Is Costco’s Coconut Oil Junk? Or the Real Deal?

Costco sells Carrington Farms Coconut Oil - is it cheap coconut oil or the real deal? Seems like the price is too good to be true - but is it? Is Costco selling substandard junk just to make a buck?  Read this and find out the truth.

Do you shop at Costco?  More and more Costco has great deals on whole foods and gluten-free products and our family has enjoyed taking advantage of the savings at this “big box giant”.

But have you seen their great deal on coconut oil?

We use coconut oil for everything – from homemade moisturizer to gluten-free baking to homemade popcorn, so we go through a ton of it.

I saw Costco’s coconut oil offering and wondered myself–“Could this really be high quality coconut oil at this price?”  So I bought some about 4 months ago and put it on my shelf.

Many have been thrilled about being able to purchase a great wholesome fat like coconut oil at Costco for a great price.

But not everyone is happy about it.

I honestly was almost in tears this past week seeing what can happen when due diligence isn’t done, accusations are made carelessly, and apologies don’t come.

If you don’t know what I am talking about, read on.

I worked on this post for quite awhile to make sure I had the whole story covered and covered well. There is a lot of misinformation to clear up, and it’s going to take awhile, so please hang with me for another “longish” post :).

This past week, a post called “Why Buying Coconut Oil at Costco is Risky Business” came out on a very popular healthy living blog, The Healthy Home Economist.

In a nutshell, one person contacted the owner of that blog, Sarah Pope, on her Facebook page, and told her that she had purchased Carrington Farms’ Coconut Oil from Costco. She stated:

“I just opened and began using a big container of coconut oil (got it at Costco) that I’ve had for maybe 3 months and it has sat on my pantry shelf (outside in my garage, I live in Texas so it’s gotten hotter than 100 degrees). It smells like burned marshmallows, or maybe the inside of a pumpkin on Halloween. Since I can’t find any web sites that describe the smell (other than “yucky” and “very, very bad”) for rancid coconut oil, could you please help me out? I can’t stand to put it on my face….but can I still cook with it?”

First of all, Sarah’s advice to her reader that she not use the coconut oil was good advice.

But that is where the good advice stopped.

Sarah then went on to vilify Carrington Farms and Costco and to cast aspersions on almost the entire US Coconut Oil market.

Here’s what went down and how it went wrong:

Accusations Against Carrington Farms–and the Truth

Accusation #1: Costco’s oil spoiled because there was something wrong with the oil

Sarah assumed, without doing any research, that the Costco customer’s oil was “bad” due to either poor quality, poor filtration, or the oil being just plain “old.”  To quote her:

It’s anybody’s guess, but one thing is for sure.  It was not fresh, high quality Grade A coconut oil.   Cheaply priced coconut oil at a discount store is going to get you exactly that:  cheap oil that is likely old, improperly filtered (manufacturer’s defect) and not the best choice for your health.

Response: There is no way to know the cause of the problem without more evidence

After reading this post, I thought that I would contact Carrington Farms myself to learn more details about the situation.

I talked to one of Carrington Farms’ Vice Presidents, and she said that they haven’t had any other recent complaints about their coconut oil being bad, and that they never got any information from Mary M. about their oil– no lot number and no expiration date. Nothing.

So while she admitted that there is a slim possibility that there was something wrong with the oil, she said that it is much more likely that the oil was opened and something foreign got in there to cause the problem.

For example, perhaps Mary had opened the container, used a spoon to get some coconut oil out, and the spoon had something on it. Or some such “user error.”

However, there really is no way for them, or for us, to know anything because all we have is Mary M’s message and Sarah’s response.

UPDATE (7/3/13):  A few readers have mentioned that it was likely the fact that Mary stored the coconut oil in her hot garage that led to it spoiling.  I don’t know. Of course, the label says to store in a cool dry place, but I have read in numerous places that people have stored their coconut oil in a hot place with no problem. Furthermore, Sarah mentioned in her post:

I have never had it go off, even when kept for a year or two in my garage where the temperature easily reaches a 110-120F on humid August afternoons.

so I decided not to blame the smell issue on the hot garage.

2.  Accusation #2: Costco sells inferior or old food products

To quote Sarah:

the big box wholesalers like Costco have been faced with a dilemma – how best to capitalize on the coconut oil frenzy while keeping the price dirt cheap. I’ll admit that I’ve been suspicious of the big box wholesaler brands of coconut oil for quite awhile. The price just didn’t jive with the price I knew to be necessary to ensure a quality, pure product.

Response: Costco carries quality food products – Carrington’s oil is one of them

I’ve been a Costco member for many years, and mostly we’ve been thrilled with their quality. And I’m not easy to please about some things (maybe you can guess that as you read my posts and see the lengths I go to at times to make sure I am getting a good product). In fact, I’ve had to return some things to them and they aren’t always happy about that. But that is too bad–they claim to have high quality and consumers should hold them to that.

But I have never ever thought that they intentionally partnered with companies that sold junk. There are, of course, companies that sell bulk name brand clothing to stores like Costco that are lower quality so they can sell them inexpensively, but to my knowledge, there are no “lower quality foods” being sold to Costco.

I think Costco has some things to learn about getting and keeping more and more whole food products in their stores (I am petitioning them every time I go to get the Coleman Natural Hot Dogs back.  So if you are a member, drop that message in their suggestion box for me too, OK – “Get Coleman Hot Dogs year round :)!”  Thank you!!)

Anyway, about Carrington Farms’ super reasonable coconut oil at Costco . . .

What Carrington’s VP said to me is that the low price of their oil at Costco is simply a matter of the economy of scale.

Carrington sells coconut oil in 12 oz and 54 ounce sizes.  The 54 ounce size is what Costco carries.

They sell their 54 ounce for $24.99 on Amazon and for $15.99 at Costco. And they also have their own website.

That $15.99 is a real steal, but here is the deal.

It takes the same amount of work for Carrington to sell 1 container of coconut oil off their website as it does to sell 20,000 jars to Costco.

They have to take an order, pack it up, and ship it.

I know how this works.  I sell products on my Natural Store page.  The main products I sell are zeolite and soap nuts.

I sell one bottle of zeolite for $15.25 and 12 for $100 (instead of $183 at the “per bottle” price). I sell 1 ounce of soap nuts for $2.50 and four pounds for $52.30 (instead of $160 at the “per ounce” price).

So even though the size of the coconut oil at Costco is the same as the one on Amazon, they sell so many more at Costco that they can offer the coconut oil at a better price.

Carrington’s VP said that they sell many full truckloads to Costco weekly–versus 1 case each week at a regular grocery store.

It’s the same oil…..just the economy of scale working for Costco members.

PLUS – My Carrington Farms oil (that I bought about 4 months ago) has an expiration date clearly marked on the label – 2/20/15.  That is NOT old oil. And besides, it will likely last long beyond that date.  Coconut oil is known for its stability.

3.  Accusation #3: Carrington Farm’s Coconut Oil is not pure.

Sarah said that “Inexpensive Coconut Oil is Likely Poor Quality” and then went on to list the following possibilities  reasons why a coconut oil might be of poor quality, insinuating that Carrington Farms Coconut Oil is either

  • possibly not 100% coconut oil
  • improperly filtered
  • old

All it took was one phone call to Carrington Farms to straighten this out, and that is what I did.  I talked with one of their Vice Presidents who spent a lot of time on the phone with me going over their quality control.  And believe me, they are on top of their coconut oil’s quality.

Response: Quality-Related facts about Carrington Farms’ coconut oil

1.  Carrington Farms coconut oil is unrefined and no chemicals are used in the processing of the oil.

2.  The coconuts are grown on certified organic farms in the Philippines.

3. Representatives from Carrington have visited the farms to ensure quality of the growing process and a partner in the company visits to ensure that their representatives are doing everything they can to guarantee that everything is as they say it is.

4.  The coconuts are grown on several farms to avoid problems of “single site sourcing”–should there be a natural disaster in one farm, they can still get coconuts.

5.  The coconuts are processed within 4 days of being picked.

6.  The coconut oil is filtered twice before being moved to a bottling facility, and then it is filtered again.

7.  Carrington Farms does third party GC/MS testing on each lot of their oil.  If any other vegetable oil was cut into the coconut oil, it would show up on these tests.

8. The oil is tested for microbes, e-coli, salmonella and more.

9.  Their containers are BPA-free.

10.  Their coconut oil is unrefined, unbleached, and is not deodorized, and their processing is hexane and heat free. I think you can see that they care about quality.

Just because a product is one you haven’t heard of, doesn’t mean it is junk.  I too wondered about Carrington Farms Coconut Oil when I saw it at Costco.  I bought some and I am very happy with it.  

4.  Accusation #4: Carrington Farms is involved in fraudulent marketing because they label their coconut oil as being “Extra Virgin”

To quote Sarah,

There is no such thing as “extra virgin coconut oil”.  It is either refined coconut oil or virgin coconut oil. A friend of mine who is the owner of a company that is a quality purveyor of virgin coconut oil had this to say: “… any product that uses the term ‘extra virgin’ and it does not pertain to olive oil is using the term outside its definition… Trying to market something that does not exist.”

Response: The truth about “Extra Virgin Coconut Oil”

Well, to be fair, Sarah is right–there is no such thing as Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

But what Sarah should have checked before sharing this post is that the coconut oil that she recommends to her readers has been marketed as “Extra Virgin” too.

In her post, she said “the only way to ensure a quality product is to buy from a quality small business.” Interestingly, the words “buy from a quality small business” are linked to Village Green Network (the blogging network which Sarah is a big part of)’s affiliate portal where you can then click to see what coconut oil (and other products) they recommend.

The problem is that the coconut oil they recommend (Radiant Life) was also marketing themselves as being “Extra Virgin”.  In addition, when you can click around and check out their recommended products, VGN members don’t just get paid when you purchase, they get paid per click, so getting click-happy on their Resources page puts a lot of money in their pockets.)

I digress.

Some of Sarah’s readers called her on this “Extra Virgin” conundrum. Then Sarah said that she had contacted Radiant Life about it and they were changing their marketing. I don’t have anything against Radiant Life, but it is again, poorly researched.

In fact, here is a screen shot I pulled off the internet when I found out about this story, just so you could see that Radiant Life has been, and still is, marketing their oil as being “Extra Virgin.”

If you type in “Radiant Life Coconut Oil” into Google, up comes this description of their coconut oil.  This description is set by Radiant Life when they set up their product for Google: Radiant Life Coconut Oil Screen shot 2013-06-26 at 4.53.42 PMAnd here is an entry on Radiant Life’s blog about making your own “Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Lotion

(Update: In case Radiant Life changes their post, here is a screenshot of the top part of the post):

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil - Radiant Life

Radiant Life – Advertising how to make “Extra Virgin Coconut Oil” with their “Extra Virgin Coconut Oil”

What Carrington Farms’ VP told me is that, while there is no “Extra Virgin” designation for coconut oil, when they started marketing their oil, almost all of the other coconut oil companies in the US were marketing their oil as being “Extra Virgin,” and so they thought it would be both confusing to the customer, plus it would put their coconut oil in a negative light if they only labeled their oil as “Virgin.”

(Please note: The Amazon links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking, I might make a commission, but your price does not change. I thank you oh-so much for your support!)

Click on these links to see that a bunch of companies also market their coconut oil as being “Extra Virgin”:

1.  Garden of Life Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

2.  Nutiva

3.  Nature’s Way

4.  Barlean’s

5.  Jarrow

6.  Source Naturals (these are capsules, but they are called “Extra Virgin”)

7.  Vitacost

8.  Vitamin Shoppe

9.  Artisana

This list represents a mix between companies known for being inexpensive and those know for high quality.

But the point is that they all use the term “extra virgin” to describe their coconut oil. In fact, I think one is more hard pressed to find a company that doesn’t refer to its coconut oil as being “extra virgin” than one that does.

And the Carrington’s VP told me that they sell the exact same coconut oil in Canada as “Virgin Coconut Oil” because Canada has laws about coconut oil labeling that the US doesn’t have.

Now, let me be clear.  I could have just kept silent on this.

Sarah has a big blog and a lot of influence in the whole foodie blog world. It’s not really advisable to write something negative about someone that big. But, I really felt I had to stick up for a company that is being hurt because of this mess.

Just like Sarah wrote about the lessons she thinks should be learned about what type of coconut oil to buy, and where to buy it, I am adding my own set of lessons to be learned here:

1.  Don’t go on just one person’s word when accusing a company, or someone, of wrongdoing.

Sarah wrote that ” evidence is now emerging that my suspicions [that big box wholesaler brands of coconut oil are junk] have been justified.”

One person’s comment without sufficient details (such as lot number, expiration date, whether the container was opened previously or not) is not evidence.  It is just conjecture until the facts are checked out.

And just to put this out there, there are plenty of folks who just do mean things to hurt others.  I am not saying that Mary’s or Sarah’s intentions are such, but there are people who spread lies in order to hurt others and build themselves up, so we need to be really really careful when putting out negative claims about a person or company.

2.  Do due diligence before making a sweeping accusation. Sarah should have called Carrington to find out their side of the story before publishing something so damaging to their reputation.

3.  Say you’re sorry when you are wrong.

What You Can Do to Help

I think that Carrington Farms has really been through the ringer unfairly on this one. I am sure that their sales are hurting and that is just not right. I have a jug of their coconut oil right here and I will say it smells and tastes wonderful.

1.  Go to Costco and buy some Carrington Farms Coconut Oil.

2.  Go to Amazon and buy some Carrington Farms Coconut Oil.

3.  Subscribe to my blog.  I go to great lengths to make sure that I am doing good, solid research on everything that I share with you. It takes time and I am super busy. But I will not try to get you to read my blog by posting stuff that’s unnecessarily sensationalist.  It would mean a lot to have your vote of confidence by having you as a subscriber to my blog updates.  And besides–you wouldn’t want to miss anything, would you :)?

4.  Share this post (see sharing buttons below) with others so they can find out that Carrington Farms is a decent company with high quality products.

Finally – what about buying local and from small businesses?

That’s really a whole other topic.  I love supporting small businesses. But frankly, I can’t do it all the time.

I can’t do anything all the time–Blog, be a great homeschool mom, keep a clean house, recycle, get the best bargains, be a kind and loving wife.  I need work on all of those things.

Some more than others.

But right now, I buy local when I can. (I just got a flat of organic strawberries from a local farm and I buy eggs from a friend at church. UPDATE:  I was just accused of not supporting local businesses, so I am updating with more information: I just bought 15 local chickens and we have 2 local deer and a local pig in our freezer.  And the most local thing I do is we have a huge garden out back :)!)  As for coconut oil?  I am sticking with Tropical Traditions and Carrington, and Nutiva for now.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t other great companies. But a gal can only do so much research at once–and right now I am off to find a new brand of stevia :).

For more “controversial topics” that might interest you, check out:

1.  The FDA Says, “Probiotics are Dangerous? Arsenic is Safe

2.  Is There Engine Fuel on Your Almonds? – A must read.

3.  Which Essential Oils Company is Best? - you will see here that I did a TON of research into oils and oil companies. And I was very clear about my limitations and why I made the conclusions that I made.  And if I ever find something negative out about the company that I recommended, I will pull my recommendation. Plain and simple.

Photo Credit:

Please leave questions or comments below.  But please be respectful. Thank you.

Shared at Raising Homemakers, Frugally Sustainable, and We Are that Family.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Great post–thanks for the detailed analysis of all this!!!

    • I was going to say the same thing, but why be redundant? Instead, I’ll just jump on this comment and say “I agree!”

      I’ve been eyeing the coconut oil at our local Costco, trying to decide if I wanted to buy some there when my Nutiva oil runs out, but I’d heard some rumblings about its quality and just wasn’t sure. I hadn’t actually read the post that started them, nor have I put a lot of time into researching the differences between brands, so I only had a vague idea what the supposed problems were. I feel much better now that I’ve read this post, and will probably opt to save money by buying the Carrington Farms oil next time. (I also hate to wait for shipping, so that’s an added bonus.)

      • Thanks!

      • Lisa DeGrave says:

        I loved Carrington and purchased a smaller jar of Nutiva to tide us over until I got to Costco again…I felt the quality was nearly identical. I don’t know if I would have been able to tell the difference had I been blindfolded. The grocery store sells the Nutiva large jar for 33.00 the same size as the Carrington at Costco for 15.99. The problem is that our store is out of it every time I stop in to get some. :(

        • I also thought that my local Costco was out every time I went to get some but it didn’t make sense to me that Costco would be out every single time. I asked an employee where I can find the coconut oil and sure enough it had been moved to the “Organic” section. You should ask if you haven’t already. Hope this helps.

          • Kathleen says:

            I found this article looking for prices for the Carrington Farm EV Coconut Oil. I was buying it from Costco. I have never had any problems with it. It taste Great and never a smell! While shopping at Costco in March, our store did not have it and I was asked at Checkout if I had found everything and I mentioned I could not find the Coconut Oil. I was told that they would have it back in April, that the packaging or something was probably being changed. When I returned in April, instead of the Carrington Farm brand at $15.98 for the 54 ounce jar, in its place was the Kirkland’s brand, two smaller jars, that when combined were less than 54 ounces, and priced at $23.99 for the set. I don’t know if they still carry the Carrington Farm oil and it was moved as mentioned by Nancy above, but I was disappointed at the price and did not buy it. When I next return to Costco, I will ask if there is an “Organic” section and check for it there. I hope it is as the price was spectacular at $15.99 and we use it everyday.
            Thanks for your research!

            • They appear to be trying out the new oil. What do you think about it? It’s just in some areas.

              • Kathleen says:

                Hi Adrienne,
                I did not buy the Kirkland Brand of Coconut oil since both jars combined did not equal the amount of 54 ounces that the Carrington Farm jar had contained and also because the price was $7.00 more than it had been for the Carrington Farms 54 ounce Jar. I believe the total amount of both Kirkland jars equalled 48 ounces. I was highly disappointed that Costco did this switch and was charging more for less of the oil. I think I would have bought the Kirkland’s Brand if there had not been such a large discrepancy between the price and the ounces.

