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‘These wellness influencers have a very puritanical way of looking at food’: Woman calls out TikTokers who claim Costco chicken causes cancer

‘What they find wrong with the modern diet is any kind of convenience.’


Charlotte Colombo


A TikToker has gone viral after responding to the moral panic around Costco chicken, with several high-profile influencers claiming that some of the ingredients in the chicken can cause cancer.

Stitching one such TikTok is user Mari (@rantdelish). In her viral clip, she explains that, “[her] academic specialty is actually knowing what it is about the Costco chicken.”

“Something that you see in the white western wellness sphere specifically is the demonization of convenience,” Mari explains in the video.

The TikToker added that wellness influencers have a “puritanical” way of looking at food, and said that they are “trying to re-appropriate the symbol of the Costco chicken as it being everything that is wrong with the modern diet.”

She continues, “A lot of the time, what they find is wrong with the modern diet is any kind of convenience, whether it’s financial time or availability, and part of this is that anything convenient must be hiding something in the ingredients. So, a really easy protein with a short list of ingredients becomes poison.”

@rantdelish #stitch with @foodsciencebabe it’s actually LESS sus than a lot of food bc it lists the starches the maltodextrin comes from #foodtok #internetculture I could have probably made a longer video but idk idk #wellness #antidiet #anthropology ♬ original sound – mari ✨

The complexity that comes with this wellness movement was further expanded by users in the comments, with one commenter noting that influencers tend to do this with canned food, too.

“So much goes behind this ideology of “clean food” that people don’t understand. Shaming women for not cooking every meal from scratch,” one user shared.

Another commenter who claimed to work for Costco added, “I work at Costco and I can tell you for sure it’s just a regular old chicken and they are very proud of how they raise their chickens.”

Responding to comments about whether Costco chicken was actually safe, the user confirmed that it was, and encouraged them to research common food additives and preservatives in order to identify which foods were safe.

This comes after the recent NyQuil chicken TikTok ‘challenge’: a moral panic and excessive media coverage about a supposed TikTok challenge involving cooking chicken with a cough and flu medicine which, as it turns out, was completely fabricated.

The Daily Dot has reached out to the creator via TikTok comment.

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