When Did Chicken Stock Stop Being a “Whole Food” at Whole Foods Market?

Over the last year or so, I’ve been slowly losing confidence in the integrity of Whole Foods Market. Their product ingredients are gradually becoming more and more similar to the Big Food ingredients that a lot of us are trying to avoid.

Today I noticed the ingredients in their low sodium chicken stock. When did chicken stock become such a complicated recipe?

whole foods market 365 brand low sodium chicken stock ingredients

  • Organic chicken stock (filtered water, concentrated organic chicken stock)
  • Contains less than 2% of the following:
  • Organic cane sugar
  • Organic chicken flavor (organic chicken, sea salt, organic gum arabic)
  • Organic vegetable stock (organic carrot, organic onion, organic celery, sea salt)
  • Yeast extract
  • Salt
  • Organic turmeric

whole foods market 365 brand low sodium chicken stock ingredients

Were these always the ingredients in their chicken stock? A few months ago, I might not have noticed or thought twice about any of them, but I guess I’ve become more fussy about what I consider a “whole food” — I don’t believe sugar, gums and yeast extract (hidden MSG) belong in my chicken soup. sigh.

It’s become more important than ever to scrutinize ALL labels and ingredients, especially when shopping at Whole Foods Market. Gone are the idealistic days of blind trust, assuming they have our backs when it comes to natural wholesome foods.

Thankfully I try to make my own stocks, but it’s nice to keep a carton in the pantry; this time, I left it on the shelf!

Other links:

It was so funny to find this 2008 article from the WF web site: “Myths and Misconceptions: MSG” where they contradict the critics that state certain ingredients like yeast extract are hidden instances of MSG. It’s even more interesting to read the comments from some of their shoppers.

See all posts in my Whole Foods Wake-up series.

4 thoughts on “When Did Chicken Stock Stop Being a “Whole Food” at Whole Foods Market?”

  1. Debbie, I have to say, I had a similar conversation with my husband last week about how almost all of their house brand prepared foods like hummus have canola oil in them. It’s a canola oil landmine! I still like to shop there, but, you have to be careful, even at WF!

  2. That is troubling, Debbie, especially in some products that you’ve come to trust/rely on. Just goes to show it is our responsibility to do our due diligence on the companies, no matter what their PR spin is. I only use broth maybe two to three times a year, if that, so for those few times I don’t stress over the questionable additional ingredients myself too much (I do buy a boxed organic variety in the Wild Harvest section of Shaw’s; forget what brand it is), but if it is a product you use regularly, then it’d be concerning (even if the ingredients aren’t as evil as, say, HFCS or potassium benzoate, WHY do they need to be in there if they weren’t before?). I remember you told me back in the summer that you save all your veggie trimmings to make your own broth, and that is obviously the way you prefer to go, but why should it be so difficult for you to find an acceptable broth on store shelves? Especially from a brand that puffs itself up as the top of the heap in organic/pure/high quality/healthy/anti-Big Food and PRICE? Sigh. It seems as though soon we will have to become small scale farmers just to ensure that our food really is what we think it is.

    Happy New Year, Debbie!

  3. Happy new year, Norma! Thanks for your comment. It’s really has come down to making it yourself or finding a trustworthy local source!

    I did a quick google search for commercial chicken broth without sugar, and it doesn’t look good.

    Ha! It’s no wonder that we’re all addicted to sugar! It’s IN everything!

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