      • I’ve used Costco’s coconut oil for some time now, it is wonderful. If left in a hot place such as my bathroom, when it hits about 78 degrees or so, it will melt but still good. The best I’ve bought so far, I’ve tried others that don’t smell as good and is very expensive.

  2. Christina says:

    Thank you for the post. I buy the coconut oil from Costco. I wasn’t convinced that one persons review was worthy of cutting them off. I buy 1-2 a month, and have always been happy with it.

  3. Could not have said it better myself!! thank -you.I was a bit ticked at the accusations flying over there(other blog).Nice to see someone do the work and research .

  4. Great, well-written article! I’m thankful that you wrote this, because I had read the other blog post as well, and felt it wasn’t well-researched, too.

    Funny, though – our Costco in Oregon only sells the Nutiva brand of coconut oil! :)

    • Just put a suggestion in the “Suggestion Box” – along with your one for the hot dogs :).

      • Ha! Will have to do this! I’ve never heard of the hot dogs, though. :)

        • They are GREAT! No hormones. No antibiotics. No nitrates and I do think they are raised well (as in not treated inhumanely).

          • “I do think they are raised well…”
            seriously? you do know the animal has to DIE to be made into a hot dog right? You know it has it’s throat slit right? What do you think they are raised like pets and then humanely “put to sleep” by a compassionate veterinarian?
            There is NO SUCH THING as humane meat!
            You enjoy research…do some!

            • Hi Pam. I know that many practices around the world are horrendous but I have talked to Coleman and they are an exception. Have you ever seen the movie Temple Grandin? (that’s an affiliate link, by the way). She is the most famous autistic person in the world and she has designed over 1/2 of the slaughter houses in the US. Coleman’s slaughter houses were modeled after her design so I am confident that they are doing a good job.

              I would appreciate your not being insulting towards me in your comment. I did the research and I am happy with the answers that I got. Hope to see you around again :)

            • lol

        • Annette says:

          So glad you did the article and did justice for Costco/CarringtonFarms!! I too thought it was unfair to label their coconut oil as Sarah did…I know she has to know she was wrong! But next time I am at Costco, I too will put in a request for the Coleman Hotdogs….they are GREAT-nitrate free, and very tasty!!!!! I personally love Costco and their addition of organic products, etc. they even now have glass jars of diced tomatoes, although not organic, they are YUMMY in any sauce!!!

          • I haven’t seen those tomatoes. I’ve been buying the Bionaturae organic glass jarred one from Green Polka Dot Box recently. :) And we’re growing our own.

            • Keep looking! I found plain organic tomato sauce in glass last week. (I would grow them but only cherries do well in our latitude and they only get part sun in my yard and end up flavorless.)

            • Do you ever use Applegate hotdogs? That’s what I buy for my family. They are also no nitrite/nitrate and naturally cured. I’d never heard of coleman before. Maybe it’s a regional thing? I’m from NE Ohio.

              • Yes, but they are tons more money for a smaller package. Sigh. Anyone want to split a wholesale order with me :)?

                • How much are coleman hotdogs? I normally can get a 2pk of hotdogs(16 total) at BJ’s for $7.99, not too bad in my book for natural. At Heinen’s, the only grocery store that carries them that’s close to us, they are $5.99 per package(8 hotdogs)! At that price I’d go without.

                  If we lived near each other I’d so go in on an order with you! We love natural hotdogs. Even before we switched to real foods, we only wanted beef hotdogs, they just taste better =)

                  • They are 3 lbs for either $10 or $11 –that is, when they have them. Where do you live? I am seriously thinking about doing this. I have 2 friends willing to go in — but I need more :).

                    • I live in a suburb near Cleveland, OH, obviously I’d tell you exactly where if I’m anywhere close to you =) But, I just don’t like putting my address in a comments section where everyone can read it ;) But, most bloggers seem to live in the south….

                    • I hear you. Well, we’re about 4.5 hours from each other. Not impossible :). You can email me at wholenewmom at gmail if it’s something you want to think about :).

  5. I bought the coconut oil at Costco and have been very pleased with it. From being solid in the winter, to melting now in the summer, it has acted as all other coconut oils and has smelled perfect the whole time. I have no doubts about its quality. Costco makes good choices, as far as I have seen.

    In fact, this is actually the first time with coconut oil that I have gotten up enough courage to eat it by the spoonful–and it tastes wonderful.

    Thank you for researching Carrington and telling us more about it!

  6. Thank you so much!! I had read that post and it just didn’t sit well. I buy coconut oil from Costco all of the time and have told all of my friends to do the same. Thank you for your extra work and due diligence!

  7. Adrienne, I love your blog, and I love Sarah’s blog. You have both taught me a lot. And everything I read on both blogs – if it applies to my life (and my family) – I research further and/or doublecheck the research. Whenever you read something concerning research, you should read the original sources because it’s always interpretation. I love how you research so much in detail – and it always makes me ask questions, too, when I hadn’t thought to ask in the first place. I commend you for delving into this topic more deeply (as you have so bravely delved into previous topics). I would hope that Sarah appreciates what you’ve done here and will respond appropriately. Thanks again and keep pushing us all to think!

  8. Great post. Thanks for doing your homework and setting the record straight!! I applaud you!

  9. Michael says:

    there is perhaps another alternative.

    Coconut oil will “go off” if you have tainted it with something, say a cooking spoon with food in it dipped in the container to get some more and inadvertently mixing something else into the oil means that oil will “go off”…….even the best of them will under those circumstances!

    There are only a few brands I trust to buy here in Australia, a few years back found an online shop with some market outlets that sell 5L (or 5kg) tubs or in summer 6kg (6L) containers and quality cold pressed, organic, etc etc

    Top quality, good stuff.

    That aside brilliant article.

  10. Thank you for your research on this! A pet peeve of mine is bloggers who criticize without doing the research! I had read one blog mentioning this oil at Costco, and I actually got a membership so that I could buy some. In fact I bought 2. Glad to hear you contacted the company and cleared up any confusion – than you for that.

  11. Well written. :) Thank you SO MUCH for all the the time and energy and research AND integrity you put into your information to the public. It is so wise that you really do your due diligence before posting. Bloggers have a responsibility when sharing information and ones that have a grand following have even more, since MANY EYES are reading. It really shows that you care a lot and strive for accuracy and honesty in your posts! You are a rare find my friend. I hope you are RICHLY rewarded for your honest, trustworthy work! :)

  12. Kelly Kohler says:

    Thank you for the clarification and all your hard work in getting the facts! I jumped on the coconut oil band wagon before the craze. I LOVE Carrington Coconut Oil and have had no problem with them whatsoever and will continue to buy from them as long as they are around! Even after the craze is over!

  13. Adrienne, thank you for setting the record straight. I subscribe to Sarah’s blog and I was definitely influenced by what she said. I was even glad I wasn’t a Costco member! (that’s another story). I totally respect you for taking the time to do the proper research and as a writer, your diligence and integrity are tops. I think Sarah should take a lesson from you. Hopefully, she reads your blog. Anyway, you have proven yourself over and over again by providing real research on what you write about it and that is so appreciated.
    Thank you for doing such a good job. I might consider a Costco membership — it’s the parking lot (jammed) that drives me away!
    You always have my vote for Best Blogger.

    • I LOVE their store. If you don’t go on Saturday you can get in OK. And my kiddos love the samples (the more wholesome ones, that is). You are waaaay too kind. I try to do my best and always will.

      • Agree! The trick is the weekday visit if you can swing it. I’d rather go with my toddler than on a weekend bc you’re right, it’s a madhouse! But it’s well worth it. It’s nothing like Sam’s at all. Their products are in a whole different category.

  14. What an AWESOME post, Adrienne! Can you hear the applause! Well done! You are such a blessing. May God continue to bless you richly for your fair, honest and kind heart. Love to you, sweet friend! :) Kelly

    • Thank you, Kelly!!!

    • Well said Kelly. Much applause to you Adrienne. I am a member of both Sam’s and Costco. I have coconut oil from both places in my cupboard now. Everything appears give the same information and price. Sam’s is Tresomega. Costco is much farther away from me so I go to Sam’s more. Costco does seem to have more organic/natural foods though. Thank you Adrienne for all your time and research. Arla

  15. Bravo, Adrienne! Once again you take the high and difficult road and I for one thank you for it. You prove yourself over and over to be trustworthy and honest in your dealings and writings. Thanks much for tackling this difficult subject and I’m going right now to share you post with my online and FB friends. I don’t have a Costco near me (Bummer) but my Mom does and the word should be spread. I, for one, continue to be a loyal fan and supporter of yours.

  16. Bravo! Well done!!

  17. Thank you! I love your practical approach to approaching the accusation. I really dislike when bloggers, or anyone, take such a dramatic stand without covering their bases. Nice article.

  18. Maureen Driedger says:

    The article was posted to a Facebook group that my daughter & I are part of…Instead of passing it on, my daughter emailed the company, linking to the article &, like you, received a very detailed response to the accusations, complete with outlines of company policy, etc. Thanks for addressing this in a more public manner, as not everyone will take the time effort my daughter did.

  19. Excellent, sane, and balanced post, Adrienne! We don’t have a Costco close enough, but I wish we did. I would also probably a little more hesitant at first to buy something from a large retailer with full confidence of its quality, but your post really put things into perspective.

  20. It took guts to write this post. Thank you. I stick with Nutiva in the gallon containers. But I love my coconut oil. :)

  21. Thank you for researching this!!! I have been using Costco’s Coconut Oil and love it. When I first saw your article, I thought “Oh no, it was too good to be true!” Do you have a recommendation on what Olive Oil to buy? I have heard that so much of the EVOO being sold is not the real thing. How do we know what to buy? Help!!

    • Costco for olive oil too. I haven’t ventured from there b/c I read it is the real deal and I haven’t had time to check others :).

      • Thanks, Adrienne! I just googled Costco Olive Oil and found this — “Costco’s Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil may be the best-kept secret in the store. At $9.99 for 1.5 liters, it is roughly half the cost of the well-known Bertolli brand, and yet, according to at least one independent study, it’s much better. In a recent comparison of 19 olive oils on the market, The Olive Center, a research group at the University of California-Davis, found that Kirkland Organic was one of only five in the study not mixed with cheaper refined olive oil that can spoil the taste. The other four at the top of the list were all high-end brands that cost as much as five times Costco’s. Make sure you buy the Costco version that’s labeled organic, though, as opposed to the one that’s simply called “extra virgin olive oil.” It’ll cost a little bit more, but it’s worth it. “

        • I read that stuff as well. I was very pleased b/c I have been buying their EV for a long time. Thanks!!!!

        • The *only* reason I have avoided buying Costco’s olive oil is because it’s in plastic. :(
          Instead, I’ve been buying Trader Joe’s, which is packaged in glass.
          After listening to Udo Erasmus talk about the dangers of oil in plastic, I’ve avoided all olive oils packaged in plastic. However, any bulk amount of coconut oil is *always* in plastic. :-P

  22. i live in TX.. and just started using the Carrington brand from costco (love it). i previously used Tropical Traditions.. but had to shave off some cost from the food budget. my question to the lady who said she stored it in the garage.. Really??? who would store it in the texas.. my garage gets to 120 degrees in the hot summer.. also the bottle says to ‘store in a cool, dry place’ maybe she should have read that.

    • Good information. Our Costco only sells Nutiva Coconut Oil.

    • Nathan B says:

      Thank you! I’m glad I’m not the only one that saw that and said, “what? You’re storing it in the one place that probably has the highest level of contaminant exposure and least amount of temperature regulation in the house, and you wonder why something that is opened and closed regularly in there would turn quickly??” Seriously, every container of coconut oil we’ve had clearly stated to keep in a cool dry place. Don’t blame a company if you don’t even remotely follow the directions/recommendations they give. It would be like getting mad at Apple when your iPhone stops working after you took it with you scuba diving.

      And I like that other blog as well, but this has definitely given me the red flag that I need to be more diligent and less blindly trusting.

    • I thought the same exact thing. I live in Texas as well, and I never store any types of food items during the spring, summer or fall in my garage.

  23. Thank you for this post! I buy this coconut oil all the time (well, as often as needed when the jar is bigger than your head!) and am thankful for the work you did on this article!

    I have also been missing the Coleman Natural Hot Dogs, as well as the Bell & Evans Gluten-free chicken tenders. I will drop a second suggestion in the box, just for you!

  24. Francesca Hirtle says:

    I <3 Carrington Farms Coconut Oil…Not only is the price right–it smells fine and tastes wonderful. I am glad you put this lady in her place because she had a bad batch which could have occurred through her own error, she crucifies the company. I use to get Spectrum and Nutiva and paid $14 for just 8-16oz and I have to tell they were equal to Carrington. You go Carrington!!!

  25. To be honest I think you are blowing the whole thing out of proportion and making a mountain out of a mole hill. Which is your right. And it is my right to say so. Sarah didn’t make direct accusations… she made general ones like “potentially, could be etc”.

    I don’t shop at Costco not because their products are necessarily poor quality but because I support local, small businesses, not big box businesses who are driving small businesses out of business. The same reason I refuse to support Walmart.

    Best of luck with your post… you’ll get some attention for it since you are accusing a big time blogger and your headlines are provocative, but I think you are blowing it out of proportion.

    • I don’t think I am making a mountain out of a molehill. This is a direct quote from her post, and I included it in mine.

      It’s anybody’s guess, but one thing is for sure. It was not fresh, high quality Grade A coconut oil. Cheaply priced coconut oil at a discount store is going to get you exactly that: cheap oil that is likely old, improperly filtered (manufacturer’s defect) and not the best choice for your health.

      That is a direct accusation and she made the company look bad without due diligence. It is a problem and I decided to speak up. I wrote about the local food / company thoughts at the bottom of my post. I would love it if you would go back and read my post more clearly. I spent a ton of time on it and I think it was the right thing to do.

    • erin b. says:

      I don’t know where you live, but I can’t buy local wild caught frozen mahi mahi and local wild caught Alaskan salmon or local coconut oil! I support local as often as I can too but there are some things that I cant buy locally that costco carries! And quite frankly, I’m not going to spend $15 on a 16 oz jar of coco oil just because my local co-op (that I am also a member of) sells when I can get a gallon for the same price and quality as costco! Costco also happens to be an excellent company with a ceo who cares more about his employees than he does about putting millions in his pocket! That is also something I am definitely in support of! Wal-mart…not so much!

    • Big business doesn’t have to be bad business. I shop at stores who treat their employees well. Costco is one of those stores. It is near impossible to buy everything from a local business anymore. Am I to believe that you never shop from Amazon (the antithesis of local), only get your food from a co op and hand make your clothing? Adrienne is not blowing this out of proportion, that is what Sarah did in the first place, and what she is known for doing over and over again.

      • I agree with Winni. I worked at Costco for 8 years before being a stay at home mom, and I’ve never worked for a company that treated it’s employees so well and gives them so much. It was actually hard to leave because I was making over $20 an hour plus 3 weeks paid vacation, paid holidays off, and paid personal days, not to mention great and affordable benefits.
        Local is great, but so is supporting stores that are ethical and provide their employees with a living wage, which is what costco does. They are about as ethical a company as you can get. Even the most self-righteous consumer should feel good about supporting them. ;)

    • Where do you live where you buy local coconut oil (or coffee or chocolate?) Surely not the US!

      • I do think she means to support small retailers but I understand what you are saying. Are you using your real email? I would ask that you please do not comment using a false email. Thank you. It is kept private – I am the only one who can see it.

        • Yes, this is my real email and has been since 1993.

          • Thanks. Very funny. I have had people comment w/ very odd email addresses just b/c they don’t want to be accountable for what they are writing – thanks!

            • I don’t really understand how someone can be held “accountable” for what they write. There are free speech laws so I’d imagine the only thing that could be done is that the owner of the site could remove a comment. I use fake emails to avoid spam. I
              think this conversation about coconut oil is getting immature and petty.

              • Hi Kristen. Of course people can be held accountable for what they write. If you write that you want to harm the leader of our country, the gov’t will be all over you. And there are other things that are off limits too. Free speech has its limits.

                The emails you use on sites like this aren’t seen by anyone – they are just so you get a response when I email you. Well, I see them but I assure you I am not making a list and spamming you :).

                What do you think is immature and petty about it? I asked an honest question and got an honest answer. Thanks for commenting.

    • Jocelyn says:

      Dawn – Did you even read Sarah’s post and her comment responses?? She ABSOLUTELY made inaccurate statements and presented them as “fact”. Hardly the first time – and no one digs their heels in quite like Sarah Pope. When she’s obviously wrong, she’ll go to the ends of the earth to stand by her mis-statements. There’s no humility. Such a shame for someone who has such a broad audience and opportunity to do so much good. Very disappointing.

  26. Well-written & well-researched response by Adrienne. Clearly, “The Healthy Home Economist” didn’t bother to do any research, taking a complaint from one person & blowing it into something unbelievable. I am a Costco member & have been very pleased with everything I have purchased from them. When I need coconut oil again, I will not hesitate to buy the Carrington Farms brand at Costco. Keep up the good work, Adrienne!

  27. I always appreciate the level of research you do. I LOVE Native American Nutritionals thanks to you. I love soap nuts thanks to you. And while I don’t use enough coconut oil to justify a Costco sized purchase, I will look into Amazon if they aren’t available at my local healthfood store.

  28. I haven’t seen Carrington Farms coconut oil at costco. In my area (Colorado), Costco sells Nutiva.

    • You could request it (while you request the Coleman hot dogs :)) but Nutiva is good stuff too. Just would be nice to help our Carrington by requesting it–even if they don’t get it :).

  29. Thank you for this very well written post. Sarah’s website was the first one on healthy lifestyles that I began reading over a year ago. Sadly, I quickly learned she only recommends the labels that are paying her through the affiliate links. Not everyone can spend umpteen dozen dollars on a stick of deodorant or a certain label of coconut oil. Many of us are trying to make healthy decisions for our families by doing so in baby steps and that may mean saving a little money by using a different company’s product. Thank you again!

    • I agree. I too started on Sarah’s website about a year ago. Sadly, about 6 months ago, she changed. Posts started going off on tangents. She became militant, snarky, and at times hurtful. I also agree, you can follow the money and see what Sarah is really about. I see my instincts were correct when I stopped following her 6 months ago.

