Whole Foods Thinks Its Customers Are Idiots…And They Are Right!

asparagus-waterThis sounds like a fake Saturday Night Live commercial. What it is, however, is an example of how affluent shoppers who are gulled into paying premium prices for upscale marketing ploys eventually forfeit the respect of the retailers who serve them, and end up fleeced like the metaphorical sheep they are.

The Whole Foods in Brentwood, California is offering bottles labeled “Asparagus Water” for  $5.99 each. The bottles appear to be filled with water and three stalks of raw asparagus.

A call to the supermarket by the food site Eater at first produced a denial that the product existed. Eventually the inquirer reached someone in the produce department who  explained that the product was new. When asked how “asparagus water” is made, he explained that “It’s water, and we sort of cut asparagus stalks down so they’re shorter, and put them into the container…it’s to drink.” He then elaborated, “The nutrients from the asparagus do transfer into the water.”

Whole Foods has batches of asparagus on sale for about $5, Eater notes.

After the story of the “asparagus water”  broke, a Whole Foods’ “Senior Media Relations Specialist” explained that it was a mistake:

“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. We read your story, and would love your help clarifying that this product isn’t and never has been available for online ordering on Instacart and was only ever offered in one store.”

So Whole Food puts things on the shelf for sale that employees sort of throw together. Interesting.

Why would anyone trust a place like this?


19 thoughts on “Whole Foods Thinks Its Customers Are Idiots…And They Are Right!

  1. In the 1800s when Charlatans peddled “snake oil” remedies for every various ailment and it turned out the cure was somehow grandpa’s backyard whiskey every single time, I don’t see this as differing in anyway.

    The only difference is, that I bet, the same Yuppie Shmucks nowadays who shell out tons of cash to look trendy would denigrate the same Shmucks of the 1800s as simpleton rubes.

        • I bet most of the 1800s schmucks knew very well what they were purchasing. Were patent medicines, so called, a way of avoiding collecting/paying alcohol taxes?

          • Patent medicines were to the late 1800’s what marijuana is today. Their proponents said they were wonder drugs that treated everything. They really just made you high and masked (or made you not care about your symptoms). Most people took them to get high, although many pretended it was for ‘medicinal use’.

            Before the potheads start writing in about the health benefits of pot…enough. If people really wanted to use pot as a medicine, they would use Marinol or the generic. It is pure, with controlled dosages. It is a schedule III drug now, easily prescribed and approved in all 50 states as legal, and has been for some time. It isn’t used because marijuana is bad medicine. It is not a very good pain reliever, there are much better things on the market with much milder side effects. It is a mediocre glaucoma medicine, the leading drugs are much better and have less debilitating side effects. Marijuana is mostly the patent medicine of the 21st century. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

            • That was a unique time. Cocaine tooth drops for the teething kids, Bayer Heroin cough syrup, paregoric, all over the counter, including morphine.

            • Can you point to some studies that show that Marinol is on par with marijuana for controlling pain, nausea, and anxiety? My google search is only finding the opposite. I realize this could just be more people on the pro-marijuana side, so could you help me out.

              Also? Marijuana has debilitating side effects? It’s side effects don’t seem any worse than ibuprophen… definitely not as bad as most prescription painkillers.

              • Can you drive while stoned? Not being able to drive is a debilitating side-effect.

                In the studies I read, the complaints against Marinol were that the high was of a lower quality than Marijuana and that the dosage was controlled by the physician. Now, pain relief and being so stoned that you don’t care about pain overlap to some extent.

                • Can you drive while stoned? Not being able to drive is a debilitating side-effect.

                  Okay, for people who are going to be driving, marijuana is (short term) more debilitating than ibuprofen. I’ll agree to that.

                  There’s also all the people who don’t drive. For instance, I don’t need to drive anymore, and I live in a suburb that isn’t known for it’s public transit system.

                  Also, I used Ibuprofen as something much weaker than the pain medication marijuana is being compared to. I went overboard. If we compare marijuana to prescription pain killers, we’re back to comparative side effects, or lesser ones.

                  Can you link any of the studies? You’re the one claiming Marinol as an option, so you’re the one who has to back that up.

                  • The difference is that people who use ibuprofen for pain don’t make a lifestyle out of its use. They don’t sit around in a circle and pass the pill bottle around, make inane remarks at each other that pass for wisdom and then crash out on a dirty mattress… only to repeat the Experience the next day. One is a pain relief. The other is an hallucinogenic drug carrier. One helps you through the day. The other is what your day comes to revolve around. One helps you to think. The other shrinks your damn brain. Lots of difference there from what I can see.

  2. I’m at the point where I don’t trust ANY labeling or packaging. The only way to ensure that your produce, for example, is organic or whatever is to grow it yourself. The only way to ensure that other things are organic or whatever is to produce it yourself using certified organic ingredients. I don’t even know for sure if “certified” can be trusted.

    Eh, just go out and eat grass, but only if you haven’t treated it with chemicals!

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