packaged salmonCostco salmon in the open case is farm raised which means antibiotics. The wild caught salmon in the freezer section is a better choice. The color is indicative of fresh salmon but as the label reads, color is added through the feed. This food is not GAPS legal.

HerringPreservative free, all natural Herring in Wine Sauce is a fantastic price but contains added sugar. This food is not GAPS legal.

salamiHard Salami is a healthy food as it’s a fermented meat, a natural probiotic. This one, however, is not healthy due to the added sugar, dextrose (sugar), flavorings (usually MSG), natural hickory smoke flavor (click here for warnings, including the medical concerns for pregnant women), sodium erythorbate (a preservative derived from sugar), sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite (both are preservatives in processed mean that when combined with stomach acid form nitrosamines which caused cancer when tested in animals). This food is not GAPS legal.

2014-03-04 20.41.27Celery is ranked high on the dirty dozen list, a list of the 12 most dangerous vegetables due to the high pesticide content. Celery is high in water content allowing it to soak up a lot of pesticides. Since it is not organic, this food is not GAPS legal.

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Both Kirkland brand and Fage brand yogurt could be healthy but they aren’t for one small reason. This food is not GAPS legal.

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They are both non-fat yogurt. The latest research is showing fat is necessary in our foods, especially in dairy. Click here to read more, or here, or here. This food is not GAPS legal.

2014-03-04 20.34.50Alaskan Salmon Burgers have canola oil (a GMO that transforms into a trans fat when heated), potato extract (a GMO and a starch), lemon juice from concentrate (contains sodium benzoate which forms cancer cells when it comes in contact with vitamin C). This food is not GAPS legal. Click here to read more on modified canola oil.

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Kirkland brand shrimp is sadly farm raised which means antibiotics are in the food. Antibiotics are shown to eliminate good gut flora in humans). This food is not GAPS legal.

2014-03-04 20.28.56

Agave is a  highly processed and refined sweetener with 60 calories per tablespoon (vs 40 calories for sugar) with extreme effects on insulin spikes. It is nutritionally void and compared to high fructose corn syrup by scientists. Read more form WebMD here. This food is not GAPS legal.

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Kirkland brand vanilla contains added sugar. This food is not GAPS legal.

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Both Kirkland brand Artichoke Hearts and Seaweed contain unhealthy oil. Canola oil, rape seed oil and corn oil are all GMO oils which are trans fats. This food is not GAPS legal.

2014-03-04 20.19.58

Kirkland brand Organic Chicken Stock contains “natural flavors” which is a term used in prepackaged foods when the ingredient is undesirable if listed. The FDA has no regulations on the term “natural flavors” so it really it can be anything and often times means MSG. Any time natural flavors is listed as an ingredient, it is important to call the manufacturer to verify what specifically it means. To read more about the Truth in Labeling on Natural Flavors click here. An amazing reader called Costco to get more information and found “natural flavors” to be “Concentrated portion of the chicken stock that is added back into the formula to add flavor.”

Since that would be a bonus and an ingredient that could be listed as “concentrated chicken stock” I called Costco thinking there had to be something else otherwise it wouldn’t be hidden in the “natural flavors” title. Coscto customer service ranks above no other organization and this was no exception. I can not praise Costco enough for helping us walk this muddied path of food allergies. The service representative read through every question and answer for me and this is where the hidden ingredients lie.

She said, “They don’t add any flavorings to the stock itself and that includes natural and artificial flavoring.” The chickens come from Savanah, Georgia. “The product contains no directly added phosphates and no MSG.” When asked if it contains corn ingredients the answer was, yes! Costco said, “Information we received from the vendor is maltodextrin which is used as a carrier in the natural flavor.”  Included in the “natural flavoring” are, “Rosemary extract, vegetable oils as flavor carriers and FEMA GRAS {Generally Recognized As Safe} chemicals including ethyl lactate and 3-methylbutyrate and no msg.”

To the question, “Are there any added grain starches or sugar?” The answer is no, none is added. She said, “The package is made from a paper poly foil, container is BPA free, the lining is BPA free. The product does not contain soy. There is no dairy in the product but dairy is processed at the facility. No MSG. No preservatives. Product does not contain garlic, sage or yeast. They are not free range chickens. The water is softened and de-alkalized. The chickens used are organic. Chicken backs and feets are used in the concentrate but no organ meats are used.”

