Food Find: Kirkland Organic Rice Milk

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Last week my husband was at Costco and he messaged me the above picture.  There was a new Organic Rice Milk on the shelf instead of Rice Dream (see Onespot Allergy’s post on the subject of Rice Dream being made on equipment shared with nuts)!

The ingredients looked good but there was no allergy statement.  I called Costco (it is a Kirkland branded item) and the helpful representative said since it was a fairly new product she’d get back to me about the facility that produces the milk.

Well, today she got back to me and guess what?  No nuts at the facility!  She said they did want me to know they do make soy milk there (and soy is an allergy we deal with) but the equipment is cleaned between runs.

I know each family has to weigh their risks but I am still excited to share the information.  Please always check & re-check labels of course.  A case of 12 unsweetened cartons, 4 cups each, will run you under $15.

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Updated 1/28/14 to add the following:

See my post (and the comments) about the current status of Kirkland’s Ricemilk.  Also, a commenter on this post provided pictures comparing Rice Dream and Kirkland’s Ricemilk and gave me permission to post them.  If nut cross contamination is not a concern for your family, you may want to consider Rice Dream as an option based on Mr. Wessel‘s experience documented by these photos:

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49 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing! My husband just txt me a similar message that rice dream was gone and I near had a heart attack! I am concerned on the taste as well as the soy factor, it is an issue for us as well. Does your child like the taste? Thanks again for your research.

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    • Hi Sharm! Thank you for stopping by, I know it is scary when something you rely on goes away from Costco’s shelves – the Kirkland Kettle Chips are one of the only safe ones for us and every so often they are out. I actually like the unsweetened taste, it just tastes more bright and fresh. I think if your little one wants it sweetened you could mix a little agave nectar in but many cereals are already sweetened so if you were, say, prepping the milk for drinking you could mix some cocoa powder and sugar in if you like. I do use rice milk to make hot chocolate for my kids on occasion. My daughter usually uses rice milk for cereal, not so much for just drinking. My son is drinking some as I type this. I love it for cooking as well so the unsweetened feature is great for soups. Let me know how you like it if you pick it up – the shared soy equipment is worrisome I know but I think soy is one of my daughter’s lower class allergies as reactions go but she can’t even use products with soy derived vitamin E in them (like lotions) without showing a rash. I know some people make their own rice milk to get around these issues but when you’re a busy parent already cooking so much from scratch it can be hard. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

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  2. I wish to comment because there seems to be a typo. I just bought a case, and the case contains 12 ONE quart containers – NOT – 12 FOUR quart containers. This stuff is delicious! Been vegan for 2.5 yrs. and this is by far, the best rice milk I’ve tasted!

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  5. Rice milk has become my only milk product. I can’t eat or drink any milk products and rice milk saved the day. We are always concerned that Costco will not have this milk in stock. We have a long trip to get to Costco. Is there
    any way we can find out if it will be there?

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    • I haven’t seen a statement from Costco but I did find this FAQ from a company we buy rice syrup and rice cakes from, Lundberg Farms, and it may help with some of your concerns: http://www.lundberg.com/Info/Arsenic/arsenicfaqs.aspx I know that the FDA is being urged to come up with standards about this and it isn’t a new thing but as always with any food (whether with allergies or not) exercise caution if you have a reason to be concerned. We feel safe continuing to use the product with food allergies but your family needs to make the choice that is best for you. I am so sorry your granddaughter copes with food allergies, thank you for being supportive of her – I know that my children’s grandmothers are an integral part of our food allergy team!

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    • I called Costco to find out where the brown rice they use is sourced (given the recent Consumer Report finding about arsenic in rice products). They told me the rice comes from California and Texas. The Consumer Reports study showed that rice products from Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas had higher levels of inorganic and total arsenic that rice products from other locations (and it is higher in brown rice than white rice). http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/11/arsenic-in-your-food/index.htm
      My family uses the Kirkland brand but given this recent information, I am considering whether to continue with this brand or switch to another. I hope this information helps you and others to make an informed decision either way.

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      • Thank you, Sally! The key is being able to make an informed decision. There are other brands or one could go homemade as well – for us the risk of nut contamination in other brands is worrisome but so is arsenic. Especially for little ones. Thank you again, many people find this post looking for information about the arsenic issue. I wonder if Costco could source their rice differently in the future? I’ve heard they read every comment submitted to in store comment boxes but have never tried that option.

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      • We buy the KS organic rice milk, and I just learned about the concern of arsenic in rice grown in the south. Calling Costco was on my to do list so thank you so much for sharing the feedback you received. Hopefully they can source just from California in the future. Thanks again!

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      • I am tempted to write a letter to Costco and inform them of all the discussion that is ongoing on this post. I think I may be able to point to all the concerned comments and see if there are any changes they can make. I will update if I get around to writing the letter and getting a response! Thanks for your comment Leah!

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  6. I have no allergies and recently tried this rice milk on a whim when they were sampling it at Costco. I’m not a huge milk fan to begin with, but I LOVE this milk. It is very light tasting and I love that it is shelf stable until you open the carton. I am constantly throwing milk away because I don’t drink enough before it goes sour. This is a great product, even if you don’t have allergies.

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  7. I just recently came across this post… My baby has a milk intollerance and allergic to soy… I got rice milk from Sprouts but I figured I might as well buy bulk since well he’s a year and we’ll be going through a lot… He LOVES the Kirkland brand better then the one I bought at Sprouts! He will constantly bring me his cup to fill it up for him and thats something he has NEVER done before I started this milk!

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    • Hi Brittany, I’m sorry you are dealing with issues with milk and soy for your little guy. It is difficult to find things that work so I am glad he likes it so much, we love our local Sunflower/Sprouts but Costco has a lot of allergy friendly options too. Thanks for reading and commenting, nice to connect with other moms of kids with food allergies even though I wish it wasn’t something either of us had to deal with!

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  9. We stock up on this every trip to Costco. Rice milk can get pricey and we love having this option. Thanks for digging deep into the manufacturing process. We have recently added soy to our list of foods to avoid, so any information is helpful.

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    • Thank you for the kind comment! I really should make a habit of calling more companies and should double check regularly as well. I usually hesitate to share information from companies because everyone’s circumstances are different but at the same time it is better not to get hopes up that something is safe if it isn’t really or vice versa. Soy is one we just reintroduced via an allergist supervised food challenge but I know how hard it is to avoid! Best of luck to you and your family!

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  10. Unfortunately, I was in Costco this weekend and the item is now on the pending/delete list. I was told that this being replaced with Soy Almond milk. This is unfortunate, as my son has milk, egg, peanut and tree nut allergies.

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  11. Pingback: Is Costco’s Kirkland Organic Rice Milk Being Discontinued? | Oh Mah Deehness!

  12. We have been drinking rice milk for years so we decided to give Costco’s Rice Milk a try. What we found is, compared to Rice Dream, the Costco brand is very watery with no body. It doesn’t look very appealing with lumps of fat (?) floating around.

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    • I know there has been a lot of discussion about it, for those that are allergic to other alternatives I think there is a calculated risk involved but as for myself I am satisfied with the sourcing and production of this rice milk such that I continue to buy it for my family. If other options (soy milk, hemp milk, etc.) are viable then I can see the balance shifting with the consideration of arsenic levels as reported. Hope that helps!

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