Popsicles are a time-honored way to beat the summer heat. While you may be concerned about the amount of sugar they contain or how those brightly colored hues came to be, you likely don't worry about the quality of the water they contain.

But maybe you should.

Design students in Taiwan decided that popsicles would be an effective way to show just how contaminated much of the country's water is. Their Polluted Water Popsicles Project used water from 100 different water sources in the country, according to Bored Panda. They didn't filter the water in any way. Whatever was scooped up ended up in the popsicles, and it's pretty gross, as the foot-tapping video below explores:

There was a lot of plastic in the popsicles (about 90 percent of the contaminates were plastic), along with other hazardous trash like cigarette butts. The color of some of the frozen water was pretty — except that water is supposed to be clear, not purple, yellow or brown.

Art is just one of the many ways to get out the message about environmental issues, and it's an effective one. The students from National Taiwan University of Arts used their artistic talents to recreate the popsicles using the debris found in the original frozen pops along with transparent polyester resin. They even made colorful wrappers for their replicas, to add to their "appeal."

The popsicles are a powerful, creative way of illustrating just how much pollution is in the water — with all its colorful contaminates and toxins — and all of it ingested by people. That's food for thought.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Polluted popsicles are food for thought
To illustrate water pollution levels, 3 students in Taiwan create popsicles — and a powerful message.