Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Costco Wholesale is slowly coming around

The food court at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.


I shop for food weekly at Costco. I love the quality of most items and the low prices, but when I want drug-free chicken, preservative-free cold cuts or grass-fed beef, I have to go elsewhere.

Costco has slowly-- too slowly, in my opinion -- added organic food and antibiotic-free poultry and meat, but most of the food it sells is grown or raised conventionally.

Today, I bought wild coho salmon fillet from Alaska, Hans' drug- and preservative-free chicken meatballs and sausage, organic salad mix, herbicide-free tomatoes and frozen organic mixed vegetables. 

But there was a deli full of preserved cold cuts and a barnyard full of Perdue and other brands of chicken raised on antibiotics (only the Coleman boneless-and-skinless thighs are organic.)

The Costco rotisserie chicken is dreadful -- a conventional chicken with many added flavors. And except for the drug-free Australian lamb and organic ground beef, the vast expanse of beef and pork should be ignored.

Now, The Costco Connection magazine for October 2009 is heralding the addition of a few more naturally raised or organic meat, poultry and pork items, in stores and at Costco.com, the mail-order arm.

From mid-November, stores will offer an antibiotic-free, vegetarian-fed Kirkland smoked, bone-in ham.  

By mail order, you will be able to buy organic rib roasts and frozen turkeys, and they'll be glatt kosher no less.


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12 comments:

  1. How much does a Costco membership cost per year? My wife has a Sams Club membership card from her father, we go there about once a month and purchase a few things here and there.

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  2. There are two levels of membership, but I think the basic rate is $50 a year. But if you get a Costco credit card from American Express, you'll get a cash rebate once a year that more than covers your membership cost, assuming you shop there regularly. The cost savings alone might cover your membership. (American Express is the only credit card accepted.) This same Costco credit card also gives you 3% back on restaurant meals and gasoline. On a 15-day road trip this summer, I charged virtually all our restaurant meals on it.

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  3. I bought two organic chickens today at Costco in San Francisco for $22. From an outfit called Coleman. I've been poking around the Web for more information. I've come across a couple of comments along the lines of "I would NEVER buy organic chicken at Costco, it's raised similarly to regular chicken," etc. Does anyone have any evidence for this, further thoughts, elaboration?

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    1. No but I am trying to get info right now. I have tried many different organic chickens and I like Trader Joes the best. What I have tried from Costco is Coastal Range chicken and I am not a fan and no nothing about this company. I am familiar with Coleman, but it is not offered where I live.

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    2. I haven't seen that brand in New Jersey or New York.

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  4. Coleman is a well-known and respected producer of organic poultry and meat, including organic goat meat, which I have purchased at Whole Foods Market.

    I'm sure the person who said he/she would "never" buy organic chicken at Costco is just blowing smoke; they don't know what they are talking about.

    Coleman also makes chicken sausage from poultry raised without antibiotics, and I've seen that item at Costco as well.

    We just happen to be defrosting a Coleman organic chicken from Costco for dinner tonight.

    Enjoy your organic chickens.

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  5. Thanks Victor for the Costco/chicken response. I see by your bio (below) you've got the cred. By the way I too started in newspapers in 1979 and have migrated to the Web. I invite you and your readers to check out my Website HistoryAccess.com.

    http://historyaccess.com/

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  6. Thanks, Bob. I started reading your piece on Cleopatra, and I'm glad to provide your Web address. Cheers.

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  7. Any non-organic meat purchased from Costco or any place that says vegetarian fed is fancy for grain fed and tainted with gmo unless it is stipulated that they use gmo free grain and I do not know of a corporate farm that would put that on their product. I too, have been waiting for Costco to bring in more organics but they are not and are losing more and more of my dollars to other stores. They offer very few organics down here in So. California.

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  8. There is always Whole Foods Market, which always has pork or beef or lamb on sale. Eating less meat and poultry wouldn't hurt, either.

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  9. I bought Coleman organic chicken thighs from Costco. I put in the freezer as soon as I got home because they were frozen. I took one pack out for dinner and opened it and it was the nastiest smelling stuff ever. I immediately threw them away. You can believe that tomorrow morning I am taking the other two of the three packs back to Costco for a refund.

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    1. I've been buying Coleman Organic for years at ShopRite, Costco and other stores.

      Package you bought wasn't sealed. But don't give up on buying organic.

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