Water — whether liquid, ice or steam — has long been used as a medium in which to cook food.
It is a good conductor of heat, making ingredients in a pot evenly heated.
It is also a good solvent, capable of dissolving many different food molecules to blend them into a rich and exquisite flavor.
We need water the carrier to transport these molecules to the taste buds so as to enable us to enjoy food.
The quality of water not only affects its taste and the taste of food but also determines the success of baking and fermentation, as well as brewing coffee.
Theoretically, water is a colorless, odorless and tasteless liquid, yet with the presence of trace elements, each source gives a unique identity to the liquid.
Returning from Canada, I discovered that there’s a world of difference in quality between the drinking water there and in Hong Kong.
Water in Ontario, sourced directly from Lake Ontario, has a refreshingly sweet taste, while Hong Kong gets much of its water from Dongjiang, a river in Guangdong province, which is notoriously polluted.
Hong Kong water should always be boiled before it is drunk.
Last week, when the government published the report of an independent investigation of excessive lead in drinking water, it didn’t blame any individual but suggested the failure to ensure clean water was a collective one.
On Monday, Hong Kong media revealed that samples of Dongjiang water contained environmental estrogens that exceeded the European Union standard.
Hong Kong’s water supply clearly has huge room for improvement.
What is worse is that most of the water pipes inside buildings are quite old.
It is imperative to install a water filter at home to ensure drinking water is safe.
Living in a building more than 30 years old, I brought home a ceramic water filter three months ago.
I was surprised to see on Sunday a thin brown film already covering the core.
We should pay more emphasis to this very basic necessity for the sake of our health and well-being.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 7.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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