  30. Barbara says:

    I’m very happy using this coconut oil product from Costco and I’m also happy that their buying power allows me to buy it at a price I can afford.

  31. erin b. says:

    Thank you so much for this article!! I was worried at first since I have FIVE jugs of this at home!! I have NEVER had a problem with mine and will continue to buy as long as costco still carries it!!

  32. I saw this post on Pinterest and was curious since a friend had recommended Costco for buying coconut oil. I appreciate all the work you put in to making sure you had all the facts instead of just spreading rumors and opinions!

  33. There’s a container of Carrington’s on my counter. It’s a great price at Costco. I’ve tried the Spectrum refined, which I must admit I like better because one doesn’t get the coconut taste or smell (hence refined), but is it as good for your health? I don’t know. Thanks for your work on this, as I was wondering about Carrington’s, and now I know.

    • Karen Scribner says:

      Excellent article!!
      I saw this coconut oil at Costco today. I would not buy it because it comes in plastic; I don’t buy anything is plastic, especially oils. Glass and plastic can be recycles but glass can be processed by the earth. Plastic is there forever.
      I also would not buy it because even organic plantations are being made on land that was tropical forest. Just burn it down and plant trees. Coconut trees grow in the forest, native people can pick the fruits and take to the factory for processing. A big jar like that will get messy and then the rest thrown out. 40% of all harvested, distributed, prepared, served is thrown away.
      Support your local health food store and buy a small glass bottle.

      • Thanks. I will say that I recycle every plastic container that I have and mainly I buy 1 or 5 gallon containers of coconut oil. I wish the Carrington’s came in that size. Interestingly enough, I use a product line now that did research and found out that the impact of glass on the environment is worse than the type of plastic that they use. The studies were done by Johns Hopkins, I believe. I wish I could dig it up….I’ll see what I can do :).

      • Try using a clean utensil. ;) Any oil will absorb odors from other sources.

        I buy my coconut oil by the 5 gallon bucket/pail and have never had a problem with contamination and have never thrown any out. I have stored both virgin and refined for YEARS at a time. BOTH are beneficial. Coconut oil is saturated fat, it does not go rancid. If you do not understand that then you are using it because it is fashionable and you might as well pay for the extra marketing.

        I have purchased oil that was not sufficiently deodorized, but the odor dissipated after the first use. Coconut oil is fabulous for frying and can be used over and over, just add to the existing level.

  34. Hi Andrea,

    Thank you for doing the research you do for us. I know how much time researching a product can take.

    I have bought Carrington Farms from Costco as well. I really am please with the product, and it does smell and taste very good.

    I have heard the whole thing before about various companies. I have to vote with what works for our family, with the all of the factors you’ve mentioned. Some months we have more cash floating around than other months depending on our circumstances and I have to go with what our pocketbook is telling us. In an ideal world I’d be able to afford the best all of the time. But if I can do very good most of the time, I’m satisfied, because it is the best I can do.

    Having been involved in a whole foods diet for many years, what constitutes a truly healthy diet keeps evolving and changing. So far what I have come away with is this, eat as close to the original state of the food as it has been created, eat clean, eat sustainably, organic if possible, eat according to what your body can tolerate, and enjoy it, use natural alternatives as much as possible versus drugs, find a source of the food that you can afford to buy. Research, research, research. I know there is more, this is what came off the top of my head.

    Knowing my philosophy has changed over the years, and we have had adapting and changing over the years to accommodate for the family’s needs, this is why I am so grateful for the research you have done and the thoroughness you have taken with comparisons, and as much as possible being objective and unbiased.



    • Robin Phillips-Knotts says:

      Thank you so much for this! I have a jar of Carrington’s and love it. I actually think I like it better than the brand I usually get through mail order. We don’t normally go to Costco {It’s an hour drive ea. way} but I was there one day with my folks and picked up this brand… I wondered about it, and you just answered all my questions and squashed my fears about it. If I’m in Costco again I’ll def pick more up. Thanks!

      • I was curious too, so I bought it about 4 months ago. I love it! I still love the other brands I use and I like Wilderness Family Naturals too!

    • I’m sorry, I really do know your name is Adrienne, it has been a day at my house and I feel like I am fortunate to even know my own name. Joanne

  35. Robert Taylor says:

    Great article! Did I miss something though? The customer stated in her letter to Sarah that she had the oil for three months in a hot garage before using it. Wouldn’t that have something to do with the oil going bad? Again, I may have missed something!

    • I think it very well could have, but there are others who say coconut oil shouldn’t go bad even in that kind of heat. So I didn’t bring it up. Happy to go back and do so if you think it would add to the conversation.

  36. Thanks so much for the great info, Adrienne. I shop at Costco on a regular basis, and just today was looking at their great deal on coconut oil! When I next need it, Costco will be where I purchase it!

  37. Great post. Thank you for always doing your research before you post. Pretty much every internet interaction I’ve had with Ms. Pope has been in this vain so that, combined with her childish behavior after the formula is better than the breast milk of a mother who isn’t “well fed” (according to her definition, of course) debacle has pretty much cemented the fact that I put zero stock in anything she has to say. :) Thanks for sticking up for Carrington Farms and Costco. Not everyone has the time and money to be so elitist about food and Costco is an oasis in the grocery store food desert.

  38. This is great Adrienne!!! I read Sarah’s post yesterday and I didn’t like it. THANK YOU for speaking out. I, too, have a container of Carrington Coconut oil that I bought here in Honduras at an American wholesale store. It wasn’t as cheap as 15.99, but it was better than the local price… way better taste too!!

    • Thanks, Mare!!!! I love horchata, BTW. We used to go to a little Mexican place in my hubby’s hometown and they had horchata there. I LOVED it. I need to make it sugar free now, but I do like it! (Saw your post on it :)!)

  39. I really appreciate this info. The majority of us would love to buy top of the line organic, non GMO food. However, when there is no money to purchase those things, we go for the next best thing. Sometimes there is a very elitist tone to many whole food blogs. When people are finally making an attempt at eating healthier, they should be encouraged…not condemned and made to feel that using/eating certain things are going to cause immediate and severe health problems. Scaring people nto buying things that you get commission/kick backs from is unethical. Thanks for doing this reasearch!

    • You are welcome. There is nothing wrong w/ bloggers making commissions. Believe me–it’s a TON of work. But being honest is crucial. I will get commissions and affiliate payments when I can for what I love. But if I love something that has no commission I will still say I love it. Thanks!

  40. Thank you so much for doing this! Even if it doesn’t affect the Costco sales very much, the fact that blog post is out there in Google land means folks will find it and read it, and think that it’s the truth.

    I’ve been mourning the loss of the Coleman hot dogs. I should have said something when I was there last. I said something about the organic strawberry jam, and that came back a few months later. They used to have organic peanut butter, too. I’m not happy with the natural peanut butter. Again, I need to say something.

    • I remember that great PB too. Maybe if we all ask we’ll get it. I even called Coleman about getting them wholesale, but we need to buy 2000 pounds..hmmmmm….

  41. From one homeschool mom to another, THANK YOU! I saw that article on Healthy Home Economist and was immediately turned off by her “anti-business” tone. As a business woman myself I know how business economics work and it really bothers me when people automatically put the “evil” label on large business chains. Then another part of me said “Oh, well, it’s the only coconut oil I can afford and it makes my cookies taste amazing.” I was seriously close to unsubscribing to her blog for that post.

    I too try and support local and small business, I participate in my local CSA and buy my milk from a farmer but I would go broke if I did that for everything. It’s far more important for me to support my local farmers and humane treatment of cows and chickens then it is for me to make sure that my organic coconut oil (which has to be imported regardless) is supporting the “right” business.

    I really appreciate all of the hard work that went in to researching this. You have a new reader :)

  42. Good grief!! I thought I was just doing good buying coconut oil. I get it from Whole Foods. Now I need to figure out if it’s good enough. Whew! becoming a whole foodie is hard! LOL

  43. MomLadyOR says:

    This must be a regional item as the coconut oil in Oregon store is Nutria which I’ve always been happy with.

    Thank you for the detailed article. Great job!

  44. Wendy Jones says:

    Thanks so much! I was disheartened by the blog post and afraid I wouldn’t be able to get my coconut oil from Costco any longer. I was all set to do some research when I saw this and appreciate your quick work!

  45. Elizabeth says:

    I personally have been very happy with Tropical Traditions over the past couple of years, but I am also excited to know about this option at Costco. Thank you so much for looking into this issue. I think that Sarah has some good things to say but she can be very opinionated too and I do keep that in mind when I read her blog!

  46. Gina Fix says:

    Excellent article. Great job!

  47. Thank you SO much for speaking out about this. And especially against someone so “big.” That takes guts. (and time and energy, so thanks for that too!) As a regular user of this oil, I’ve never experienced anything less than high-quality, including using it for it’s anti-microbial qualities. I have even seen it written up as a truly quality CO, by someone doing the proper research, along with numerous other COs.

    I find Sarah’s approach very disconcerting. It’s not the first time she’s done this. I stopped following her blog several months ago because I felt I could no longer trust her. Thank you again.

    • You are so welcome. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

      • Thank you for your thoughtful response to misinformation. When I began my real food journey last summer, I learned a lot from Sarah’s blog. She wrote a post last fall about some horrific behavior on the part of a school administrator, and I felt like the post was equating all public schools with the behavior of one bad administrator. It bothered me, a hard-working and committed public school teacher, enough that I wanted to comment on the post. Usually, I don’t read comments, and I was appalled by the abusive tone of many of the comments. In addition to commenting, I emailed Sarah and asked if she would step in to offer some focus to the conversation, or at least consider some guidelines for civil behavior in her comment section, since I felt so completely attacked and unwelcome. She told me she didn’t have time to monitor her comment section, which I think it the responsibility of a blogger, especially one who speaks as an authority that many people look to. I decided not to read the blog anymore because I wasn’t welcome or valued.
        Thank you for taking the time (so much time!) to do your homework, to be active in your comment section, and always doing your utmost to do what is right. It is much appreciated.

        • Liesl, I am so sorry that that happened to you. I don’t know the real responsibility of a blogger regarding comments but I moderate all of mine for several reasons. I have thought about changing that but there are some things I just don’t want on my blog and others I feel I must respond to. I will say that there are bloggers who hire help to do things that they can’t do themselves. I have a little help right now. I am a homeschooler and I have many negative thoughts about public school, but I also had some wonderful teachers and I taught myself in the public schools. Here as an aide and overseas as an ESL instructor.

          I have to watch my activity here but I really really appreciate what you shared. Take care and I hope to see you around again!

  48. THANK YOU for writing this! Sarah did the same thing with Kerrygold and refused to apologize, even though she was mistaken. She also went off about how a woman who doesn’t follow WAPF to a T, doesn’t produce quality breast milk and should just feed her baby formula. She has zero credibility and I haven’t followed her blog since the Kerrygold incident. I’m disappointed to see that she has learned nothing and is continuing the unsubstantiated drama. Bravo for standing up about it.

    • I saw that Kerrygold post too. I love their butter. The breastmilk thing? I am furious about that. I think that of course the milk might be inferior and maybe the mother’s health will suffer a bit, but I ate poorly w/ my oldest and it was definitely the best thing to breastfeed him. For a long time. The benefits are sooo much more than my diet would have given either of us.

      Did you see my breastfeeding series? I didn’t finish…I should :).

  49. Thank you very much for researching this so extensively for us. I am a member of Costco and have seen the coconut oil there, and wondered if it was really quality stuff. I am so glad to hear that it is and will most likely buy it in the future. Regarding the other blogger that made all of the sensational claims, that seems to be her style, and is one reason I left reading her blog. Again thanks for your hard work!

  50. Christy says:

    Thanks so much for your time, effort & fairness. Reminds us all to not follow the herd & rush to judgement!

  51. Thank you for the informative post. I was wondering about the Costco oil and you, along with others I know that buy it and are happy, have sold me. The other article just didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Thank you for your voice of reason.

  52. I too buy Cosco’s oil and I live in Texas as well. I love Cosco’s oil. It smells and tastes wonderful. I’ve tasted other oils and I like Cosco’s the best. I even have some Tropical Traditions coconut oil which doesn’t have the same taste or smell but I feel certain it is still good and have had no trouble using it in either cooking or for my skin care products. But I love Cosco’s price and quality. I’m so thankful you did your due diligence and found out what you did. In today’s world it is easy to consider the larger companies as “corrupt” but not all of them are, some of them are genuinely interested in quality as well as fair market price. I think that what you shared about Carrington make sit fall into this category.

    As for oil having sat out in Texas heat and then smelling bad, I know that I most certainly would smell and taste bad if I had to sit out in a hot Texas garage for any length of time!

  53. Great post! We are into “real food” and shop at Costco as well. Of course there are products that we avoid, but the coconut oil has been a huge savings for us. I got nervous when I saw the title of your post and am glad I read it to the end. Thanks for your insights!

    • So glad you read it. I didn’t know what kind of title to write….I thought “Costco’s coconut oil is great!” or something like that wouldn’t have brought people as easily and I thought it was good to get the word out :)!

  54. Becci Heil says:

    Thank you so much for the information/research on coconut oil at Costco. For a big box store, my experience has been, that Costco does an amazing job. I don’t shop there for a lot of items I find them limiting for the type of food choices that I need to make for my family’s health. The items that I do shop for there have been very high quality and impressive. I rarely have to take things back but when on occasion I do have to return something it is never questioned nor am I made to feel bad in any way. A friend of mine has worked there for several years so I have been privy to the treatment of Costco employees in our area ( Durham, NC). It is amazing as are their benefits. So again, thank you for taking the time to do the research and find out the truth about a great product and store And sharing with all of us!

    • I have found they treat their employees well too. We have had a few issues w/ our local Costco on returns but I am following up w/ headquarters on that. It shouldn’t be an issue.

  55. Thank you for doing this…bullies bug me. Our Costco sells Nutiva brand as well which we buy and love. They sell an organic avocado oil too that is a great deal. I agree that we can’t all be perfect at everything and need to cut each other some slack for buying *gasp* coconut oil from Costco…I’ll never be “greener than thou” but I won’t knock someone for trying to do what they can. Funny because my Costco supports many local small businesses by selling their products…I’ve always been impressed with the store and their policies.

  56. Way to go Adrienne! It takes more time to do actual research with a ‘suspect’ company/ product but that is the only way to ensure you have the whole story. I did receive the post from Sarah but did not read it; her blog is new to me. She has not yet earned the same respect from me as you have. After my time with you, I consider you an ‘expert’.
    I will forward this email to my brother who buys coconut oil at Costco. He has not likely heard about the ‘issue’ but I want him to be prepared in case he encounters it from another source.
    Here is a story about a problem I had with a product and how it was resolved. It has to do with Classico pasta sauce, which probably does not fall under your ‘whole food’ umbrella but it is instructive none the less.
    I found a chunk of something that looked like a piece of wood in a jar of sauce. I sent an email to the company and immediately had a response from a customer service rep. We talked by phone; she asked for the code on the jar, which I provided. She asked if I still had the chunk; I did. She sent a courier to pick up the chunk and responded in short order by email. It was a piece of wood from a plant associated with the product (I forget what exactly) and was not a health concern. Soon thereafter I received in the mail a dozen $1 off coupons for Classico sauce. There is no expiry date and I can use as many coupons as I like per jar. In summary, I ‘proved’ my concern; the company ‘proved’ to be honourable.
    … I meant that to be a short story … sorry it took longer than I thought to tell.

    • Love it. I have had that happen too. You call – you find out and you both get helped. Instead of tearing a company down. And don’t worry about the whole food thingy. We are all working on it, right :)?

    • Hey, Classico marinara sauce is a processed food in that it’s made in a factory, but it’s basically like a sauce you could make at home, made from normal ingredients with no weird additives. Unlike a lot of sauces in the supermarket, it doesn’t contain added sugar or any soy or corn product. I don’t know about their cream sauces or pesto–I never buy those–but I think Classico is one of the best choices when I don’t have time to make my own sauce. Marinara is my favorite food. :-)

      Adrienne, thanks for the great article! I read Sarah’s post after seeing a link on another site–YOW. What bothers me most is that she refused to admit she might have been wrong about anything, getting even more rashly accusatory as she followed up on comments.

      I’ve bought the Carrington Farms coconut oil, and I think the quality is great. The plastic jar bugs me (BPA is not the only chemical that can be in plastic, and oils in particular cause plastic to leach) but it cleans up so well after we use the oil, and there’s no plastic taste/smell in the oil, so I’m trying not to worry, because it’s a great value! I agree that Costco generally has good quality, much better than Sam’s.

  57. Thank you for this article. I read that article too and did my own research after reading it. I came to the conclusion that I would continue buying the coconut oil from Costco regardless of what she wrote. In fact, I ran out last night and will buying a container of it this weekend.

  58. Thank you so much for the time you spend to bring well researched, informative information to us and for setting the record straight!

  59. Sarah T. says:

    Wow. I was competely unaware of the whole controversy. I have been using Costco’s coconut oil since I first saw it and LOVE it. I think it tastes fantastic and smells wonderful. Just had a big spoonful on my oats this morning (with Nunaturals stevia!).

    • :). Sadly, NN stevia has changed its formula. I might be on the hunt for a new one :).

      • Annette W. says:

        I bought the Trader Joe’s Stevia and love it! :) So sad about the NuNaturals…..

      • Adrienne,
        I just saw that Vitacost’s house brand of stevia is buy 1, get 1 50% off, so I jumped for it. I’m curious to see how it is! (liquid though – you use powder? I wonder what NN changed?)

        Great post…I agree with you 200% on the shoddy sensationalism vs. your simple phone call…you rock!!!
        :) Katie

        • Hey Katie. I use both liquid and powder but mainly powder since it’s a TON cheaper. NN said that their old extract wasn’t available to them anymore, but that they have been using this new extract over the past year so I am not sure about the details. They say they have grown to like this one better, but my feeling is “ick”. It’s also about 60% greater in volume so you need to use more. The first time I tried it I thought it tasted like nothing but I will go back and try one more time, but I am on the hunt.