Costco added, “No added grains, starches or sugars are added to the chicken feed.”

This food is not GAPS legal.

I was told for the Natural Chicken Stock the chickens are fed soy and the product does contain black pepper.

Costco also told me, “Some information is propriatory where it is not divulged.”

2014-03-04 20.08.10Adult Vitamin D3 Gummies list sugar and corn syrup as the first two ingredients. These are not vitamins, they are candy. Natural flavors is also listed, which when used in sweet items usually means synthetic chemicals to amplify flavor. If the ingredient was something to brag about it would be listed, if it’s not it’s usually hidden in the term “natural flavors”. This food is not GAPS legal.



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*If you would like to receive further posts from this author go to the Nourishing Plot Facebook page linked by clicking here. Once there, “like” a handful of articles so future posts are uploaded into your Facebook news feed.

becky head shot2*Nourishing Plot is written by a mom whose son has been delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder, manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia through food. This is not a news article published by a paper trying to make money. This blog is put out by a mom who sees first hand the effects of nourishing food vs food-ish items. No company pays her for writing these blogs, she considers this a form of outreach. It is her desire to scream it from the rooftops so that others don’t suffer from the damaging effect of today’s “food”.




53 Responses to 15 Foods From Costco You Thought Were Healthy But Aren’t

  1. First, let me say that I am 100% against GMO anything. But….I take issue with your statements about canola and corn oil. #1 You have no indication that they do or do not use GMO corn or canola oil, as so far nobody in the USA has been required to disclose it, and, in fact, all have been sworn to secrecy due to patent agreements of GMO, so you would not know one way or another. #2 It is an ignorant fabrication that GMO oil turns into trans fat. It’s simply not possible simply by the nature of how trans fats are actually made (you should read up on that). While I do hold it to be true that you might as WELL be eating trans fats, as GMO are not really food (not in the nutritionally beneficial sense, anyway).

    • Jill says:

      Well there is no such thing as a canola. It is actuallyregistered with the EPA as a pesticide, & people are consuming it, many on a regular basis. Bottom line, it is poison! As far as corn oil, almost all corn grown today is GMO corn, so it is not worth the chance to subject yourself to possible GMO’s. Why take a chance when Coconut oil & palm oil are great & healthy oils to cook with, & Olive Oil great for your raw things.

      • Samantha says:

        Okay, I have to put my foot down here, you are twisting words you are seeing on the internet, there has NEVER been a PUBLISHED study linking canola oil to harm human health. Canola oil, if you did appropriate research, is from a Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed plant that was selectively bred from Rapeseed plants…. just like bananas were selectively bred down to look as they do today! As for your claim it is used as a pesticide, it IS classified as an insecticide, but can easily be replaced with vegetable oil or any other plant based oil when trying to protect plants from aphids or other pests because it works mainly but smothering them and is generally safe for your plants (unless it gets too hot out, then it’ll cook them with the heat!)… Remember that salt also kills snails, so you better stay 100% away from that because that’s clearly harmful too! Obviously other oils have more health benefits but you should really do some more fact based research besides reading headlines from .com sites.

          • yen says:

            Thank you! for sharing the information you have gathered. It takes a lot of time and effort and I have seen what a difference it makes in the health of myself and my family. I WILL BE LONG GONE BY THE TIME APPROPRIATE STUDIES ARE DONE TO PROVE EVERYTHING ABOUT WHAT IS OR IS NOT “HEALTHY” – UNDERSTANdING THAT MANY THINGS WILL NEVER Be STUDIED BECAUSE THE COMPANIES WITH MONEY TO DO STUDIES HAVE THEIR OWN MOTIVES.

            I am just so grateful that I feel SO MUCH better the past few years since I changed my diet (from VERY healthy to aware of food contaminants, processes, agricultural food and environmental damaging practices and choose the cleanest foods I am able.) I never woke up rested, was irritable, depressed, constipated … you get the idea – and those symptoms are gone. My sons learning inefficiencies are much improved … THANK YOU! for contributing to the accessibility of helpful information and exposure of misinformation which often is based on poorly disguised motives .

