Asarasi Pure Water from Maple Trees

Bad to the Bone

By Tracy Turi


Over 500 million gallons of byproduct from the sugar mapling process are thrown away each year. Asarasi Sparkling Tree Water transforms some of this into pure, clean water containing trace amounts of potassium, calcium and manganese. The company buys up this byproduct from maple farmers it calls ‘farm partners,’ adds light carbonation and bottles it in 100% recyclable glass bottles. Asarasi also collaborated with Cornell University to implement strict food safety quality control measures.


Wilderness Rules

Anyone who takes a survival course learns that the top priorities are shelter, water, fire, and food. The maple tree’s resources satisfy all four needs. We don’t think of maple trees as a water source, but once the sugar is separated out of the sap, pure water is what’s left behind. Since ancient times, plants, vines and trees have been tapped for their juice because fresh water wasn’t always available, and man can survive only several days without it.

Access to fresh water is still a huge issue today as environmental concerns become more apocalyptic in nature. The Flint, Michigan water scare amplified how vulnerable we might become during times of water scarcity. According to a 2017 NRDC study, tap water in every U.S. state is at-risk from contaminants, due largely to violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 and weak enforcement. In the past five years, bottled water sales have skyrocketed yet individuals and municipalities all over the country are beginning to ban plastics because a throw-away lifestyle contradicts our renewed respect for pure foods, pure waters and pure living.


Popular Delusions

Most of us had the luxury to grow up drinking fresh, clean tap water. When I was a kid, nobody drank bottled water. There was distilled water, but it was only used to fill up the steam iron. That suddenly changed in the mid-1970s when Perrier convinced us that we needed naturally occurring sparkling mineral water from the Vergeze. Before long, Hollywood celebrities could be seen posing with exotic bottles of artesian waters. Companies eventually began to differentiate themselves by amping up their brands with health and beauty promises. Today we have social-media influencers, typically actors, singers, athletes, and even former gang members and cocaine dealers, encouraging us to buy enhanced bottled water.

Americans love to buy hope. As far back as 1630, the Massachusetts courts levied a fine against a local weaver for selling water that purportedly cured scurvy. Today, instead of punishing our hucksters, we’ve started paying them for their efforts, sometimes even sweetening the deal by offering them a financial stake in the company. Once upon a time consumers bought into the idea that fruit and vegetables should only be consumed in limited quantities because they contain primarily water. Today we’re obviously too sophisticated to believe something so preposterous, yet we cheerfully buy into the hydrogenated and oxygenated water myth! Do these influencers really know more about water and nutrition than a dietitian or functional medicine doctor, or are they just the newest incarnation of the great American snake-oil salesman? 

Many of us grew up in an age that still assumed that the earth’s abundant resources were our birthright. This mindset reaches back as far to the early Puritans and Methodists, who believed that God personally communicated His love, or wrath, to His flock. We were rewarded with natural abundance and thrived in Colonial America because He was pleased with us. The post-Revolutionary War era spawned a uniquely progressive age in American science, medicine, and nutritional health, within the context of a newly-inspired patriotism and sense of superiority. A dubious combination of ‘experts’ and food quacks lead the way, some of them doctors, ministers, college professors, even founders of New England colleges. Men like Sylvester Graham, of Graham Cracker fame, and Dr. John Harvey Kellogg all helped popularize many mind-body-spirit eating and abstinence habits that are still prevalent today. But a precarious environmental landscape is forcing the younger generations to consider their mind-body-spirit lifestyle choices while also saving the entire planet.

Some of us can still remember watching the Keep America Beautiful commercial from the seventies, the one with the Indian and the tear running down his face. Nevermind that he was actually an Italian-American actor and not a Native American, Keep America Beautiful, Inc. was founded by a consortium that included numerous large consumer goods corporations that lobbied actively to promote cheaper disposable plastic packaging while simultaneously telling Americans to not litter. By the mid-twentieth century, emerging environmental issues could no longer be ignored, but this campaign made us feel as if we’d done our part because we weren’t litterbugs.

In 2010, the UN recognized the “right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right…” But this access shouldn’t allow us to gleefully lay waste to our environment (and the one essential substance that forms the basis of all living organisms) so we can enjoy our chic, curated bottled luxury water.

Carbon footprint aside, much of our bottled water comes from municipal supplies anyway and the plastic bottles end up in landfills (or the Great Pacific Garbage Patch), not recycled as we pretend. Studies also indicate that the mineral content in many of the bottled waters is relatively low. Any added electrolytes are there for flavor, not to amp up our athletic performance. And now we even have those added microplastics to wrap our heads around, yet consumers are paying a premium for what costs pennies per gallon from their taps.

That’s not to completely disparage all bottled water because it can also be a lifeline. Bottled water might be the only viable option after a natural disaster, or if water supplies in cities like Flint, Michigan become contaminated, or for patients who are immune compromised or receiving chemotherapy. Asarasi water is a pure, renewable and sustainable source, and while recyclable glass bottles aren’t the perfect solution, they are better than disposable plastics.