          Interested in what you think about Vcost’s brand! I should try some. I’m getting to more and hope to try several others so we shall see. Maybe I should just grow a plant :).

          Thanks for the encouragement. I was sooo disappointed in that post. Can you imagine someone doing that to your company?

  60. Sharon Burress says:

    I use Costco’s coconut oil all the time. I am also into keeping a year’s supply if essentials in my pantry and rotate my coconut oil supply. I keep 6 54oz containers that I use and replace continually. I never had a “bad” batch. I am thrilled with the price and the quality. I was a Nutiva customer before I found Costco’s.

  61. Carolynn says:

    Thanks So Much for all of your time, effort, research and dedication to fairness !! I certainly appreciate it.

  62. I LOVE Carrington Farms coconut oil! I’ve used many brands over the years and thought I was pretty committed to one. But I had to give Carrington Farms a shot when I saw the price at Costco. I was skeptical, but I’m really glad I tried it. It’s my new favorite. Incredibly fresh, smells and tastes fresh and amazing. I’m glad you’re setting the record straight because as far as I’m concerned, it’s wonderful stuff. My coconut oil usage has about tripled since I’ve discovered their product. In fact, I smell like a coconut right now.

  63. Thanks so much for sharing your research with us. I value Costco from many standpoints, for example, their care for their employees, and for their customers, and am grateful to know that they practice integrity in their choice of foods to sell.
    Crunchy Betty, (another blogger) shared about Costco’s olive oil last year, and happily, it is/was one of the true extra virgin olive oils around.

  64. Good to know, I had doubts about Sarah’s article too. I have bought many jars of coconut oil from Costco and have not ever had any problems. I will continue to buy my coconut oil from Costco, especially now! Thanks for the article and all the time and investigation you put into this report. From the comments, it was on a lot of people’s minds. Thanks for putting our minds at peace.

  65. Mary Lethbridge says:

    Thank you so much for clearing this up. I love Nutiva Coconut Oil, but came across the Carrington brand while at Costco and it was half the price, so of course I grabbed it. After reading the negative comments on this brand I stopped purchasing it. I am heading back to Costco this week to stock up on the Carrington brand. You are so right, I can’t imagine how many other people stopped buying their product, and how it could have affected their business.

  66. virginia says:

    Thank you!! She did mention, “that I’ve had for maybe 3 months and it has sat on my pantry shelf (outside in my garage, I live in Texas so it’s gotten hotter than 100 degrees).” The label on all coconut oil suggested storing in a cool place. Here in Seattle we have a heat wave (over 80 is a heat wave to us) and my coconut oil melted. Put it in the fridge and it smells fine!

    You are awesome to go to the work to make sure what you post is accurate. Keep up the good work!

  67. Michelle L. says:

    Thank you for this post! I appreciate all your research on this. I use this brand of coconut oil and I go through 4 jars a year and have NEVER had a problem. I buy mine at Costco too.

    • I’m joining Costco just to be able to buy the coconut oil so far I have been buying it through a friend that shops there :)

  68. I also want to thank you for a great post! I’ve been buying the Carrington Farms Coconut oil at Costco for a while and love it!!! I hope your post will help them!

  69. Kim in WA says:

    Thank you so much for having the courage to speak up. I always appreciate well researched advice and information. Bloggers are so popular with brands because of their strong, trusted voices and it’s a shame when one rambles off about something they haven’t researched.
    Lastly, I wanted to say that I do shop local when I buy from Costco & Amazon. I live in Washington State and those corporations employee thousands and provide good benefits for their employees. Just because they’re successful enough to expand their operations, doesn’t mean they’re not “local” to someone.

    • You beat me to it! I was thinking the same thing. Yet, I mostly shop directly from the farmer.
      I am very tired of the Costco-bashing by some of the longtime food bloggers. The only purpose it seems to serve is added income for them – buy this brand instead or use my Amazon suggestions! They seem out of touch with their readers and some are posting ridiculous things in order to stay relevant and interesting, but without much substance. Junk food blogs.
      Anyway, I don’t mean to rant, thank you for this post and now I can read a fresh perspective in the real food blogosphere!

  70. Wow, this is an important post. I did read Sarah’s post, and it DID influence me. Just goes to show you can’t (and shouldn’t) believe everything you read, huh? Next time I go to Costco, I’ll be purchasing the coconut oil!
    I also recently subscribed to your blog, and read your research on essential oils. I was very impressed on all the work you did! And now, after reading this post, I believe I’m hooked! It’s wonderful to be following someone I know I can really trust to have done the work BEFORE posting the information. Well done!

  71. Thanks so much, Adrienne, for your detailed research. The Carrington Farms Coconut Oil I purchase at Costco is one of THE BEST coconut oils I have ever tasted! The only other one was direct from Tahiti but it’s just too expensive! I’ve been using organic coconut oil for several years now, and Carrington Farms Coconut Oil is incredible and really tastes fresh. That Sarah needs to get her information straight and stop bad-mouthing a company unless she’s really done her research…like you do. There are products I don’t buy from Costco because of the GMO aspect; however, the Carrington Farms Coconut Oil is just divine!

  72. Carissa says:

    I never saw the post on the healthy home economist about this. Just wanted to say you handled this post great, and when I run out of the giant 78oz container of Nutiva I got at Costco for $22 (I doubt that would be labeled as bad quality) I will be looking for Carringtons! It’s nice to find great products at affordable prices.

  73. Michelle Gallo says:

    Kudos to you! While I don’t subscribe to nor have I ever read “The Healthy Home Economist”, I too was curious about Carrington’s Organic Coconut Oil. I am thankful that you were willing to go the extra mile and call them up. I bought a (really large) jar from them a month or so ago. It has been sitting in my pantry while I finish the two much smaller jars that I purchased for the same price (each) from whole foods. I have been a Costco customer for many years. I have rarely ever had to return an item, and they have always been gracious when I have. While I am trying to switch my family to a healthier eating lifestyle, I get turned off by the elitist attitude of many of the “healthy living” bloggers. Some of us have to make baby steps, and we have budgets to stay within. I also become suspicious when someone who is selling something (or getting a “kickback”) puts other competing companies down. Thank you for all of the great information you give us newbies!

    • I appreciate this. I will be clear that it is FINE for bloggers to get a kickback for promoting a product. It’s just part of how we make money. But we need to make sure we are still being honest in our assessment and make sure we are not for sale. Many many companies work with bloggers so it is fairly easy to find companies you can recommend that you like. I wish Costco had an affiliate program :).

      For example, in my Essential Oils series, I took some flack for having an affiliate program w/ the company I recommended. I am the first one they had b/c I told them I liked them and we figured out a way to get it working. I was also able to earn money from the other companies that I left. I was even told I could reach $8,000 per month with one of them. Oh well – I needed to go w/ the company that I liked :).

      • Michelle Gallo says:

        Hi Adrienne! I didn’t mean to imply that I think it is wrong for bloggers to take part in an affiliate program, and I hope I didn’t offend you or anyone else. I realize it is how many keep their blogs up and running, and may even make a extra money as well. Most of the blogs that I subscribe to have affiliations with many very good companies and are very honest about their link to them. You have been very above board in your assessments. Word of mouth is the best advertisement for a product and I would rather buy something that someone I “know” has tried and can comment on than choose simply from advertising. I also appreciate when someone warns me about products that aren’t up to snuff. For instance, until I read it in your blog, I had no idea that almonds were treated with jet fuel. Yuck! Thank you for doing the leg work on that one too, as well as providing a source for untreated almonds. Keep up the good work!

      • Adrienne,

        I just noticed this comment here after reading through some of your posts on EO’s…which company did you end up with? I think I may have missed it with all the info! Love how you work toward the truth with your gift for objectivity and insights. My mind is a little boggled on how you keep up with all the posting/commenting etc. Just out of curiosity (if you don’t mind) how much time do you generally spend blogging and commenting? I’m wondering if a love of bringing the truth to light is fuel enough to wade through so much!

        • Hi there. did you see the 7th post in the series? I do not know how much time….but I am needing to cut back. Yes, I am a truth lover. In many arenas of my life :). I don’t post that often, really. I have something in mind about that as well.

  74. Carla Barnes says:

    Great article, thanks for all the work!

  75. great post! i miss those hot dogs too!!

  76. Brittany Ardito says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more on this. You totally read my mind. This is exactly what I was thinking when I read Sarah’s article. I love Sarah and her blog. I love her free instructional videos that have helped me learn the basics of traditional cooking for my family. But the post she did on Carrington’s coconut oil, along with a few other posts I have seen from Sarah made me upset because I can tell the main intention is not to educate, but to market a product from her blog sponsor and friend. I will still read her articles because she still has good ones, but I agree, this was one of the bad ones for sure. As for buying from small, local companies, not everyone can do that. It’s just not realistic. I buy from my local farmers, but I also buy things I cannot get from them from Costco or my local health food store. There are some people that are not as wealthy and cannot afford to buy EVERYTHING from a small, local company, so they pick what they can afford from local and buy the rest where they can afford it. Again, thank you for writing this post to help balance the views, since Sarah’s post was very one sided. But most of all, thank you for taking the time to actually contact Carrington Farms and inform us of how they process their oil. Now I feel really confident in my purchase. If I had the money, I might purchase the coconut oil from a small, local company, but I go through so much coconut oil and I think buying my meat and veggies local is more important since I cannot afford to buy everything local.

  77. Excellent article. Thank you for helping to clear that up.

  78. Wow, thanks for putting all this work into researching this. I also saw that post and to be honest I didn’t really believe it, but having never tried that brand, I didn’t want to speculate. I think I should get a Costco membership now!

  79. That’s my girl!

  80. I am not familiar with your blog or Sarah’s, but I am honestly very surprised that neither of you mentioned Sarah’s improper storage of her coconut oil as the reason it went rancid. When you quoted Sarah at the beginning of your post, “I just opened and began using a big container of coconut oil (got it at Costco) that I’ve had for maybe 3 months and it has sat on my pantry shelf (outside in my garage, I live in Texas so it’s gotten hotter than 100 degrees),” the first thing I thought was, “Why would she store her oil at such high temperatures?! Of course it went rancid!” I thought it was common knowledge that oils must be stored in cool & dark places in order to prevent oxidation, and thus prevent the oil from going rancid. But since it wasn’t mentioned, I thought I would speak up. This is a very important missing piece of information. It would serve Sarah well to realize her mistake, apologize to Carrington Farms and Costco, as well as to her blog readers. Then do everything she can to make it “right.” (Just my humble opinion.)

    • In regards to my previous comment, I just realized my mistake that the quote from Sarah’s blog was actually Mary talking about her oil going bad. Anyhow, my point is still the same. ;) I also read a little bit of Sarah’s blog and cannot believe she excused the extended storing at high temps! Since when was it ok to store any oil at high temp?! Where is Sarah getting her so-called-facts?

    • Hi – Sarah did address the temperature and she dismissed it. I just wrote an update in my post. Thanks!

  81. Kedrann says:

    One thing you didn’t mention was her storage, it was in her garage for 3 months at temperatures sometimes over 100 degrees. I don’t know much about Coconut oil, but I imagine any ‘food’ old would have a hard time staying good in that kind of environment–Someone please correct me if I am wrong!

    If anyone at Costco give you a hard time about returning anything, ask nicely for a supervisor or manager. I love Costco & did before my husband started working their. They have a very generous return policy & they can look up your info if you don’t have a receipt. They should not give anyone a hard time about returns, especially food purchases unless more than 75% is gone (unless it goes bad before the best by date”).

    Thanks SO much for your post, I saw the coconut oil & was excited about the price, but was a little nervous. We are trying to have a better diet & I was interested in trying it out. I’ve heard others say they carry inferior products, like the ultra pasteurized honey, which really makes me sad. There is so much conflicting information that I find it hard to know what is accurate or not!

  82. Thank you for writing this. The other piece sounded like a quick hatchet job.

  83. Sandi in MN says:

    I have two containers of the Carrington Coconut oil in my pantry and love it. I find it very cost effective for this one income family. I’m glad Costco carries so many healthy and organic food options, Sam’s Club does not and unfortunately that’s all we have in our town. So whenever I travel or have someone coming to visit I make special requests from Costco. I’d trade my membership tomorrow if I could!

  84. I am always amazed at your well researched and long explanatory posts. :) We are blessed to have you do most of the leg work for us. I use Tropical Traditions because I won a free sample on a blog one time and loved the taste and smell of coconuts. I am from Brazil and I know how a real coconut should taste and smell. :) I dont’ have a Costco close by. :(

  85. Natalie says:

    Great post!!! Imam in total agreeance with you! By the way, is there something wrong with the brand of stevia you’ve been using? Just curious since younsud your looking for a new brand :-)

  86. Excellent post!!! Thank you for taking time to check this out and give the facts. We buy Carrington Farms organic coconut oil at Costco and just love it. :)

  87. Bravo! Thank you for researching and posting this. We have been getting Nutiva Coconut oil at our Costco in Salem, Oregon, however, they could have Carrington’s the next time we buy. :-) We have never had a problem with Costco products and if we are disappointed, they take it back no questions asked. I buy local and small business when I can and as much as I can. Costco continues to add organic and other products I like at prices that make healthier eating a little more affordable.

  88. Glad to have found your blog…and thank you for this level-headed post! When I read the HHE anti-Carrington post my first thought was, “Oh no…too good to be true on the coconut oil”. But the more I read, the more the spunky attitude that I usually enjoy on that blog came shining through as an advertisement in disguise as a public service announcement. It was sad that this lady contacted HHE instead of the company…made me wonder if she’s even real?? Just what we all need…more drama.

  89. THANK YOU so much for writing this article! I just couldn’t believe what I was reading in her post….I am so glad you wrote such a clear, concise, level-headed response to her sensationalist and unfounded piece. Sharing this far and wide!

  90. I don’t generally buy coconut oil from stores because it is marketed as extra virgin. My contact at Tropical Traditions told me all about “extra virgin” being fake so I assumed all other brands were knock offs and sketchy. I never thought to think it was just so they’d feel superior or just as good as another brand.

    This was a great read and very informative! I won’t be so scared now to branch out in my coconut oil purchases.

  91. Felicia says:

    THANK YOU for doing your do diligence…for some reason people want to attack large companies. Yes, some do things that are not good…but we must be smart. I get my coconut oil from Costco and LOVE it! If I had money coming out my ears I could buy everything from my little local markets etc. But I just can’t and have to do things in balance and the best I can. Hope you don’t catch a lot of grief from the other gal.


    • I don’t think I will catch grief. Likely the VGN network folks just will continue to not like me. Which might hurt my traffic. I don’t know. But I guess someone needs to say something about this. If she apologizes for her post I will for sure make note of it.

      • I am glad you are not part of VGN, I have been looking for an independent real food blogger that is NOT part of VGN for a few weeks! The VGN bloggers have mostly lost credibility in my opinion. I am not sure who their target audience is, but many of those blogs just aren’t working for me anymore. There’s too much of a hidden agenda that seems to lurk about the posts.

  92. Thank you for your extensive research in investigating this issue. I have not seen the Carrington brand coconut oil at my Costco (Washington State), but have purchased the 72 oz Nutiva brand from Costco and have been very pleased with it. I am a fan of both your and Sarah’s blogs, and admit that the article in question made me uncomfortable and did not match my experience with coconut oil purchased from Costco.

    However, your article also makes me feel uncomfortable. Your research is admirable and appreciated. AND I wish you had not put such an emphasis on criticizing Sarah and dragging her name through the mud. Your point could have been as well made without the finger pointing. As you eloquently wrote, “we need to be really really careful when putting out negative claims about a person”. Did you practice “due diligence” and contact Sarah “to find out their side of the story before publishing something so damaging to [her] reputation.”

    Again, I really appreciate the information, but with all due respect, your commentary seemed mean-spirited.

    • I am open to talking about what you wrote. What would you suggest I should have asked her? I thought I was clear to say that I don’t know what her motivation was but that it was really poor journalism w/ obviously little thorough research. She did contact 2 friends about coconut oil, which might seem to be “good research” but to not contact the company about the lot #, the expiration date, to see if they had had other returns, to check the link on her recommended product page–that all seems to be a little much to me. I didn’t say that she on purpose took a company down, but I do think it was poorly researched.

      I make mistakes in my writing as well, but I have always quickly come back and made it right.

      There are other posts of Sarah’s that are problematic. Her post on xylitol has a glaring error in it about heavy metals and her stance on breastfeeding is problematic as well. There is also a post on Nutrasweet in milk that I refuted on my blog.

      I truly hope you will respond and let me know what you think. For me, this has become a pattern on her blog as well as on others and it is very disappointing. But I will take to heart if you think I should have done something different. I was trying to vindicate Carrington and Costco while pointing out bad journalism. If I had wanted to solely “take down Sarah” I could have written other things, like linked to the above-mentioned issues. I think Sarah puts out some really good info and I mentioned that. I just think that we all need to be really careful about what we right. I was and I have seen these kinds of errors over and over and I have never seen an apology or refutation.

      But if it seemed “mean spirited” maybe that is b/c I saw what happened and how someone w/ that kind of traffic could write something so scathing about a company without apparently considering the consequences.

      What do you think? Thanks again.

    • I don’t think Adrienne wrote a “mean spirited” post. She made a point to note things that Sarah wrote that were correct. The bigger issue, however, is that Sarah *published* her post, it was read by many people, and Carrington suffered as a result of the misinformation. Sarah–and all of us–must be responsible for what we choose to publish. We must expect to be answered if we publish things are that are controversial and especially if they are untrue and harmful.

  93. I came across this post via Pinterest (but will need to subscribe!) and had that sinking feeling in my stomach as I clicked through. There is very little at Costco that works well for my family; coconut oil and vinegar were the primary reasons we joined.

    A friend turned me on to the other blog a long time ago (a year ago maybe? longer?) and I subscribed for about three weeks. There was just too much misinformation for me. (One of the posts at that time was about how veganism is lethal to nursing babies, with a ridiculous anecdotal proof. Oh my goodness.)

    So I was glad to see that Costco’s coconut oil is fabulous (though BPA-free is typically not better than with BPA—all the replacement chemicals to make that kind of plastic are bad or worse for you) and I was glad that one of her crazy misinformed posts was dismantled.

