I Do Not Want You to Die: Or, Try Not to Die

by | January 18, 2018


By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

I do not want fellow Canadian citizens to die. Yes, you: neighbours, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, please, please do drink filtered water rather than unfiltered groundwater and food instead of laundry detergent pods, even on a dare (CBC: Health, 2018).

It is a problem across North America as this happens in the United States as well (South China Morning Post, 2018). That extends to my almost fellow Americans, too.

Canadians, in their bid to win the prize for greatest reduction in the global health and wellness rankings by more than any other country, decided to mark the news cycle with two Darwin Awards or, maybe, a series of championship trophies given the scale (Azpiri & McArthur, 2018; Government of Canada, 2018).

People in Canada have been eating detergent pods. This has led to up to 40 hospitalizations in North America (The Canadian Press, 2018). The government health authorities of Canada have warned teens and others from biting the pods. Prince Edward Island police have tried to make a similar point with humor.

So, there are efforts to tackle this from a serious as well as a humourous angle, but the consequences are not as humourous because people can be harmed. People bite into the colourful pods and feel ill (Bissett, 2018).

There is also a move for raw water. Some sell jugs worth upwards of $60 USD. Health experts have warned that this water coming unfiltered out of the ground can contain a host of deadly illnesses (Stechyson, 2018). These can include Giardia, Hepatitis A, and Cholera. It is gross water. It is dangerous.

An Edmonton professor of health law and science policy, Timothy Caulfield, has noted that “this is deeply ridiculous.” He calls this a “great example of our embrace of the naturalistic fallacy and inability to understand risk” (Ibid.). This unfiltered water could contain animal poop: feces.

Caulfield notes that they are paying lots of money for, essentially, gross, contaminated, and dirty water (Muzyka, 2018).

In other words, the 91 contaminants that community tap water removes potentially could not be removed from the unfiltered groundwater and could also contain the diseases that kill great-grandparents of ours (Stechyson, 2018). What can you do?

Keep away yourself, and warn and protect others. Be informed.


Azpiri, J. & McArthur, A. (2018, January 15). Some Metro Vancouver residents insist on drinking ‘raw water’ despite health warnings. Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/news/3966855/vancouver-raw-water-trend/?platform=hootsuite.

Bissett, K. (2018, January 18). P.E.I. police remind people to eat food, rather than detergent pods. Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/news/3972716/p-e-i-police-remind-people-to-eat-food-rather-than-detergent-pods/.

CBC: Health. (2018, January 17). ‘Do not eat’: Teens warned against taking ‘Tide pod challenge’. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/social-media-tide-pod-challenge-laundry-detergent-1.4490168.

Government of Canada. (2018). laundry detergent packets. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/household-products/laundry-detergent-packets.html.

Muzyka, K. (2018, January 16). Raw water trend puts the ‘gotta go’ into H2O, says U of A health professor. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/raw-water-tim-caulfield-university-alberta-1.4490579.

South China Morning Post. (2018, January 17). US citizens made more than 12,000 calls about people eating detergent pods last year. Retrieved from http://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/2128565/us-citizens-made-more-12000-calls-about-people.

Stechyson, N. (2018, January 4). New Health Fad ‘Raw Water’ Is Actually Pretty Dangerous, Experts Warn. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/01/04/raw-water-dangerous_a_23323766/.

The Canadian Press. (2018, January 18). Authorities remind people to eat food, rather than detergent pods. Retrieved from http://ottawacitizen.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/p-e-i-police-remind-people-to-eat-food-rather-than-detergent-pods/wcm/047d6c6f-c09a-4198-9644-d773a205f1ac.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal.

Category: Canada Tags: ,

About Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. Jacobsen works for science and human rights, especially women’s and children’s rights. He considers the modern scientific and technological world the foundation for the provision of the basics of human life throughout the world and advancement of human rights as the universal movement among peoples everywhere. You can contact Scott via email, his website, or Twitter.

3 thoughts on “I Do Not Want You to Die: Or, Try Not to Die

  1. dusttodust

    How does this even get started?! What is it…hold my beer and watch this? Is it a dare to an insecure kid trying to get in to the “in” crowd? Seriously?!
    I haven’t checked but does the package say not to be taken internally or something.

  2. dusttodust

    Ok so I did some of my own looking.
    It’s a social media thing where kids video their reaction to the pods and then they can garner views and maybe even revenue from ads. So yeah it’s a popularity contest.
    And yes the package says not to be eaten or something along those lines.

    1. Indi

      These two stories have two very different levels of evil behind them. The detergent pods thing is just stupid people – mostly stupid kids – doing something stupid for attention (and yes, possibly ad revenue). Not a whole lot of evil there… just a whole lot of stupid.

      But the water thing is a wholly different matter. The whole “raw water” thing is a “natural health” scam. Companies are actually cashing in on selling this dangerous product to dupes. Somebody is going to get very sick or die from drinking “raw water”; there’s almost certainly going to be a lawsuit coming about it some point. Depressingly, that may be what it takes to put a stop to the racket.


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