mcewan toronto

Toronto grocery chain includes packaged water in meal kit and people are confused

Meal kits and virtual cooking classes have become all the rage in Toronto over the past several months thanks to the pandemic as well as the convenience of having everything you need for a meal already portioned out, but it seems one gourmet grocery chain has taken the idea of providing every last ingredient to a whole new level. 

Taylor Rivers, a Toronto-based filmmaker, writer and comedian, was shocked and confused this week when he opened a friend's fridge to grab a beverage and noticed a container labelled "water."

"It felt like a joke. I opened my friend's fridge to grab a drink and I immediately pulled it out and asked him about it," Rivers told blogTO, explaining that he later learned it was an ingredient his friend had received as part of a meal kit for a virtual cooking class with celebrity chef Mark McEwan

"It made me laugh but was also kind of disturbing."

Rivers quickly snapped a photo of the packaged water and posted it on Twitter, and it has since been liked nearly 4,000 times. 

A few other people in Toronto also responded saying they too were taking part in the same cooking class, and were just as confused when they noticed the container of water. 

But while the whole concept of prepackaging something that comes out of a tap is certainly laughable and odd, Rivers said it's also extremely wasteful. 

"It makes no sense to prepackage water. If you have the means to purchase a luxury meal kit from McEwan I think it's safe to say you have access to tap water," he said.

"It's incredibly wasteful. To me it epitomizes the wastefulness and excess of meal kits in general. This example is obviously way more over the top but I think it shines a light on a bigger problem."

According to Rivers, McEwan himself actually addressed the issue during the virtual cooking class after seeing the viral tweet, and he said it was included because of the importance of attention to detail and precision.

"Very unsurprising that someone like him would double down," said Rivers. 

This comes as McEwan has already made headlines several other times this year — once for criticizing Premier Doug Ford's implementation of stringent rules on bars and restaurants and a second time for arguing with American celebrity chef David Chang about the outcome of the U.S. election. 

"Apparently the recipe turned out well!" joked Rivers. "All because of that McEwan water I'm sure!"

The McEwan Group did not respond to blogTO's request for comment.

Lead photo by

Taylor Rivers


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