    Thank you :)

    • Yes, the veganism stuff makes me upset as well. I do think not being vegan is better but I was basically a vegan when I nursed my oldest and though we both have health issues, I am so glad I did. Who’s to say what caused the issues?

      I know about the BPA thing. Hard to say until more info comes out on that. Thanks!

  94. Danielle B says:

    Sarah must be careful or she will find herself sued for her libelous claims.

    COMMON sense told me it was the person who stored the CO in her garage! Really? CO needs to stay below a certain degree, it’s even on the label.

  95. Lisa Adams says:

    Thank you so much for putting in the time and effort to share this information!

  96. I support what you did 100%. I would love to make a lot of money with my blog but I would never post something that was untrue or unproven about a product or company in an effort to increase my income. Whether this was done intentionally or not, I don’t know, maybe they just needed a hot blog post that would get some attention, cause some controversy. I do know it was irresponsible, what little revenue it brought them, I am sure was small in comparison to the loss that Carrington suffered. I hope you do not also suffer because of your courage and decision to write about this. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi David. Thank you so much for the encouragement. I am not sure it was just “little money” if you see – she got 20K+ shares on that post. Anyhow – I so appreciate it and will take all things into consideration when I write but overall I think it is crucial to do the right thing and stand up for good. Otherwise, everything goes to pot.

  97. Thank you, again, for the blog. Most of us don’t have time to do the research so we read others’ work, and have to trust someone at some point.
    My family is down to only two of us so I shop less at Costco, but I remain a member because of the quality (from personal use and other”s research) and the gas prices.
    I have never tasted Coleman hot dogs, when do they usually have them.
    (The Kirkland brand hot dogs they now sell at he food court instead instead of the Hebrew Nationals are AWEFUL!)

  98. Thank you for doing the research and getting the whole story. I, too, use the coconut oil from Costco and have never had a bad experience. I have found it to be high quality and am thrilled I am able to get it at a price I can afford.

  99. Thank you for this incredible research to clarify. I did a lot of research on the different kinds of coconut oil and totally understand the confusion and the price differences. However, I live in Texas. The lady lost me at “I’ve had for maybe 3 months and it has sat on my pantry shelf (outside in my garage, I live in Texas so it’s gotten hotter than 100 degrees).” I’ll admit to being a little disappointed in Sarah. I follow her and have learned so much from her. We just all need to check and double check information on our own. Live and learn.
    Thank you again.

  100. Good for you, Adrienne! I read her blog for a while but got tired of all the negativity and controversy. Remember how crazy she got about a mis-labeled package of butter?

    Thanks for standing up for the truth.

  101. Sarah K says:

    Thank you for this post! I love the point that we can only do so much at a time to provide the best for our families. Sometimes it’s about the bigger picture – that we’re making many good choices, but not able o be perfect. Frankly, I am NOT a fan of thehealthyhomeeconomist as I’ve seen her slander multiple companies and practices with merely her opinion. I have a hard time respecting anyone that uses their great influence to market their own agenda as gospel when it’s really just a matter of opinion. After her misleading stance on breastfeeding (to an audience of American women) I stopped taking much advice from her.

    Regardless, I appreciate your blog, the immense effort you put in and your heart to share it with the rest of us that are doing the best we can given our unique circumstances.

  102. Thank you for your research and handling of this debate! I had been considering purchasing the oil at Costco but just wasn’t sure. I will happily purchase the next time I shop there!

  103. I switched to from Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil to what is carried at Costco and I’m very pleased with the product. I have found that if I’m ever dissatisfied with a product I contact the company, they generally do their best to rectify the problem.
    Wonderful post-Thanks

  104. thanks for the info. we have been using Costco coconut oil since it appeared in our Canadian stores. Love the price, love the oil.

  105. I love Costco’s coconut oil. I use if for cooking, eating (for memory and weight loss). I apply it to my skin daily for beautiful soft skin, I use it for my hair after I wash it to give it softness and shine. I use coconut oil for skin rashes and more! It’s amazing and wonderful stuff!! If you’re not using it…you’re missing out on a NON-TOXIC, organic, natural all-around product! Can you tell I’m a fan? !! :) lol

  106. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Thank you for doing the calls/research I didn’t have time to do, lol! I have been using Carrington coconut oil since our Costco started carrying it (about a year ago?), and I have never had a problem with it. I am so happy to have a more affordable option when trying to feed my big family, and I have always been impressed with Costco’s service. I will keep buying! Thanks!

  107. Thanks for your research! This was a good post as always. I have been buying the Costco coconut oil and have been very happy with it!

  108. Thanks for writing this article! I too was concerned about Sarah’s lack of research. I was uncomfortable with her blanket statements without first checking it out. I was so impressed by your thoroughness and your willingness to put yourself out there that I subscribed to your blog!

  109. I was so angry at her accusations against Carringtons and Costco. I appreciate your information. And as for “big box stores” – they serve a purpose. I wish I lived closer to farms, farmers markets and the ocean, but I don’t. I rely on Costco and other Markets to fill in the gap when I cannot get things locally. I should not be shamed for purchasing at a great store such as Costco. It makes telling people about good food so hard when blogs like hers exists! .

  110. Thanks got the informative post! I just finished my jar of Carrington Farms and need more. Some times these smaller companies try and detour people and sabotage these other guys. Thanks again and the Real food girl sent me and glad she did! Liking your page now. :-)

  111. Wow, thank you so~~ much for this post!! My mom recently told me about Costco selling coconut oil and asked me if she should buy it or not, I told her to not get it because we have coconut oil from Tropical Traditions and I wasn’t sure if we can trust oil that is so cheap… :P I’m so excited to know that we can trust it! heehee Is the coconut oil sold at Costco as good as Tropical Traditions?
    Again thank you for doing the research and sharing! Going to subscribe~ :)

    • HI there. I am not sure if it is quite as good. I know TT’s oil is hand stirred and they claim to have the highest anti-oxidants in their oil. I would have to get the #s from both companies to see. But I can say that Carrington is for sure not junk :)! Thanks for subscribing and Welcome!!!

      • Awesome~ I’m not too worried about how rich it is in anti-oxidants , so definately will be trying the oil at Costco if it is the brand you have talked about here… Thanks again Adrienne!

      • I agree with Adrienne on the comparison. I’ve been a Tropical Traditions buyer for years but in the past year started buying the Carrington at Costco. I still use the TT as a supplement but use the Carrington for cooking. It doesn’t make sense to pay the extra money for the Gold Label TT then heat it. I’ve found the Carrington to be high quality and delicious. I’ve actually been quite impressed with it. Now even more so as more information has come out about it due to the blog post. I would prefer it in glass but even TT sells their larger quantities in plastic.

        I was irritated with the other blog post as well. There have been several over the last few months on that site that just seem to want to be controversial and not informative. One of the things I like about blogs is the sharing of information. Often times I learn more from the comment section than from the original post, from the posters but also the original blogger as they are given an opportunity to discuss the issue further. An attitude of “we are all here to learn and share ideas and information” is a much more productive forum than a “This is MY blog so it’s my way or the highway” approach. Disregarding the knowledge and experiences of the readers is disrespectful and a waste of a valuable resource to knowledge. If a blogger doesn’t interact with the poster’s comments, why even have a blog? Just publish articles without the ability for any one to comment.

        Thank you Adrienne for actually doing research on this coconut oil before posting about it!

  112. Again, thanks for the research! I was wondering too. I just bought my first virgin from Costco and expeller pressed from Vitacost. Up to now I had been only getting TT.

    • Hey there, Sara! I think TT is great and likely has more antioxidants, etc. than Carrington, but Carrington is for sure not junk! Take care!

      • Has Sarah at HHE responded to all this?

        I tried linking your article in a comment under her original post, but she hasn’t posted my comment.

        Hmm . . .

        • I haven’t heard from her. But we don’t know each other well. I think we’ve only traded emails once or twice.

        • Yes, she has: Needless to say, I have unliked her FB page. I hate how she just posts her own opinion and gets away with it. I also dislike how people seem to bow down at her and think she’s all knowing in all things related to food and health.

          • Hi Sarah. I just saw that myself. A blogger friend shared it with me. I don’t really know how to respond except to say that opinions are one thing but posting wrong facts as truth is another. I think there is a clear distinction. I have read Sarah’s blog for a long time and she has some fabulous information there so that makes this rough.

            Oh – I just found out that the Facebook thread has been deleted.

  113. Thank you for researching this issue of Costco’s coconut oil (Carrington Farms brand only). I have only been able to shop at a Costco’s store twice when visiting a friend out of state. Both times I was very pleased with the quality of items I purchased there. In a few months a Costco’s store will finally be opening about an hour away from me (Central NYState) I am so happy and will travel there every month or so to stock up on many items.

  114. Thanks, Like others I was glad you did research as I was taking my oil back to Costco after reading Sarah’s blog. I’ve pinned this site on Pinterest hoping others who read the original post may get the benefit of your research.

  115. Thank you for this eye-opening article. I read Sarah’s blogpost a couple days ago and believed every word of it. I don’t tend to question her & others in the real food world, but I now realize that I need to. I need to do my own research, not just blindly follow along. We need more people out there like yourself. I think I will go buy some Carrington Farms Coconut Oil from Costco:)

    • HI Lyn. Honestly, there is a ton of research and info out there and it is very hard to get to the bottom of things. But I do think more and more bloggers are writing shoddy posts to get page views and draw attention to themselves. Things like talking about naked this and curse-word that and potty talk and all. And making over-arching claims. It has really become a big problem in my opinion. Kind of like people are turning all of this diet stuff into a religion. Anyhow, I am trying to be balanced and realistic–except I do know that artificial colors are bad :). How’s that for taking a bold stand :)?

      • The VGN bloggers are being ordered to post no matter what. That making money by posts, clicks and buys, is more important.
        It going to come back and bite them very hard, maybe sooner then later.

        • Not sure what you mean by they are ordered to post. Anyhow, this is not all about VGN. I was upset about the Costco post and how it cast aspersions on 2 companies that are high quality and it wasn’t researched at all.

  116. Thank you so much for your time and effort put forth into writing this post! :) We buy Carrington Farms, and have never had any issues! It’s just as good as the over-priced stuff at the natural food market.

    I agree that Costco would never deliberately sell low quality food. In fact, I find almost everything food-wise that they sell to be superior to other big box stores. Costco makes an effort to carry a wide variety of organic products versus their competition. And since they can buy in massive quantities, they buy in at deep discounts which get passes down to us…the members! :)

    Thank you again! I am now a subscriber. Found you on FB via The Humbled Homemaker!

  117. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am ***so sick*** of people blowing off at some alleged “criminal” company/person/ministry/etc. without doing due diligence! It was extremely refreshing to me today to read this post and see another lady stopping to THINK about something, reason it out, do research and follow it through. I hope to write something more specific about this problem in our culture (or at least portions of it) at some point on my own blog or web page and I definitely want to link to this article as a good example! Also, I find that three of my friends already follow your blog, so I’m thinking this will be a good place to look around and maybe join myself! :-)
    We also shop at Costco and we’ve had few problems with their products. In fact, we prefer some of the products to what is available in the other stores. I didn’t read every single word here as I was in a hurry, but I’m wondering why Mary M. didn’t return that oil to Costco. They have excellent customer service as far as we’ve seen. Of course, if she polluted it herself, I’m just as glad she didn’t as that would be dishonest.
    Also, I’ve read a lot of product reviews on Amazon and I know that some people will blame the maker for their own ignorance or user error. It’s a *common* problem. Sometimes it’s downright funny, but if it hurts the company in question it’s a serious injustice!
    Thanks again! :-)

    • By the way, we store our coconut oil in the garage, in Texas, right through the summer. We’ve had no problems. Also, it **seems** to me from Mary M’s comments that she may not be accustomed to the smell of fresh coconut oil in as much as she couldn’t tell for sure whether it was rancid or not. “Burnt marshmallows” or the inside of a burnt pumpkin don’t necessarily mean “rancid”. I’d be interested to know if she’d ever used coconut oil before. Some people don’t like the smell of coconut in general and find the smell and flavor repulsive under certain situations. Also, the better quality coconut oils have a much stronger smell than the more highly processed varieties in my experience, which could confuse a new user. (Please feel free to delete this if you find it too critical.)

      • I don’t find it too critical at all. I think it’s right on. I opened a different brand of coconut oil the other day and I thought it might be rancid but it wasn’t. It’s just a different oil

    • You are welcome and I hope you do stick around. I see you just posted about no shampoo. Something I haven’t been bold enough to try —yet :)!

  118. Adriene says:

    Thank you for this post. I recently started using coconut oil, and did my research on the Carrington Farm product before I bought it at Costco. I hate to see Costco maligned. The do their diligence on all the products they offer.

  119. Katherine says:

    Awesome, awesome post. When I read the post by Sarah, I was appalled. I use that coconut oil, and I like to think I have a bit of sense, and I really have liked it. I use it for everything from food to personal care. It is a great oil and I will continue to purchase it at (gasp!) Costco. Like you, I try to buy locally and avoid big box stores where possible, but in some cases, it just makes sense (fiscally) to go with them. So, thanks for setting the record straight, even though I bet it was scary. Way to go.

  120. I do want to thank you in some part for this post – I found it interesting (as I had not read the one you are referring to) BUT in answer to accusation #2 – as the wife of a Costco buyer (produce) I can first hand tell you that accusation was so far from the truth and I was appauled when I read that (and I feel discredits anything ever put on the orignal blogger’s blog) Costco is the #1 retailer when it comes to quality, they put their suppliers through the ringer! I could write my own post just explaining that part but I can assure you Costco is a company of the highest integrity. Sadly, she could have just returned the oil, for a full refund, asked to communicate with the buyer and problem would have been solved or dealt with without tarnishing the name of both companies with unjust accusations. I know in our area (west coast) Costco sells Nutivia Coconut Oil ~ hum, far from subpar quality in my opinion….
    I sure would like to ask Sarah if she shops at Walmart or Sam’s????

    • Welcome, Linda! And so nice to meet you. I just got back from Costco here. And I was sooo depressed I missed something that they had LOADS of the other day. I love their produce. Occasionally we have had issues w/ the produce but everything has gotten resolved. Anyway, I so appreciate your stopping by and sharing. And I fell a bit of a kinship so please say “hi” to your husband.

  121. DeLynne says:

    I have some on my counter right now, use it daily, love it and will continue to buy it as I have found it to be comparable to the higher priced coconut oil I was buying at the local whole food market. Thank you Carrington Farms!

  122. Thank you so so much for this post! I was incredibly upset when I read Sarah’s post also and surprised by how poorly researched the whole thing was. I love the Healthy Home Economist, in fact it was the first blog that turned me towards a whole food lifestyle, but articles like this prove that you can’t believe everything you read on the internet. I can see that you have done your research and cannot tell you how glad I am that the truth is out there in defense of good, ethical companies like Costco and Carrington Farms.

  123. Thank you for your thorough research for us !

  124. Thank you for the research! My Costco “extra virgin” coconut oil smells delicious and I’ll keep using it.

  125. Janknitz says:

    Thank you for your thorough and thoughtful analysis.

    I used to enjoy reading Sarah’s blog regularly, but this is not the only blanket statement she has made about something without all the facts–see her post on Xylitol, for example. It got a lot of traffic, maybe that’s the ultimate goal of such posts. But I no longer find what she says trustworthy.

    • Thank you. I too read the xylitol post. I hope to write a post on why I think it is fine but I need more time to pull it together :).

  126. Adrienne,

    My friend, you are THE MAN! Per se. ;)

    As a new foodie blogger I used to love Sarah’s blog, but the longer I’m around, the more it seems she just wants to cause waves (clicks, shares, and debates). I’ve learned a lot from her, but it seems little red flags are going up more often than not lately.

    I was especially disappointed in her article about how she claimed the candida diet wasn’t worth doing. There were SOOO many things she took out of context and jumped to conclusions with. As a candida sufferer, researcher, and author, I felt she did NOT do the research needed. If she had she could have never made such a claim.

    But, I’m going off on my soapbox. :) The real reason I stopped was to leave a comment and thank you for your honesty, integrity, and the encouragement we food bloggers need to make sure our information is accurate and well-researched.

    Thank you for a great post!

  127. Terry Claxton says:

    Thank you for your update…..I love Carrington Farms’s coconut oil. When I first saw it in Costco I started doing the happy dance, well, maybe not right there in the store….but I knew it had to be a good product. I have done a lot of reading myself on Costco and their food stuffs. They go the extra mile to ensure everything they sale, in their stores are quality products. I am a happy customer!!

  128. Thank you for sharing this information. I have not bought that brand from Costco, but have seen it. I’ve personally been quite satisfied with Nutiva and didn’t really want to change from a good thing! I have been a follower of Sarah’s blog as well. There have been a few articles that I’ve read there that are good and then a few that I have questioned and even a few where I was offended at her condescending, superior attitude.

  129. Thank you so much for taking the time to research carrington farms oil…I have been wondering about this oil. I picked up a jar of their oil a few months ago and even though i have enjoyed it and have already used most the jar I have wondered about its quality. I will surely get another jar. It is awesome when you find great deals and still provide quality products for your family. I also just got sprouted brown rice from Costco and love it! It is nice to see bigger stores recognizing that people want more whole foods for their families. I hope to see more stores offering a greater selection of healthy whole foods!

  130. Thanks for taking the time to write this up. I saw that post and thought… *sigh*…

    I have this coconut oil right now and it survived a trip from Kansas City to Alaska and smells and tastes wonderful. I’m using it with no reservations. And I LOVE Costco. They sell Nutiva from time to time as well.

  131. I read the same thing at the other blog and I also did research on Carrington Farms Cocomut Oil. I found the same information that you have. Since Costco opened nearby and when they have the Carrington Coconut Oil, I buy it. I have never had any problems with this oil. On the Coleman hotdogs that Costco carries, they are nitrate free and are really good hotdogs. When they sell again, I will stock up again.

  132. jennifer mc says:

    thanks for writing this. i read the article on the other blog and it i thought many of the same things that bothered you and others. i really appreciate you taking the time to contact the company and investigate this to set the record straight. i’ve always had good experiences with the coconut oil i buy at costco and had decided to continue buying it after reading the article, but your article is just like the icing on the cake. thanks!

