I love Costco. They have so many awesome products that make my life way better. Right now they even have super soft blankies on sale for $10!
They also have this awesome cookbook from Against All Grain for a mere $20! How awesome is that?!
I have even done a three part series on awesome finds from Costco (here, here and here :0)
However, this last trip, I was a little dismayed. They have stopped carrying my favorite butter and blanched almond flour! I also found these new Cave Man bars which made me laugh out loud. I count five different kinds of sugar in these. Five!! This just goes to show that reading the label and nutrition information is vital to making good healthy choices, especially when it comes to processed “food”.
Speaking of reading labels, I missed a big one this week. I usually get a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods on Mondays because they are on sale for $6.99, which is nothing for good quality chicken. I love to get their plain one with no spices or anything- just chicken.
Well, I was in a rush yesterday and feeling really hungry (a very bad combo for any grocery store) and I grabbed a rotisserie chicken without even thinking about reading the label. At home, I ate about 6 ounces worth for dinner. About an hour later, my stomach turned into a jacuzzi tub!! I haven’t had gurgling that bad in weeks!! This morning, I went downstairs and looked at the box the chicken came in (PS, plastic is probably not the best thing to have a hot chicken in….) and boy was I shocked!
Ingredients: whole chickens (why plural??), water, seasoning (salt, sodium phosphate, modified food starch (potato, tapioca) and potato dextrin, carrageenan, sugar, dextrose and spice extractives (doesn’t even say what kind!!!).
All I wanted was chicken, but I ended up with a plastic box of crap! No wonder my stomach flipped out!! Just to prove my point a little further, let’s take a look at what these ingredients are exactly….
Sodium Phosphate- Sodium phosphate is a naturally occurring type of phosphorus that can be found you your body’s cells. This can also be applied to help clean the digestive system prior to x-ray, endoscopy, surgery or other intestinal procedures. This can also be used in an enema after surgery to address impacted bowels.(OK does this freak anyone else but me out?!!?) Sodium phosphate is commonly listed in foods as a generic term for phosphoric acid or sodium salt.
Modified Food Starch- Modified starch, also called starch derivatives, are prepared by physically, enzymatically, or chemically treating native starch, thereby changing the properties of the starch. Modified starches are used in practically all starch applications, such as in food products as a thickening agent, stabilizer or emulsifier; in pharmaceuticals as a disintegrant; as binder in coated paper. They are also used in many other applications.
Potato Dextrin- Dextrin is also a starch, but with a slightly different function. In the US, it’s usually made from corn, potato, arrowroot, rice or tapioca but, also like maltodextrin, wheat is sometimes used elsewhere (so again, celiacs and those who don’t eat gluten, beware)! “White dextrin” is the additive that is used as a binder to hold ingredients together or as a thickening agent (think cornstarch to thicken sauces). It can also be found in batters, coatings, and glazes. “Yellow dextrin” is not used for food at all, but is a water-soluble glue, which is not appetizing at all.
Carrageenan- Carrageenan, a heavily discussed additive in the world of alternative health, is an indigestible polysaccharide that is extracted from red algae, and is most commonly used in food as a thickener or stabilizer. Carrageenan-containing seaweeds have been used for centuries in food preparations for their gelling properties, but the refined, isolated carrageenan found in modern processed foods has raised concerns in the health-conscious online community.
Dextrose- Glucose (/ˈɡluːkoʊs/ or /-koʊz/; C6H12O6, also known as D-glucose, dextrose, or grape sugar) is a simple monosaccharide found in plants. It is one of the three dietary monosaccharides, along with fructose and galactose, that are absorbed directly into the bloodstream during digestion.
Spice Extractives- Spice Extract is the essence of the spice representing the essential oils and the taste component of the corresponding herb or ingredient. It is used as an ingredient to replace spice powder in dishes and processed food products. The extracts are advantageous for food producers because they are uniform and standardized providing consistent flavor, color and aroma. They are also hygienic with a long shelf-life, requiring less storage space and free from contamination by microbes. They are also marketed as dietary supplements or as alternative medicine.
According to the Food Marketing Institute, “the term ‘natural’ applies broadly to foods that are minimally processed and free of synthetic preservatives artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and other artificial additives growth hormones antibiotics, hydrogenated oils stabilizers and emulsifiers. Most foods labeled natural are not subject to government controls beyond the regulations and heath codes that apply to all foods. Exceptions include meat and poultry.
Bet you didn’t think you were getting all that for $4.99!! Gross!! I am still sitting here kicking myself for not reading the label. It is soooo worth taking the extra few minutes to read a label and make sure there is no hidden garbage in your food!!
Have you ever been shocked by a label on something you bought??