          • Mike says:

            This is actually a good, well written paper. It does nothing to back up the fear mongering in the article above.

        • tyson says:

          canola is a made up name for geneticly modified rapeseed oil. canola oil is developed from the rapeseed plant, which is part of the mustard family of plants. These oils have long been used for industrial purposes (in candles, lipsticks, soaps, inks, lubricants, and biofuels). It’s an industrial oil, not a food.
          Rapeseed oil is the source behind mustard gas, and on its own it causes emphysema, respiratory distress, anemia, constipation, irritability, and blindness. But through the beauty of genetic modification, we now sell it as an edible oil.

      • Narp says:

        Jill, Canola is a flower you #@#%! #$#@[email protected]$

        (This post has been edited for inappropriate language by Nourishing Plot)

      • Greta Gustafson says:

        Coconut oil and palm oil are highly saturated fats, so they clog your arteries just like trans fats (hydrogenated vegetable oil) and saturated animal fats. You should not consume them. I know all the health food promoters claim they are healthy since they are “medium chain fatty acids” but there have been no studies demonstrating this claim. Please see

      • Roger says:

        Farmers grow canola. Yes it does exist

      • Harrison says:

        Yet we are told to avoid coconut and palm oils like the plague as they are sat fats .They are destroying all the rain forests to grow the trees that produce these oils leaving the animals that live and eat there without a home .

  2. WOW you would think you were telling people to quit spending their money on killing themselves or something! I was trying to find out if Costco’s Organic Hamburger meat was corn free completely like in grass fed? Help would be greatly appreciated . Thanks Debby Oh by the way Bless their Hearts!

    • Roger says:

      So if corn is a grass family member isn’t corn the same as grass? If grass in a pasture field matures and seeds out is it then bad for cows to eat just the same as an ear of corn is a matured plant?

  3. Soundgarden_Grl says:

    Costco’s Organic Chicken Stock contains NO MSG. My significant other is highly allergic to MSG. We use it alot in my kitchen.

    • Virginia Lee says:

      In the previous article named “15 Costco foods you would think are healthy but are not” mentioned that their Organic Chicken Broth may contain “Natural flavors”, which is a nice way of saying ” MSG” so I would recommend calling the mfg. to clarify this. I am quoting the article, not my opinion. Just sayin because I just read it only minutes ago.
      Best of luck

  4. Kim B says:

    I use the organic chicken stock. Do you have a healthier brand you recommend? Also do you have a healthier salami brand you recommend?

    • Becky Plotner says:

      We make our own chicken stock from organic chickens. You are always going to get a better more healing product if you make it yourself. Salami is a tough one due to the “less than 2% of ….” ingredients as well as high fructose corn syrup. The one from Costco is the best we have found. There are a couple of individuals curing their own meats, especially in the Northeast. I’m hoping this practice will grow!

  5. Matt says:

    GAPS, Give me a fucking break, it’s people like you that are instilling unnecessary fear and paranoid rhetoric that is really harmful to the food industry

    • Sharon says:

      Hmmm, what a defensive tone Matt.

      Becky, thank you for all the research and sharing you do. I love your zest for healthful living, and I hope you know how much you are helping so many people who are ready to wake up and learn what’s in “food”.?

    • Maria Hernandez says:

      You need to clean your mouth with soap and if it were possible a brain cleaning would be wonderful. Just because you are ignorant does not mean it’s false keep eating whatever it is thar yiu eat and stay away.

    • Vitaqueen says:

      Ouch that is hateful! No need for it at all.

    • CHAR says:


  6. Jose d rivera valderrama says:

    The througth is that if for my health, great then. Eather way i don’t buy nor eat none of the displayed. Thanks anyway fir the inform.

  7. Jules says:

    Lol. I’m all about being healthy but this is only about the GAPS diet so the title is misleading ? ? ?

  8. EDITH COLON says:

    What is GASP legal?

  9. Katharine Pike says:

    Where is the research which backs up your statement about trans fats? “Canola oil, rape seed oil and corn oil are all GMO oils which are trans fats.” GMOs and Trans Fats are unrelated to each other. I agree they both need to be avoided, and they do not have a causitive relationship. Here is some education for you about trans fats:

  10. Kim says:

    Thank you Becky for your research. It takes a village to raise our families healthy! Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Sheila says:

    Why is the organic chicken stock from Costco not legal? Is if the maltodextrin? I love this stock and as I currently have a sore throat I am drinking a lot of it.