  133. Thank you for the article. I have seen the Costco coconut oil and had wondered about these questions myself.

    I can tell that you are passionate about the subject. Sarah Pope can be a good source of information, I am surprised at her stance on this.

    I have to admit that I did however, try to read the article by focusing on your conversations and information from Carrington, rather than the negatives.

    I appreciate all the time and effort you put into this piece, and when I run out, I will be checking out Costco’s oil….. thanks!

  134. I was so nervous when I saw this on Pinterest! Thinking: please don’t say my inexpensive oil is bad! :) I’d been a loyal Nutiva consumer since I first started using coconut oil, but saw Carrington at Costco and the price caught my eye! I went home and researched and read reviews and it seemed legit, so I’ve been buying it ever since. I appreciate your work on this, and you have a new follower! :D

  135. SHEESH- Buy LOCAL coconuts, WOULDNT You? I thought everyone lived in tropical countries! Impressed with your due diligence! Definitely subscribing :)

  136. Sharon Fetter says:

    Thank you for this! I was disturbed when I saw the accusations on the post you cited the other day–I buy a lot of food from Costco (including coconut oil–I think mine’s the Nutivia brand) and have never had ANY issues. I also live not far from their HQ, know people that work for them, and know that they are very good about researching and sourcing high quality products for their customers.

    Thanks again!

  137. Catherine says:

    Great post. I have not seen the Carrington brand of oil. Where I live, Nutiva is the brand at Costco and I have enjoyed using it. I too buy local when I can but will some things it not always possible.

    Thanks again for a fantastic post!

  138. Terry Gardezy says:

    Thanks for all your research and work. Our Costco carries Nutiva which is known to be a good brand. They also call it Extra Virgin. The quality is great and we are thrilled to be able to get 78 oz for just about $22. Bargain. Our Costco is carrying more and more Organic produce and products all the time. I hate that someone would smear their name like that.

  139. I run a blog and a FB page, and I share information from other sites. After noticing that many were not well researched or documented, I try to always do my own research before sharing. It’s not always possible due to time constraints, but I try to do my best. I think that even though it’s our personal blog/FB page, we have a responsibility to our readers to provide them with accurate information. Thank you for taking the time to research and write this post.

  140. I like your blog post but I would like to point out 1 thing that has me. You mentioned you “contacted Carrington Farms” This was done to get further information about their product. The VP said, I dunno about the lady, but our products are great. Were you expecting a different answer from a VP of the company who sells 20,000 units to Costco a few times a week? That’s like believing the bible to be the world of God, simply because it says it is. You are harping on this lady (I’ve never heard of you or her before, I got this post from facebook) for not doing research, but your only real research is to call the company in question. She would have been fired for saying anything negative about their product.

    I have no idea if the stuff at Costco is worthy or not, but I’m not going to ask Costco or the maker of the product in question about their quality…I would need some independent and non financially motivated sources before I would draw any conclusions.

    My guess would be contamination after opening, bacteria enjoys warm moist weather.

    • HI Mike. Thanks for commenting.

      I hear what you are saying but Costco checks up on the companies whose products they use very very carefully and they were, and continue to be satisfied w/ Carrington. Do you have a suggestion as to what 3rd party I would contact about this issue?

      I think that I went as far as was reasonable with this situation but of course, I could get the 3rd party labs that were mentioned. And do testing myself, but of course, that is beyond the scope of a blogger to do so.

      The other blogger who posted the poorly researched article responded to mine briefly but she said that her post was an opinion and that my post was just written to be mean. But she didn’t refute anything that I said. And that is because she can’t. I am happy to have anyone challenge what I said with any evidence. If I am found to be wrong I will apologize but I don’t think anything is there.

      Again, if you can think of any “independent and non financially motivated sources” I am happy to contact them. I think I handled this similar to the way that an investigative reporter would. The “Extra Virgin” evidence is all over the place and I corroborated what Carrington said in that case and I have the product in my house w/ the expiration date on it and it smells incredible. And I have Costco’s reputation so I do think I did due diligence within the scope of what a blogger would be expected to do.

      Thanks again for commenting and let me know if you think something else should be done and I will consider it.

  141. Jane Handrich says:

    let us know about the stevia situation :)

    • Hi Jane. So far, here is the deal—the NN stevia is different and you need to use more. It shouldn’t cost that much more. I am checking some other brands to see if I have one I like better now :).

  142. Christyn says:

    Thank for you setting the record straight. I personally buy Nutiva but it’s good to know that I can find quality oil elsewhere.

  143. I have long wondered about the Costso coconut oil. Thank you so much for your diligence and even handedness. I will be buying me some Costco Coconut Oil!


  144. Is it just me or does that Village Green network seem to be a bit sketch? I’ve noticed lots of bloggers pushing people in their direction lately, but don’t see the quality justifying their opinions. Also, most of the links I’ve seen to their site don’t actually land you on a page where you could actually buy anything.

    • Hi Wendy. I have the same concern about the links. Since they get paid per click it’s just a way to get you to the resource page so you click around and make them money. I for sure would not do that. I could see a mistake happening where there is an item that used to have a link and then it is removed but it has happened way too many times to be a mistake. And it typically is the more obscure items so I assume that those links were put there by mistake. I am in a different blogging network that doesn’t do that. You can check it out if you would like. It’s Nourished Living Network.

  145. Hi – I tried to subscribe to your blog up at the top right with the feed burner subscription box that said I could get a free cookbook when I did. Feed burner said your subscriptions are not set up? or some kind of error. anyways, I would like to subscribe.
    thank you for taking the time to research all of this. It is nice to see that someone looked deeper than what other people are saying.

    • Hi there. I just tested that box and it worked for me. Did you try the little envelope in the upper right w/ the other social media icons? Otherwise maybe it’s a browser error? If you could email me a wholenewmom at gmail with a screenshot I could maybe figure it out for you. Thanks and we’ll figure it out!

  146. Great article and clarifications here. I am glad you did a research piece instead of an opinion piece. We all need to make choices that work for us and be aware.

  147. I appreciate this article. Thank you for the time you put into the research. I have been using Carrington’s coconut oil for about a yr now and I LOVE THE STUFF! I’ve never ever had an issue with it, and guess what… I will be going to Costco tomorrow to buy 2 more tubs!

  148. Thank you for taking the time to post this for people that needed it. I had a hard time letting go of it myself and I had to stop following Healthy Home Economist after that post. It was that disturbing to me. I have worked with Costco professionally for many years and I know for a fact they are more reputable than was portrayed. They buy and sell with the smallest margins out there. Quality companies bid every year to remain in contract with Costco. If the product is not acceptable to club members and return rates soar the vendor is dropped and someone else moves in to take their place. And that is a fact. Our local Costco stores do not carry the coconut oil brand in question. We have the Nutiva brand. I buy A LOT of it. For the humans and the pets in our house. I have never experienced an issues with it. Though I store mine at a reasonable temperature. Thanks again!

    • Thanks for weighing in Becky. I knew about their small margins and think most of their prices are amazing. I LOVE the organic lemon juice!

  149. I actually never heard about the controversy before reading your post. But thank you for doing such thorough research. I too have been using the Carrington Farms Coconut oil ever since my Costco started selling it. I love it!

    I read The Healthy Home Economist sometimes. The only other post I have read is one on wireless baby monitors. Ironic, that I thought that post was not researched well (or maybe it was the wording).

    I am glad to have found your blog.

  150. I really appreciated that you researched this thoroughly. Our Costco sells Nutiva, but I was interested nonetheless. Thank you!!

  151. Hello Adrienne,

    I saw your post from a Facebook page that I subscribe to (and now I subscribe to you also!) I read the whole thing with interest and I have a question. I agree with your criticisms, and at the same time I wonder if you considered writing directly to Sarah with your well thought out comments and research, asking her to change her post. For me, direct and honest communication is the best way to resolve any dispute or misunderstanding. I’m curious if you already tried that and she didn’t respond, or if you decided to post on your blog first.

    I would be interested in your thoughts about this. Thanks for your ideas.

    • I did consider it, Sally, but honestly I saw that many readers of hers questioned her conclusions and she didn’t apologize to them or change her post. I had the same experience with her stance on breastfeeding so I felt that there wasn’t a point. It seems to me that some bloggers don’t like to retract what they’ve written because it continues the controversy and hence the page views. I don’t think that’s good practice. I think you should present the truth to your readers and if you make an error you should correct it.

      I appreciate your question and would love to know what you think.

      Actually, Sarah posted a link to my post on her Facebook page the other day and criticized me heavily without contacting me first. She said she hadn’t done anything wrong and that it was all just her opinion. When other bloggers contradicted her the thread was removed. I find this all very disconcerting.

      • Hmmm, it’s complicated, isn’t it? I sort of understand your hesitation if other readers did not get a response to their questions/objections, and yet I still believe that clear communication is the key.

        Even if you believed it would not make a difference, I think I would have first sent Sarah a private message outlining everything you said in your post, and asking her if she would consider changing her stance. Then, if she did not respond or refused, I would have put it on my blog, as you did.

        Please understand that I am not blaming you for posting this; it is clear that you thought about it and acted in the most ethical way you saw fit. I am thinking out loud, and wondering how we can all interact differently, in a way that perhaps will enable us to really hear differences of opinion and consider the content of those differences, rather than immediately reacting defensively.

        I know there are many different opinions in the real food community. It is distressing to me when people who on a basic level have the same attitude about real food and health get into conflicts and blame.

        I very much appreciate your responding to my thoughts, as it is definitely a confusing and complex set of circumstances. Thanks for your communication!

        • Oh, and in case it isn’t clear from what I wrote, I agree that if you make an error you should correct it!

        • Hi Sally. Basically in line w/ what I just wrote, many commenters corrected her info and asked her to change it, posted the same type of stuff you did, and she ignored it — so I felt that this was the best way to correct the record, basically. I honestly have seen this over and over again. Kind of like my not wanting to tip my hat before posting b/c I hadn’t seen any move ever towards apologizing or correcting wrongs. I really hope that helps. Thanks for being so kind. I appreciate your concerns truly.

  152. I use the Carrington Farms coconut oil from Costco and I think it is great! Thanks for the article. It is funny how everyone can become an expert and a critic. You did a great job at humbly clearing things up!

  153. AthenaK says:

    I’ll start by saying I had not heard of your blog before, and I don’t follow Sarah’s either even though I am familiar with her blog.

    I don’t particularly appreciate her elitist attitude and although I appreciate your effort to do further research to prove a false claim (well done!) I was put off by how this post comes off. You sound bitter, and certainly you seem to have a beef with Sarah and VGN for that matter.

    You are entitled to feel and write however you like, but what I don’t appreciate–and my point here–is that I follow many healthy living blogs, from VGN from NLN and other smaller networks and posts like this I feel drive wedges in our community. This us vs them feels childish and only confuses readers. I think you all do a great job at educating us on living healthy and eating real food but so I think it is more us against the SAD diet and conventional beliefs, rather.

    I don’t mind bloggers recommending certain products if they get paid for doing so, as long as they are brands that in fact cater to the healthy living community. What’s wrong with that? I don’t know exactly how affiliate links work, but don’t you get paid by your sponsors, too?

    • Hi Athena.

      I am sorry that you felt I sounded bitter. Our of the literally hundreds of comments that I received, only yours and 2 others said anything negative at all and one of them said that they thought Sarah did nothing wrong. I haven’t kept anything in moderation so all comments are in plain view.

      I do have concerns about VGN and Sarah – whether it’s appropriate to call those concerns “a beef” or not, I don’t know. This is the 3rd or 4th post on Sarah’s site that has had really shoddy sensationalist journalism–either citing sources incorrectly or worse. And there has never been an effort made that I have seen to rectify the situation. As for VGN, I think that many of the bloggers are top notch but I do not think that their pay per click pages are done ethically. The affiliate relationship is not appropriately disclosed and often the items one is led to the resource page to find out about isn’t even there. I consider that to be manipulative advertising. I haven’t visited all of the VGN blogs and I know that not all of them do this but I have seen it on numerous occasions and I don’t like the practice. And it is clear from the blogs that I have seen it on that it is something that the leadership approves of.

      I frankly don’t feel it’s an “us vs them” thing really – I considered this post to be something to clear up horrid journalism and frankly something that could easily be considered to be libel. I am sure that Carrington suffered financially b/c of Sarah’s unfounded claims. I mentioned the pay per clicks b/c I am frustrated w the way that system works but I decided not to go into all the details b/c this post wasn’t the place for that.

      I do so appreciate your taking the time to comment as well as your communication of your support of bloggers getting affiliate payments. I do get paid by my sponsors and I don’t mind other bloggers getting paid by theirs. But I do mind links that don’t lead where they are supposed to in order to generate more clicks.

      As for “us against the SAD diet and conventional beliefs”, you are right about that. However, when bloggers w/ this kind of heavy traffic don’t do their due diligence on their posts, it leaves the reader confused and not knowing what to do and whom to believe. Once you lose someone’s trust it takes a lot to get it back. Frankly, I feel I need to check all of Sarah’s sources now which is not the place where a mom at home should be. She is busy and is leaning on bloggers to find the info out for her — and that is why the blogger gets paid. Not to make a sensationalized false claim about a company and then get 21,000 shares from it, 1,000,000 page views per month and the money that goes along with that.

      Those with that kind of voice need to be held to keep their words honest. It’s kind of like big companies and politicians. You are getting paid and if you don’t do your job, you should be fired.

      I hope that helps you understand where I am coming from. I work hard to represent everything w/ integrity and I think there needs to be more of that in the world. Not just going against SAD diet and being sloppy about it. Thanks! I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

    • I thought your response was very well written and I didn’t think it was bitter or judgmental at all. I read Sarah’s blog on a regular basis and frankly, I thought her post was really off base because as you say, she had no real evidence! I get the need for diligence in the real food world, but it goes both ways, for both consumers and the people we consumers expect to get reliable information on. Just goes to show that at the end of the day, we should all do our own investigating. Just because someone has an opinion, which is what the other blog really was – just her opinion, with no real evidence to back it up – doesn’t mean we should listen to it or put any faith in it. I’d rather have facts and that’s what I think you provided, much more so than the original story. I do agree that the real food community needs to work together, but when people are being irresponsible with the influence they have on consumers, they should be called on it, just like they encourage big ag to be called on their questionable practices.

      • Thanks, Becky. The only thing I would add is that in the sentence where Sarah claimed that the oil couldn’t be quality, I take that as more than an opinion. She was saying it was problematic – insinuating it was poorly filtered, old, or otherwise lesser quality. Thanks again!

  154. Brian Herbert says:

    Thank you for the well written explanation. It is easy to find confusion in the marketplace right now with Coconut Oil. Your well written rebuttal is just what we need to restore people’s confidence in the products often available at “big box” stores. It is important for consumers to check out the products they plan to buy like you did with Carrington Farms. Great information as always!

  155. fantastic. Glad to see someone understands what journalism is, and the fact that even posting a comment on a blog is in fact publication. Kudos for your research!
    What that woman wrote on her blog smells of libel to me. She could easily be sued.

    In regard to some comments about buying local, am I missing something? I mean, coconuts are tropical…. most of us don’t live in the tropics…? I personally try to avoid tropical foods but I can’t imagine berating others for not doing so. I mean, it’s coconut. It’s hard not to love it! (though avoiding palm oil really is something to think about. Reading about the destruction in Indonesia is truly gutting.) Well, we do what we can.

    • Tammy, I think that the other reader thinks we should be supporting small companies and/or local health food stores so her comment wasn’t really about local food. But then I am a small company too so I guess everyone could buy coconut oil from my Natural Store and feel good about themselves in that regard. I think it’s great to support small and local but sometimes we just can’t. Thanks for commenting.

  156. Thank you for your research and diligence. I have only recently begun to use the coconut oil from Costco but I am very happy with it and happy to be able to save a few dollars to spend on other, local products that I might not otherwise afford. I had not yet seen the mis-information circulating about the quality of the coconut oil Costco is selling and would have been dismayed if I had. I appreciate your hard work and willingness to set the record straight.

  157. Love Costco and I love this coconut oil. I use it in my cooking, in my hair and on my new baby’s scalp for her cradle cap. Works great! You said you stored in in a hot garage but the bottle does say to store in a cool dry place and a garage is not a cool place.

    • Just to clarify — I didn’t store it in a garage – the lady who complained to Sarah at the other blog did. Mine is in my pantry :). Thanks!

  158. I am SO glad an informed writer posted a response to that biased, silly article! Thank you!

  159. Savannah says:

    Thank you so much for doing your research here! I will now be following you! I follow a few of the big real food blogs, such as Healthy Home Economist and Food Renegade, but I get SO upset because those two pass off their opinions as knowledge. They are so skeptical but don’t take the time to research properly and that is a poor move for people of their influence.
    On my health journey I became so overwhelmed by angry real foodies, that I almost said “forget it” because I thought I could never be healthy enough to make it worth it.
    They don’t always use the power they have in a positive way, so thank you for putting yourself out there to help people like me, who must look for bargains on real food.

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I’ve had about 4 negative comments about my post, but I still care to know that I did the right thing. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  160. You handled that very graciously! I will be heading over to Costco to get me some of that coconut oil and maybe find those hot dogs!

  161. Thank you for taking the time to research and investigate something that is ‘said’ ‘printed’, I get so disgusted with people just posting things that they haven’t taken time to see if they are indeed accurate or even true. So much of this is happening on FB, it creates problems for everyone to pass along irresponsible untrue/inaccurate information to the masses.

    Its a sign of courtesy, intelligence, and careful contemplation/consideration to read something, question it and make your own conclusion based on hard cold facts, BRAVO!!

    • Thank you, Kelly. I have gotten almost all positive responses to this post, but a few (maybe 4) negative ones. I really appreciate the encouragement. I too think it’s a real problem for bloggers to spread false information. It does a real disservice to readers. Thanks again!

  162. What a great post! Can’t wait to read some of your other posts. I love how thorough you. Nothing is worse than making assumptions about things you know little about. Great work!

