Don’t let Whole Foods ruin the refreshing experience that is infused water

Asparagus: Great in risotto. Terrible in water.
Asparagus: Great in risotto. Terrible in water.
Image: AP Photo/Matthew Mead
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

The internet rage machine has a new target: Asparagus water.

Food blog Eater recently posted a story about Whole Foods selling asparagus water—a bottle of water with three stalks of asparagus in it—after a photo of the concoction was posted on social media.

There are several things to be upset about here. First, the price: $6 for a bottle of water with three stalks of asparagus, when a full bunch sells for about $5? Please.

Second, the explanations, both before and after the asparagus water exposé: When Eater first asked about the purpose of the water, a produce department staffer said, “The nutrients from the asparagus do transfer into the water.” We ran this by Keri Gans, nutrition consultant and author of The Small Change Diet, who told us this isn’t going to add meaningful nutrients to your diet. “If you want the benefits from fruits and veggies you actually need to eat them.” After the story posted, an update was added, wherein Whole Foods told Eater that the mistake was not with the concept so much, but the execution. “The product was made incorrectly and has since been removed from the one store where it was carried,” a spokesperson told Eater, explaining that it should have been made over a longer period of time like a bone broth would be.

Third: Who wants to drink water that tastes like asparagus?

And the final insult: Whole Foods has now ruin infused water for everyone.

Infused waters are actually quite lovely when done right, when made with citrus fruit, strawberries, herbs, or, if you must use a vegetable, cucumbers.

The combination of what these drinks offer—vibrantly colored fruit, hydration, and a low price tag when made at home—have made them a bonafide hit on Pinterest. In July, fruit-infusion pins (a pin is akin to a post on Facebook) were up 109% over the same month last year, according to a Pinterest spokesperson. This easy-to-follow infographic has been re-pinned more than 22,000 times.

See on Pinterest

You may have also noticed infused waters at wedding receptions, where they sometimes are the only available beverage before the bar opens. They’re very trendy right now as a healthier, cost-effective way to keep guests from getting parched while hanging around outside before the ceremony, says Jamie Miles, managing editor of wedding site TheKnot.com. Bonus: they’re also “a good way to incorporate wedding colors.”

Even a few restaurants are selling infused water. For example, LYFE Kitchen, a US fast-casual chain emphasizing healthy foods, offers a Ginger Mint Chia, described as “filtered water infused with ginger, lime, mint, chia seeds.”

That, dear readers, is how you infuse water. And the price? Only $2.71.