Some of you may know the Costco chicken bake as your favorite cheap and easy meal on the go. But what you may not know is that this food court specialty is supposedly LOADED with a secret ingredient.
That's right. The Costco food court, known for it's $1.50 hot dog special and ridiculously low prices has a secret that you won't believe.
No, it's not high fructose corn syrup, heavy metals, or some other such nonsense that'll cause you to die of cancer in the next 5 years.
What we found was much more sinister.
The Appalling Backstory
The Costco chicken bake for years has been a staple in their food court, hanging out in the 700-800 calorie range, a perfect one meal sit-down opportunity for any passerby to enjoy on their bankrupting journey to the Costco warehouse. Chicken bakes, with their golden brown succulence, at least in this neck of the woods, run about $3.99 + tax for a hearty meal. Throw in a churro and you're still well under $10 for a delicious lunch or dinner.
However, a recent study by the Massenomics podcast and the Massenomics Cru has uncovered something absolutely incredible about these chicken bakes. So we decided to investigate further to find out the REAL TRUTH behind the Costco chicken bake, and see if it was all made up, or actually factual.
The real claim behind the chicken bake is that it contains a high protein content. As in...really high. Like, too-good-to-be-true high.
We're talking 46g of protein high.
As insane as that sounds, the story gets even more crazy the further we dug on this story.
We sent our crack team of undercover journalists to discover the real truth about the Costco chicken bakes.
Was this all a gigantic lie by Big Food Court set on deceiving the innocent consumer, and pumping up the gym bros to consume more of their delicious chicken bakes? Or is the Costco food court really the next anabolic Mecca for gym bros everywhere?
If it's all a lie, then Costco's chicken bakes MUST be stopped at all costs.
If it's the truth, then the world needs to know.
Breaking Customer Service
Our crack team of investigative journalists headed over to the Costco website first to determine if the chicken bake claims held any merit, and opened up a chat window with customer service to get some answers.
Suspiciously, the customer service representative wouldn't give us the full nutrition fact sheet. She would only provide the exact macro breakdown of the Costco chicken bake, without any additional details for any other food court items.
The breakdown was as follows (screenshot below):
Serving Size 353g/12.45oz, 840 calories, 32g fat, 52g protein, 83g carb
Did Costco just LIE about their protein content? How is it humanly possible for a chicken bake to have 52g of protein? Have you SEEN the inside of a Costco chicken bake?
Rather than confront the customer service representative about this OUTRAGEOUS claim, we decided to go in person and see the macros ourselves, up close, and in person.
Away we went to Costco, and HERE are the results of our investigative research:
The Plot is Thicc
Upon arriving at the monstrosity known as the Costco superstore warehouse, we made a beeline for the food court, and, in order to remain anonymous, ordered from the kiosk on the side of the food court cafeteria. Eyeing the security cameras suspiciously, we made our order, ripped off the receipt, and stood back to wait for our number to be called.
Whether Costco knew what we were planning or not, we were going to get to the bottom of this.
The food court concierge called our number, and we quickly and furtively sidled up to the counter for the forbidden loaf.
And that's where things got interesting.
In order to truly investigate, we needed to perform a minor surgery on the chicken bake. This involved various forms of cutlery, slicing and dicing through the thick, crusty, delicious outer layer into the soft, creamy, protein-rich undercarriage of the chicken bake.
As we broke into the first layer, and peeled back the crust, what was revealed inside was SHOCKING.
The REAL Reveal
Here are the results in a video we took live on the scene of the crime:
Understandably, we were a little dubious about the results of the macro statements. Could the cheese and cream be contributing to the overall protein content? Are there enough bacon bits and chicken to justify the high protein macros?
We decided to double check the nutrition content with one of the food court service members, who were masquerading as cooks, but in all reality were probably underlings of the great Costco Chicken Bake gang leader.
This is what it said:
52 grams of protein?!?!
So what is our conclusion?
In previous iterations of the Costco chicken bake, our research concluded that the calorie content was 100 calories LOWER than the current Costco chicken bake, a suspicious, and highly puzzling move. Unless, of course, the Mandela effect fooled the world into thinking that the previous iteration of the chicken bakes were lower calorie just to make people buy more.
Was Costco now lacing their chicken bakes with whey protein isolate? Was Costco's food court injecting growth enhancing steroids through the chicken breast and into the parmesan cheese, creating an anabolic marvel and juiced up macro calculation? How did these additional 100 calories and 6 grams of protein make their way into the crispy crust? And WHAT in heaven's name is the Costco chicken bake NOT doing in the nutrition hall of fame?!
Further study is needed in the continuing saga of...