  163. Kris Monty says:

    Thank you for the post – I appreciate what you researched.

  164. Hey Adrienne! I am so glad I stumbled across your blog! Thanks for writing such an informative article and truly researching about Carrington Farms. I will consider buying their product on Amazon next time I need some. I read Sarah’s article recently and it really scared me about coconut oil. I have bought Nutivia before and didn’t have any problems with it. I know it is also sold at Costco, so it made me question it. Thanks for clearing any doubts!

    • Welcome, Sarah!!! Glad to meet you! I hope to stay connected. I was worried about Carrington as well so I bought it about 4 months ago to check it out :). Now I know.

  165. Thank you for the solid research and thoughtful analysis.

  166. You. Are. Awesome!!!

    I agree that this is really good quality oil. I use it and love it!

    • Thanks, Gwen! Enjoying your THM stuff. I already was eating that way pretty much but am loving the new recipes. I just bought maple flavoring so I could make your stevia syrup :)!

  167. Great post! I love Costco and many of their brands, and I’m happy to read another side to this story. Your advice to check out additional resources before you make a final decision on something is golden.
    We are all so easily swayed by just one article/opinion. I’m certainly guilty of that. I will remember to have a more open mind in the future. Thank you!

  168. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for getting the facts and passing them on.

  169. Linda C says:

    Thank you for having the courage and taking the time to address Sarah’s post in a very well documented and quoted, tactful, thorough, and factual manner! Well done! I appreciate it, and I know many others do too! Thank you for your standard of excellence.

  170. Good to know. I never shop at Costco because I wrongly assume everything they sell is junk: full of HFCS, trans fats, heavily processed, etc.

    • It’s not all junk. More and more they have super wholesome foods available. Organic frozen green beans, organic lemon juice, gluten free whole grain crackers, organic corn chips, chia seeds, hemp seeds, quality olive oils, organic meats. I’m quite pleased.

  171. Jan Rayl says:

    Thanks for all of your diligent research. I, too, have used the Carrington coconut oil from Costco (we’ve gone through 2 of the 54oz. containers) with no issues. I don’t usually question Costco and was thrilled when I was able to get this deal. Now that I’m back on the west coast I get another brand, Nutiva. I did wonder about the quality and now I know thanks to the time you put into this.

  172. Rashell says:

    Just one more reason on my already long list of why I cannot stand Sarah Pope.

  173. Thanks for writing this, Adrienne. We can always count on you to find out the TRUTH. :-) Thanks for linking at Trim Healthy Tuesday!

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence, Stacy. I think you’re putting me up on too high of a pedestal though. But I’ll take the pat on the back – thanks!

  174. I am SO SO grateful you wrote this post and debunked her flagrant insults on Costco and Carrington Farms. As a fellow blogger, I hate seeing misinformation spread like that, and I really hope Carrington Farms and Costco decide to sue.

  175. Thank you for this wonderful post. We live in times where it is far to easy to go on an ill conceived rampage and rage against persons, businesses, products, or situations using technology that spreads far and wide at the speed of light. It is incumbent upon us to be prudent in our approach, do our research, and show caution in what we share with others. It is the responsible thing to do. I, too, use the coconut oil from Costco and have had no issues with it. I have no vested interest in the company but I do have an interest in ensuring that companies and the products they produce are lauded when appropriate, and brought to light when necessary. In both circumstances, it should be done with respect for consumers and courtesy to the company involved. You handled this situation in a manner that shows concern for consumers, respect for the company that was maligned, and more courtesy than the blogger extended her target. Thank you.

  176. Ashley F says:

    We’ve been using the Carrington Farms C.O. purchased from Costco and that amazingly huge jar of it has lasted us a long time! We’ve never had any issues with it. It smells and tastes amazing. We use it for so many different things! Great post; I hadn’t heard about all the hubbub over it until I read it here. I found this through a Pinterest post and was like “NOooo!! I love my coconut oil from Costco!” . . . glad to hear it’s still Okay!!

  177. Thank you for the care you took in writing this. I get frustrated with the irresponsibility that leads to these kinds of rants. It’s refreshing to read something thoughtful, well-researched, and measured in tone.

  178. Denise Steiner says:

    Thank you soooo much for your research on this issue of Carrington Coconut Oil. I LOVE it and thought it seemed very comparable to other more expensive brands. It is a relief to know it is likely very good quality. I actually like it better than another brand that I have ordered on line. I, also, read The Healthy Home Economist and think she sometimes speaks out without research and have seen people debunk what she has said so I take everything with a “grain of salt” and do my own searching if possible.

    • Thanks, Denise. I too try to do research when I can, but it’s hard. I wish all bloggers would do enough of their own so it’s a help to readers (and other bloggers) and not a hindrance. Thanks for commenting!

  179. Thanks for the info! I buy mines from Costco too.

  180. Thank you SO MUCH for this well-researched post. When I first read Sarah’s blog, which was being widely circulated on Facebook, I was extremely wary of how little real information she seemed to present. Thank you for standing up for what is right and being brave enough to weather what I’m sure will bring a lot of undue censure your way. High five for this post!!!

    • Thank you Kirsten. I honestly haven’t gotten many unhappy comments. Just 3-4 and one wasn’t really directed at me. I have heard that others aren’t happy but it strikes me as illogical that they would be upset w/ me for setting the record straight after she is the one who totally maligned 2 companies without cause. Thank you again.

  181. Marion Y says:

    I shop Costco in California and rarely have a problem with any of their products. I purchase their organic coconut oil by HAIN which is very good and no smell. Each Costco is different so we will not always get the same brand across America. Prior to that I used NUTIVA, also very good, but Costco has a better price. Sounds to me like somebody got a bad batch.

  182. Carmenb says:

    This is my 1st visit to your website. After reading your research on Costco’s coconut oil…anyone who is willing to do that much research has my attention…I will be adding your website to my “favorites” for more reading in the future! Thank you so much…I am IMPRESSED! I have never purchased Costco Coconut oil, the container is just too large for our aging family use, as are many items from Costco. But, I sure am happy to pass the good word around to my friends!

  183. Marietta says:

    Thank you for checking this out so thoroughly! Thank you for putting the facts out for all to read. I will buy Carrington from Amazon. There is no Costco within a hundred miles where I live in the Florida Panhandle.

  184. Jenette Lopez says:

    So glad I found your blog! I’m heading to Costco today to pick up some coconut oil. I only recently learned what a wonderful product it is, and was hoping I could buy in bulk to save money. I read the other blog before coming here. Having a background in science and research, I was extremely skeptical about the accusations made on the blog. Thank you for all your time spent researching. I think it was a very noble thing to do after the brand had their name dragged through the mud over there!

  185. Thanks so much for this post and for your integrity in providing real investigative reporting. I discovered your blog via the Imperfectly Happy blog and I’m thrilled for her referral to you site. With all the misinformation circulating, it’s not easy to find a source that can be trusted. We certainly can’t trust the mainstream news. I look forward to following your blog. Keep up the great work – it’s much appreciated!

  186. Annette Kopczynski says:

    I have only seen Nutiva brand in Costco in CO. I love it. Great article, and has inspired me to subscribe to your blog.

  187. Linda Roe says:

    I bought a small container of Carrington Farms coconut oil at HEB just the other day to tide me over until my large container of Vitacost oil arrives later this week. I am thrilled with the quality and even more excited to learn that Costco sells the 54 oz. at such a low price. I am not a member of Costco, but will contact the local store to ensure they carry the Carrington Farms and if they do, I will certainly join. Thank you for this enlightening post! It is true that the oil can be contaminated and spoil. I made the mistake of using my sugar spoon to grab a spoonful of oil to put in my coffee one morning. A week later there was black mold spores in the jar.

    I now take the softened to liquid state oil. spread it on a baking sheet, freeze until it forms a solid, cut into chunks and then freeze until hardened – then transfer to a container to keep in the freezer. My dogs love it as a treat and it is a very convenient way to use for my coffee, smoothies, cooking, etc. I don’t have to worry about the fluctuating temps in the house changing it from liquid to solid daily nor ever contaminating the oil.

  188. Cassie H says:

    I bought my first jar of this oil skeptically. I am now on my 3rd container and have had no issues at all. I’ve been very pleased with it. Thank you for speaking out!

  189. Adrienne – THANKS for this post. I am proud for the way you stood up and reminded people to do their OWN research and not rely on one person’s opinion or judgments!!!

  190. Kind of late to the party here, but …

    I had the same reaction you did after reading that post — I found it when someone on Amazon mentioned it when giving a 1-star rating to the Carrington Farm’s coconut oil (without having ever used it themselves). Of course when I first started reading, I had “Oh bummer” reaction since we’ve started using it about the same time you did. But, when I kept reading the comments (and unlike some readers, I read all of them and didn’t just comment on the original post without having some more back story and opposing views), I changed my mind. Ironically, my husband was at Costco at the time and I hesitated to have him pick up more because of the initial post — after I was halfway through reading the comments (and the researched rebuttals), I told him “pick up two more jugs.” I too was saddened by how it was initially posted, and then how it was defended — carelessly and thoughtlessly in my opinion. I was pleased to see that you had the same reaction; doing further research before throwing out accusations and one-size-fits all declarations about two companies. Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into researching this accusation and sharing it with us.

    • P.S. I’ve put a reminder on my phone … next time I’m at our Costco, I’ll put in a request for the hot dogs you mentioned in the suggestion box. We’ve been doing that for McCann’s Irish steel cut oatmeal, which they used to carry (in *big* cartons at a *great* price), but sadly they’ve stopped carrying it. But I’m persistent because I love Irish oatmeal. :-)

    • Thank you for pointing that out. What a shame! I am heading to Amazon to leave a response to that comment. :(. Glad you supported them!

  191. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for this post! This just shows that some are for a quick buck and some are for the hard work. You are for the hard work, as you DID the research and not to just shun a company that is not promoted on your blog. You stand for values and morals and are making others stand for theirs. It is sad that some are so easy to dismiss what they do not know without learning about it. I do not have a Costco membership yet; and have not tried coconut oil yet- the whole thing kind of scares me, if its pure or not. Now I know that when we do get a Costco membership that I can get decent coconut oil there and for cheap!

  192. Good for you!! And thank you for writing this article. When I read the article you are rebutting, I was kind of shocked and it all rang wrong to me! Glad you did all this research!

  193. Thank you for posting this. I saw this Coconut Oil at Costco and was curious but the previous negative article had me thinking twice about it despite Costco’s amazing return policy. I bought some today thanks to this post and I couldn’t be happier. (Except if the Coconut oil sold was also Organic).

  194. Is Costco’s oil considered “cold or expeller pressed”? I was told to find this out when looking for high quality coconut oil. And, does it smell like coconut? I personally am using Tropical Traditions expeller pressed without the coconut aroma. Yes, if there is no aroma I am aware that it is then considered refined. However, I took this description from their website as to their refining process: “Tropical Traditions Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil is a high quality refined coconut oil. This oil is processed the “old” way by what is called “physical refining.” The modern way of processing coconut oil is by chemical extraction, using solvent extracts, which produces higher yields and is quicker and less expensive. Tropical Traditions Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil DOES NOT use solvent extracts. It is made the “old” way by expeller-pressed mechanical extraction. This oil is also NOT hydrogenated, and contains NO trans fatty acids. It is a very good quality food-grade coconut oil.”
    So, there you have it. I pay $50 for a gallon. Any insight into this company? They do not advertise as “extra virgin coconut oil” either.

    • I was told that they do not use heat in their processing and it for sure does smell like coconuts. I will ask them specifically.

      What insight would you like to TT? Thanks!

    • Hi Renee. I just heard back from Carrington. This is their response:

      Our oil is considered “cold expeller pressed”. I am not sure what cold pressed vs expeller is as I am only familiar with cold expeller pressing vs centrifuge.

      I hope this helps.

      TT’s expeller has no odor b/c it is made from dried coconut. Carrington’s is made from fresh coconut and they don’t use solvents either. I like both companies. I use TT’s oil all the time as well and their Gold Label is high quality with, I have heard, the highest nutritional value on the market. If you are subscribed to my blog I advertise their specials regularly.

  195. Danette says:

    Awesome job on your research. I have been a member of Costco for over 20 years and rarely find something that is not high quality. As for returning they take anything back but electronics past their posted date. Anyone that gives you an attitude for returning is their personal issue, not Costco’s stand.

    As for the oil – I have been buying it for months. I hve found nothing wrong with it. I stopped getting results I had been getting when I first started with Tropical Traditions, however, this is on me and how good I am refarding the amount I use. Not the quality of the oil.

    You did so well in your reaponse, I was just recently asked who are the top two bloggers I would recomend for learning about food. You were one of two, and I am a reader of many! Please, if you will take the tecognition of the people reading your blog, the company you took the time to reaearch and the gift you have of research as your acknowledgement and mkve on with great work. Waiting on an apology may be distracting and we need more if your research!!

    Keep up the great work – our family and many I talk with benefit. So thanks again, be great and enjoy your life!!!

  196. Hi Adrienne

    Thank you for the write up on Costco’s product. I was looking into getting some coconut oil due to the health benefits. Was not pleased to see the negative post. As for price, it is a no-brainer to know that buying large quantities is always cheaper for a company. Actually I would be more suspicious of small companies and their quality control, as “big brother” does not have his eye on companies that have such a small piece of the marketing world. Costco could not afford to make foolish choices.

    We have to make many health decisions beyond what we are being pumped with about this or that bad for you. It is vitally important to take charge of our own health and not rely on drugs to fix what ails us. Too bad you have to take the time to do damage control. May be Carrington’s and Costco need to thank you.


  197. Thank you so much for this article, and all of the hard work that went into it! When I saw the title, my heart dropped – we just picked up another jar of Carrington Farms oil at Costco a few days ago. I’m so glad that this ended on a positive note!
    I appreciate so much that Carrington Farms provides a quality, healthy product at a price that means that my family can afford it.

  198. charissa pacheco says:

    We have one and a half Costco coconut oils in the apartment already but I think I’ll go buy a couple more for our food storage, just to support them :) Seriously, thank you for addressing this. I was FLOORED when reading the other post. I couldn’t even finish reading the comments.

  199. Thank you for the informative post! I found Sarah’s blog via google when i was looking for information on coconut oil. To be honest, I was shocked to read her post, mostly due to her condescending attitude and statements. That fact alone made me look further which is how I found your post. Keep up the good work!

  200. Great article and defense of Carrington Farms and Costco! I know someone who works for a national food company that sells their product to Costco. She says that Costco is by far the pickiest on quality of all of their accounts, so I would be very surprised if quality from Carrington Farms were an issue. Costco has too much power (because of the massive quantities they can buy and sell) to stay with any product that might damage their reputation. 54 oz of coconut oil is too much for me, or I’d have no problem buying this brand from Costco. Thanks for doing your research and providing that informatiom to your readers.

    • The oil lasts a long time on the shelf so you might try it. Otherwise, there are other companies I recommend on my site that have smaller quantities, or you could get the smaller quantity of Carrington from Amazon. :)

  201. Thank you very much for this fact finding mission. We were just at Costco and I saw the coconut oil but wanted to look it up first.
    I am headed back to Costco after reading your article and another and checking out the Carrington website.
    Have a great day,

  202. Thanks for the research. I just wanted you to know that on my second batch of Carrington’s from Costco, I did have a problem. I had purchased it once and it tasted great. Got three more containers next. First one, I immediately said it tasted burned. I knew no better so I ate it. Saw the article you mention and opened the second one. Same burned taste. Same lot.

    I then went to four stores and purchased good brands of CO and they too tasted burned. So it couldn’t have been the Carrington’s but why did it all taste like this? I still dont’ know.

    I do know that Carrington did get a call from me the week of July 4th. They took the lot number (and expiration which should have been fine and I kept it in the house) and replaced the three jars. That took quite some time, but they did claim to know nothing about it. They were going to research it. I just wanted you to know they DID get at least one complaint , did get a lot # and did replace. So far it tastes okay but still not as good as usual.

    It all arrived totally liquid and has now solidified. I did have to keep calling to get the replacement sent out. It kept “falling through the cracks.” They picked up the three no problem but sending out replacements was a bit crazy.

    I still think it’s good customer service, it just could have been better.

    To be fair to everyone, there were problems.
    But it’s what I can afford and if it’s not hurting me I’m sticking with it.

    • I’m glad you are following up w/ them. I think they are very good people. The oil arriving liquid isn’t an issue at all. Coconut oil starts to turn liquid at 75 degrees.

      I would be interested to hear if there are any conclusions drawn and I will mention this to them when I do talk with them. Thanks!

  203. Thanks for this post. I stopped reading Sarah’s blog after that post – not in defense of Carrington Farms (although I love their CO), but mainly because it shed light on her blogging/research practices. I tend to question everything I read, anyway – especially research. I wish more people had critical thinking skills, but it’s a limited skill – especially in the blogging world. Anyway, before I digress and get really cynical;/, I just wanted to say “thanks.” I’ve been using CFCO for a while and have never had a problem with it. It is comparable to other great brands I’ve used.

    • Thanks for the encouragement and welcome!!! I am working on another “analytical” post or 2. They take longer but it’s the way I want to / have to do things. Thanks again!

  204. I originally emailed this to Adrienne, and I’m now posting it here:

    Hi Adrienne. This is all news to me. I haven’t gone on my email for awhile so I didn’t know this was brewing. I do buy nutiva virgin, which is marketed as Extra VIRGIN. Just marketing speak, blah blah blah. But I have found the Nutiva to be sweeter and lighter than several of the other popular brands (Barleans, TT).

    Would you find this comparable to Nutiva? Thanks for sticking up for something like this. I find that real foodies get carried away sometimes and shoot themselves in the foot.

    Addendum: My hubby works near Coscto and I asked him to hunt this coconut oil down. I tried it and it’s just as delicious as the Nutiva “extra virgin”. I had unfortunately already purchased several gallons online. Now I won’t have to. Thanks Whole New Mom!

    Now, if you could help me find that blog post about Sour dough starter and bread made ONLY with rice flour, I would feel complete!!

