Potentially Boozy Kombucha Drinks Drive Whole Foods Yank

Whole Foods has removed all kombucha drinks from its shelves over concerns that it might contain elevated levels of alcohol. The supermarket was worried that, to paraphrase the great poet J-Kwon, “errybody in the fermented culture club gettin’ tipsy.” What’s kombucha, you ask? And why does the process of making it remind me of a certain Capri Sun pouch?

kombuchajar.jpgKombucha is a drink you make by sticking acetic acid bacteria in a jar with yeast and tea letting them have a jar party for a week or two. The bacteria culture can look pretty crazy and goes by a couple of names but my favorite is “mother of vinegar,” which could very well become my new expletive. Here’s one of these mothers up close:

mother_of_vinegar.jpgSome claim it has various magical health properties, others enjoy the taste, still others claim it’s like “drinking a douche.” Whatever your preference, the drink has been enjoying a fad interest for the past couple of years, and it can run a pricey $5 a bottle.

You can wait for Whole Foods’ suppliers to figure out if it needs an alcohol label as everything containing over 0.5% alcohol does, buy it somewhere else, or make it at home. But you were already doing that, weren’t you?

Enjoy photos of crazy things growing in things you drink? Check out these pictures of a giant fetus-looking mold this chick found in her pouch of Capri Sun.

Whole Foods removes kombucha drinks from stores [AP via Gawker]
How to Make Kombucha Tea [WikiHow]
(jar photo: ben.chaney, symbiotic colony Of bacteria and yeast photo: ~Twon~)

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