simmon's company are Coral Ice® and Coral Pet Water®; coming soon are Coral Tea™, Coral Energy™, Coral Vitamin Plus™, Coral Traveler™, and...just wait: "Coral ???™" (As with so many things from Dave Berry's home state, we could not make this up.)
Now, in medical circles, the health claims for myriad products containing calcium from coral skeletons have been roundly debunked, but some people have a weakness for natural-sounding panaceas from far-off places.
Believe what you will, but please join us in a moment of skepticism before swallowing any claims about Coral Water® being a "Green" product.