    • I do have to say I love Sarah’s post; she can be a little cynical. I’m from NJ. So I can appreciate it. But where food is concerned, seeing/tasting/smelling is believing. :-)

      • HI Cindy. I’m from Philly – I am a skeptic to the nth degree – but I do think that you need to be really careful not to jump to conclusions and hurt a company / person without due evidence. Thanks :). Where in NJ?

    • I think this is perhaps a little more coconutty than Nutiva, but Nutiva has a raw one as well which is more comparable to Tropical Traditions’ Gold Label.

      I have the gluten free sourdough starter here but I don’t have a bread w/ only rice flour – did you mean on my blog?

  205. jeff Krotser says:

    This product Carrington Farms coconut oil is bad…I just bought this at costco very dissappointed that buyers are not educated!…I’ve been buying high quality coconut oil for 10 years this stuff turns into thin runny oil as soon as you put on your skin or in your mouth withing 10 seconds! Totally denatured, nutrients destrtoyed ect… terrible product don’t ever buy this. Very dissappointed to say the least with all parties involved!

    Furthermore…beware of Olive Oil as well! Even with the claims of being organic extra virgin cold pressed. Italy and especially Spain can be denatured and very acidic unfortunately profits seems to take precedent over integrity in food! ….Please don’t take my word for it do your own research, explore the truth for yourself.

    • Hi Jeff. Just because the oil turns runny in your mouth doesn’t mean it is bad. Coconut oil turns to liquid at 75 degrees F so this is very normal.

      I know about the false olive oil claims but I use Kirkland b/c theirs was proven be authentic :).

  206. Thank you for clearing this up. I had concerns over the post I saw from HHE and intended at some point to check into it, however I just had baby #5 and coconut oil research was not making the top ten list of what to accomplish;)

  207. Thank you for doing your homework. There are always two sides to every story!

  208. I make soap, and use Carrington Farms coconut oil for always looks/smells fantastic and I’m constantly trying to convince my husband that we should use it around the house more! I’m working on a line of men’s aftershave right now using it, and will be doing a body butter as well. I think it’s a great product and in the 6 months I’ve been buying it I’ve never had a problem!


  209. Sherry England says:

    Thanks so much for this post!!! I subscribed to her blog and got email updates from her and liked her page on Facebook but the more I read from her the more I did not like. Thank you so much for this indepth article about the coconut oil. I had read her article that another blogger had posted & I questioned alot because there was no research behind any of her statements, just her opinion. Also, thank you for explaining how the Village Green Network works. I had thought about joining but did not know if the cost was justifiable on our very small income. Again, thanks so much for the wonderful job on this post. I like dealing with those of honesty, integrity and good moral values. You rock!!!!

  210. Glorious Gloria says:

    I have been a customer of Costco probably since they opened. The products they sell and stand behind are of the highest quality. I have the Carrington Coconut Oil, and I live in Texas. I am not stupid enough to store it in the garage. I do however store it in my kitchen., however not in the refrigerator and it is perfect! I have had mine for several months and no problem. A Company like Costco that stand behind everything they sell would not sell anything that would tarnish their name. How dare you talk bad about a company that any time a product comes out that is bad Costco does not carry it.

  211. Tina Boldman says:

    you are awesome and I commend you on a wonderful job and due diligence!

  212. I don’t have a Costco membership, but my friend does and I just recently asked her to pick me up some of the Coconut Oil (I currently get it at Trader Joe’s – $6 for 16 oz, which was the best price I could find for organic virgin coconut oil) and was relieved when I read your article. Thank you so much for researching things so diligently – I know you have your hands full! And I agree with you about the whole ‘Extra’ Virgin thing. Tropical Traditions is the only company I’ve come across that actually labels theirs correctly, but they are quite a bit out of my price range – though excellent quality (my first introduction to coconut oil was a jar of theirs – my husband got it free years ago through some promotion or something).

  213. Andie Lipcon says:

    Thank-you for this information.. I am a big Costco fan and I do buy this coconut oil. I have wondered if I was doing harm or good. Only thing that could make it better would be a glass container! Love your website – Just found it..

  214. Thank you for the post, it was very valuable information! And I will continue buying my oil from Costco! I love that store!

    The only thing I wanted to comment on was the screen shot from Google–Being an SEO Specialist, I did see that Google updated their title tag/description (since your time of post) and that they have indeed changed the way that they are marketing online-Now it’s “Radiant Life Virgin Coconut Oil”-

    Directories crawl through website pages approximately once a month–meaning that they could have went in the website to change the content around immediately after the accusations of them using the term “virgin coconut oil”, however its always on the search engine’s time frame for update-it’s never automatic; So the metatag was officially updated on August 2, 2013.

    You can note this time update by clicking on the down arrow next to the>Healthy Fats & Oils. It will read “Cached” once clicked, and then show you the date that Google last crawled through the site–Just thought it would be useful information for you if you were to ever screen shot a “date” like this again!

    Hope this helps, and have a wonderful day! :)

    • Thank you. I figured they would change that. I’m wondering if you could elaborate on how you think it would help me in the future, however. Thanks again!

  215. “….I thought “Costco’s coconut oil is great!” or something like that wouldn’t have brought people as easily and I thought it was good to get the word out ! ”

    This is EXACTLY why I read your whole post which i found when googling costoc Coconut oil. Thanks for doing the research and hopefully restoring some peples faith in this company – I will now be buying it exclusively

  216. Thank you for this post! We just renewed our Costco membership and going to get some coconut oil today, since I just ran out!

  217. Thank you for this post. I haven’t bought carrington farms CO before now, but I will be. My stash from TT is almost gone and I need to replenish. At Costco. HHE disgusts me.

  218. Well thought out and researched post! Im looking for an oil that has a very long shelf life and was trying to find out if the costco coconut oil would fit the bill. If processed well coconut oil is supposed to have an indefinite shelf life.

  219. I love Costco Carrington farms coconut oil. I bought it a few months ago, but since I had the regular cheap grocery store coconut oil I was postponing opening the Costco jar.. coincidence.. just before reading your post, we opened the jar & the fragrance of this coconut oil is just amazing. I belong to southern india where we use coconut oil primarily for cooking, skin, hair :) and I never had the same sense of satisfaction with the generic grocery store coconut oil. But today, my mom made coconut rice poha..If you’re interested I blogged about her amazing recipe here.. I have to confess I felt I was back home in the tropics on the indian ocean eating this amazing dish.. I’m a convert.. no more generic coconut oil in cooking for me.. its Carrington farms from now. on. thanks Adrienne on an informative post..

  220. Thank you so much for you very helpful article on coconut oil. I had just read “Sara’s” and found it to be confusing and honestly, I just felt a bit suspicious about her “facts”. It looks to me that you’ve really done alot more research and the results seem to speak for themselves. I will go get the Carrington farms coconut oil I wanted to get in the first place and now feel comfortable doing so.
    Thank you for your diligence and your kindness(or respectful) way you presented your findings. I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

    • Thank you so much and welcome!

    • I’am not clear after reading all these comments. I spend hours reading about Coconut oil. Unfortunately I can’t choose witch is the appropriate oil to consume 3 times a day by spoon. I brought Spectrum “ORGANIC EXPELLED PRESSED , REFINED OIL”.(lable sais non hydrogenated) I also brought ” LOU ANA “100 0/0 Pure Coconut Oil. NON HYDROGENATED 0 0 Trans fat, refine. Expeller press = Extracted traditional below 80 no chemical add . Refine =no smell. Non hydrogenated = Virgin Oil . {It appears that Virgin Oil lable its just a marketing catch to the eye} Can someone please clarify all above?Before I have a heart attack …..

  221. Amy Goodine says:

    thank you so much. I was confused and it’s nice to read something from someone who is fair

  222. Darlene Vegh says:

    I admired your presentation of the Carrington Farms coconut oil debate. Thank you.

  223. Deborah Baker says:

    Thank you for all your research, I really appreciate it! I just got back from Costco and I have a huge jar of coconut oil! I’m so happy that this is the good stuff!!
    I totally agree about taking just one person’s word about something, we should all know better than to do that. Good for you, keep up the good work!!

  224. Deborah Baker says:

    P.S. I just pinned this on my vegan board :)

  225. Thanks so much for your research. I buy Carrington Farms coconut oil often from Costco and am now happy to hear the container is BPA free. Great news.

  226. Thanks for the research. When I read her post before I was not settled about it and kept using my Costco coconut oil. I have learned that you read so many things on posts and you can’t take everything you read as totally accurate. I am sure she meant well and hope everyone takes their finger off the panic button. As for myself I love this product and the price.

  227. Awesome post! I had seen Sarah’s post and kind of dismissed it… but those thoughts still lingered in my mind! Your further research goes a long way for me! Thanks for sharing!

  228. Thank you for this research.
    Healthyhomeeconomist is one place I read with a grain of salt and then wait, use my brain, and then research the subject further.

  229. shame, shame, shame! I can’t believe the lengths that some people will go to. Thank you so much for doing the research on this and then posting about it. I buy coconut oil at Costco and have always wondered if it was adequate, but now I’m convinced that it is. Thanks!

  230. Thank you so much for writing this! I really appreciate your due diligence! I question a lot of things that people write on the internet and in their blogs as fact, when they really haven’t done much research. I feel that I can trust what you say more than most other bloggers. I read this article about coconut oil and was bothered by it. I buy my coconut oil at Costco and love it. I feel like I can be more liberal using it because I can get it for such a good price. If our Costco carried Carrington I would go buy some, but we have the Nutiva brand here.

  231. I have been using the Carrington Farms brand of coconut oil purchased at Costco and I love it! The ONLY downside is that it comes in a plastic containeer which we know contains BPA. And since the product is most likely transported in a non-cooled truck, there is the potential for the BPA (because of the heat especially during summer months) to leach into the coconut oil, which is of concern to me. Unfortunately many “healthy” products are packaged this way. I would much prefer glass jars.
    I absolutely LOVE Costco and am 100% confident in the products I purchase there. I find everything they carry to be of very high quality and I love the fact that they carry a huge amount of organic fresh fruits and vegetables and packaged products.

  232. What a fabulous article. Thanks so much for all the detective work you did.
    I absolutely LOVE my Carrington Farms coconut oil, it is the best!

  233. I love Carrington Farms Coconut Oil! I use it for everything! I ditched expensive massage oils for the pure organic coconut oil from Costco- Carrington Farms. My clients LOVE it! It is all I use. My family loves it too. It is the only oil we cook with. Our costs have decreased now that I’m not buying so many different oils. Coconut oil is the most stable oil I know of and it has so MANY health benefits!

  234. Hi, just wondering if there was ever an answer given from Carrington as to why their coconut oil smelled bad. I bought their oil from Costco about a month or two ago and was extremely pleased with it. Last week I went back and bought 2 jars of it because I use one for cooking and one for my skin. The first jar I opened smelled like oil that had been used before. I guess something like a burnt marshmallow smell. So I opened up the other jar and it too did not smell good (like coconut). I live in Southern California. Do you know the location of the other person that felt she bought bad oil? Maybe a bad batch? Any suggestions?

    • Carrington couldn’t give an answer b/c the customer never contacted them. The other person was in Texas, I think. I would contact Carrington and see what they have to say. I would love it if you would come back and let us know.

  235. I had JUST bought the costco tub of coconut oil – and then I read the title of your post! Whew glad to see all is well, I had previously bought smaller jars from Safeway that I burned thru so quickly I had decided to get that big ol tub.
    What a relief all is well. Especially finding an excellent alternative to the gmo crap oils everywhere that you can’t get away from.
    I use the coconut oil in baking, frying and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

  236. Sandra Armstrong says:

    I have used the following coconut oils, all labeled as Extra Virgin Organic, and all were wonderful: Vitacost, Tropical Traditions, and most recently Carrington Farms from Costco. I have eaten all by the spoonful, cooked with it, baked with it, as an additive in my dogs’ food and as an all over body moisturizer (including face). I feel confident using any of these brands and have always found them to be of excellent quality. Happy to hear that there was research done to not have a good company discredited.

  237. Terrific post. Thank you.
    People don’t like to have their mistakes called out. We all make these mistakes sometimes clicking and sharing an article or quotes without verifying them. When we find out they are a hoax or misrepresented, then we feel embarrassed. It doesn’t help when those that point out your mistake are ruthless about it which I believe it is human nature in those moments to become defensive instead of readily offer and apology and retraction. I really like your post though, because it does three things, it comes to the defense of a company that may not deserve its current censure. Your post also gently admonishes without starting a flame war. It reminds us to be considerate. And lastly, I learned a lot about coconut oil. Something else to consider, I love to support small local business too, but is some cases large retailers have the heavy behind them to enforce quality control from their vendors. A good example is the white fish and tuna controversy.

    • Thanks for commenting. Good points and I appreciate your kind words. May I ask where you heard of this post? Suddenly a lot of folks are reading it and I would like to thank whomever shared it.

  238. I recently spotted and *Extra* Virgin Organic Coconut Oil at Sam’s Club with the same price per ounce as Costco’s Carrington Farms called Tresomega Nutrition. Before I bought it I came home and did a little research to satisfy myself that it was a worthy oil for my storage. In my search I found nothing to make me think that this oil was not of very good quality so I made a pretty big purchase. (You never know how long the big box stores will carry a particular item.)

    Sarah Pope has been my WAPF leader for at least 8 or 9 years and also coordinates our local raw milk co-op so I have the greatest respect for her. However, some of us cannot always afford the recommended brands which are also likely to be the most expensive. Olive oil is another item I must purchase with cost in mind. I definitely can’t afford the few brands that are touted to be the ONLY ones that are pure olive oil. Sam’s Club sells a brand, Daily Chef, that is labeled certified organic, 100% pure extra virgin olive oil, first cold pressed. It’s very affordable and tastes great. According to some, this type of affordable oil is a *blend*. If so, then how does a company get away with that kind of advertising? I don’t think they can.

    Sometimes you just have to do your own research and pick and choose what advice you listen to.

  239. Very nicely done. I’ve been missing those Coleman hotdogs, too. Try Kal brand stevia. :)

  240. First of all, I can’t figure out why this woman was complaining about the coconut oil in the first place. If she thought there was anything wrong with the coconut oil she should have taken it back to Costco. They have a great return policy. She is being a bit dramatic. Stop complaining and take the stuff back! Costco will change brands if they see people don’t like what they stock.

    • Agreed. Well, to her credit, she was just asking Sarah if she should use it. Well, of course not, but she should have called the company and Sarah shouldn’t have slandered Costco or Carrington. Hope to see you around again!

  241. Nice article – very well researched and thought out. And by the way…about the shopping local – unless you live in the tropics, there is no local coconut oil, it is ALL shipped half way across the world no matter what company you buy from!

    • I know. I think the point is to support a small vendor. Well, I think I qualify for that :).

    • What’s more, we were just in Costa Rica and spent some time with Expats that had been living there for 7 years. They said that there is so much money in coconut oil, you can’t even find quality stuff there. It ALL gets shipped out. They did have lots of vegetable oil though. :(
      That may be different in Hawaii or something…

  242. I bought the Carrington oil and had a problem with the smell. I contacted them and told them. They sent me a new jar and paid for me to ship mine back. The new one had the smell too. This was probably six months ago. I wish both jars didn’t have a problem, because I won’t buy that brand again. I did read the article you were talking about and I thought it had a lot of inaccuracies. Thank you for addressing them.

    • Hmmm…did they tell you what might have been wrong? That sounds odd that they would send you an “off” jar.

      • No they didn’t tell me why. But they did not want me to return it to costco. My husband works in product development of natural foods and he said it’s usually a problem with drying. It doesn’t mean it’s bad to eat. I couldn’t stomach it though. It tasted and smelled burnt. He used the second jar for oil pulling and he lived through it, so it was fine I guess.

  243. I have on more than one occaision found Sarah’s information to be lacking. This just confirms why I discontinued seeking her out for answers to my questions. Thanks for the thorough write up; I’ve tried a lot of different brands of CO, and while Trader Joe’s is my favorite, we buy Costco most often due to the price.

  244. Nothing is as simple or straightforward as it seems. I’m on information overload right now but having the facts is better than half the truth.

  245. Nancy Bledsoe says:

    Please, Please, PLEASE let me know when you find PURE stevia!!!! I have been looking for awhile. I have been…and still am using Sweet Leaf liquid from Amazon, but cannot get an answer from them about “natural flavors”. I use that in my coffee. I am used to it. For our kefir smoothies every morning, I am using stevia leaves from my plant on the deck. I feel good about using that, but the liquid is so convenient!
    Oh…and I use Carrington Farms Coconut Oil from Costco and love it and now I feel better about that too! :).

    • I’m not worried about their natural flavors, but I am trying to sort out what brand I like now. I am having trouble talking to the different companies (and life gets in the way) so hang tight :)!

  246. I buy the coconut oil from Costco and have never had a problem with it. I am glad you did research though, and now I know it is truly good stuff ;). Thank you!

  247. I Have bought the coconut oil from Costco and I found it to be great, for the use intended. Now if I was concerned about the quality of the product, then I would search a different company that would offer a higher quality for upwards of maybe hundred dollars. Now If I want to spend more money on better quality coconut oil than that’s what I would do. But having said that, I still feel that the coconut oil Costco sells its good for the money.

  248. melody polakow says:

    Thank you so much. I am so sick and tired of people with nothing but their own agenda or distorted way of thinking of things spreading LIES and fear and paranoia.

  249. Thanks for this. While I don’t currently have a COSTCO memebership, it is nice to hear good things about their oil, in case I am able to start having one again.

    This is just the latest in a slew of blog posts that demonstrated that many (I won’t say all) of the VGN bloggers are in it for the money and not for real food. Sarah is also a special case. Most of her writing is poorly (if at all) researched. She goes from, “Such and such *may be the case” to ranting for a page on why that is true and horrible, and how you have to buy from VGN producers. Not only that, she is consistently nasty to anyone who tries to, however politely, call her out on anything. I gave up on her blog after the whole, “breastmilk is useless, buy our formula kits!” incident.

  250. Roy T. Conrad says:

    I use the coconut oil from Costco daily, but the price I pay is about $28.00 in Canada. Where do you pay $15.00 dollars at Costco? I am glad to hear that it is pure.

    Roy T. Conrad