On a Monday morning jaunt to my local Whole Foods, in between feeling up organic peaches and loading my cart with 365 brand peanut butter, I happened upon these in the refrigerated produce section:

Somewhere in L.A., Whole Foods executives are laughing at all of us.

A photo posted by Marielle Wakim (@marielle.m.n.o.p) on Aug 3, 2015 at 8:03am PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsThe grocery store, which is already on the chopping block for unfairly jacking up their prices, was selling bottles of water with three stalks of asparagus in them for an astronomical $6 bucks. Naturally I snapped a photo and shared it to both my Instagram and Facebook pages—because even as someone who lives in L.A. and experiences health food trends like kale soft-serve and Swole Cakes on the reg, this struck me as ridiculous. Tap water, after all, is free, and an entire bundle of asparagus from Whole Foods costs around $5 on Instacart. In fact, I was half-sure it was a joke (hence my caption on the photo). My image has since been picked up by news outlets across the country—Eater, The Hollywood Reporter, LAistMashable, PeopleHuffington PostSalon, the Atlanta Journal Constitution—and even by Yahoo! UK, who offered up a cheeky riff on the product: “Be right back, just off to shove some parsnips in a bottle of Ballygowan and sell it for €7.50.” Unsurprisingly, the Internet has freaked out accordingly.






While it’s cool to have gifted social media users with their fodder du jour, I’m not thrilled about perpetuating the stereotype that L.A. is indeed a city of people who might actually buy into something like asparagus water (whether literally or figuratively). Thankfully, Whole Foods seems to have realized the error of their ways, offering the following explanation to outlets:

“We appreciate you bringing this to our attention. We looked into this right away and found that this item was being carried in just one of our stores in California. It was meant to be water with the essence of vegetables and/or mushrooms to be used as broth (similar to a bone broth), which are typically made over a long period of time soaking in water. The product was made incorrectly and has since been removed from the one store where it was carried.”

Asparagus Water: No longer on our shelves, but always in our hearts.


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