  12. Cassie says:

    What does GAPS even mean??

  13. QIUYUAN CHEN says:

    When the money is there, spend on good food and stays with in. When you don’t have a lot of money, buying food to eat and survive is a must and that won’t kills you either. It is a matter of wealth and choice that makes the so called healthy food stays, plus we had more obesity since the low fat food put on to the market.

  14. Darlene says:

    I still do get why Kirkland Organic Chicken Both is not GAPS legal. It was explained that the natural flavors were actually other concentrated parts of the chicken added back in and no MSG or other added chemicals. I buy this a lot and I really like the product. Can someone give me a good reason not to buy. I appreciate everyone’s positive and informative comments.

  15. Steven Kassel says:

    The author is a complete wacko and the article is utter nonsense. Made up JUNK SCIENCE

  16. Queer Logic says:

    I don’t think you have even the basest understanding of nutrition. It’s all just a series of chemical reactions. It doesn’t matter if the yogurt doesn’t have fat, if you are getting fats elsewhere in your diet. For a person getting too many fats, this is a healthy food. Also you are repeatedly making appeals to authority with this “gaps legal” stuff, and not actually providing any good reasons why this stuff isn’t healthy. Except for the salami, salami isn’t healthy anyways, what kind of idiot thinks that there’s such a thing as healthy salami? Flavorings and smoke and fat are all standard ingredients in sausages of all kinds. If it didn’t have those things, it would be ground meat, not sausage.

    But I guess this loony article is pretty easily explained by reading the little “about the author” blurb at the bottom. Cured autism? Yeah, no. This is another topic you are ignorant about. Autism is developed in the womb, and cannot be “cured” because it is literally the name for a different wiring of the brain. To “cure” autism, yes including asperger’s, you would have to CUT OUT PORTIONS OF THE BRAIN AND REGROW THEM FROM SCRATCH. I doubt your miracle food can chemically lobotomize and subsequently create stem cells out of thin air to regrow and rewire an entire fucking brain. EDUCATE YOURSELF. I suggest you start with learning how to tell if information comes from a reputable source, and what the scientific method is. You know, things we learned in elementary school.

    Now, let’s see how quickly you delete this.

    • Dianna says:

      Queer Logic, have you ever heard of neuroplasticity? The brain is able to continue making new connections throughout life. There is significant evidence that neuro-inflammation is the cause of the differentially wired brain. This inflammation is linked to an overstimulated immune system causing over-saturation of glutamate and cytokines in and around the microglia and inhibition of glutathione. It is the repetitive provocation of the immune system during the most important years of the brain’s development that is causing this reaction and this excess glutamate can be measured in autistic animals (lab induced) and people.
      School is for indoctrination of the people, it teaches our children what to believe but rarely how to think for one’s self.

  17. Frances says:

    I googled “GAPS legal” and I could not find an official legal ruling related to GAPS. You are, in my opinion, abusing the word “legal.

  18. INDU KUMAR says:

    What about hot italian sausage and meat balls in Costco ,they have dextrose as ingredients and I saw it recently and I am totally disappointed.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      That is super disappointing. They do have a comment box by the exit door that you can put your thoughts in – I know they read them and take them to heart.

  19. Wow, don’t remember when I saw so many hateful people in one place…good grief, if you don’t understand a food plan (GAPS) and you don’t value thoughtful, quality research and comments (thank you, Becky & Jill) and you don’t agree but can’t point out differences in a kinder way, then troll somewhere else and make others who are not trying to help people as miserable as yourselves…

  20. Nathan says:

    Thanks for this informative blog. I had recently had a strong sinus headache reaction to the costco organic chicken broth and had completely forgotten about the potential for hidden msg and other unlisted problematic ingredients.

  21. Michael says:

    This comment in the article doesn’t make sense. ” Coscto customer service ranks above no other organization and this was no exception. I can not praise Costco enough for helping us walk this muddied path of food allergies.” Was this a typo?

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