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Vibe Meter: Ketchup

by jenny sansouci on December 16, 2013

Last week I was working my lovely 7am member shift at the Park Slope Food Co-op. As I opened up boxes of grass-fed beef hot dogs and began stocking the meat shelves (I lead a glamorous life), I started wondering aloud what I should rate next on the vibe meter. My roommate was happily stocking shelves of flax crackers in the aisle behind me and she yelled “ketchup!” “OH YEAH,” I said – “Everyone is obsessed with ketchup.” Another guy who was working our shift chimed in about his friend’s ketchup company, and we all just really got into it.

Fast forward to today, I saw this packet on the ground and I knew it was a sign. Time to vibe it up!!!

Ketchup is one of those things that even my most nutrition-conscious friends don’t seem to think twice about before they pour it on their food. It’s like this weird anomaly. Honestly, people love ketchup so much it scares me.


I’m breathing into a paper bag right now.

So, drumroll please…my opinion of the conventional ketchup (aka liquid corn syrup) you see in most restaurants and in packets:


Why? Let’s take a look at the ingredients in the a couple of leading ketchup brands.


Hunts original ketchup is basically the same exact list. Interestingly enough, Hunts did remove HFCS from all products… and then brought it back.

High Fructose Corn Syrup AND Corn Syrup — Why use both?! Corn syrup is degrading our health and our food supply. Read more here about why corn syrup is not your friend.

Natural Flavoring: According to this awesome article by my investigator friend Food Babe, the term “natural flavoring” can include SO many things — genetically engineered fruits, vegetables, meat, hidden forms of MSG derived from yeast, etc — things that make you actually feel addicted. No wonder people have a freak out over ketchup! GUYS!

Non-organic tomatoes can contain high levels of pesticides, and you can assume the corn syrup used comes from GMO corn. But I love that they say “from red ripe tomatoes.” So darn cute.

But what about the other versions of Heinz and Hunts…the organic versions?

I don’t recommend supporting those ketchups. Heinz and ConAgra (who owns Hunts) are both fighting GMO labeling (which would allow us to be aware of whether or not we’re consuming genetically modified food). Fighting GMO labeling is low vibe.

Other companies that are fighting GMO labeling here and here and here. I actually couldn’t read all of these articles fully because I’m kind of freaking out. (It’s a good thing I’m not involved in politics).

So what’s a ketchup-lover to do?

Here are some Medium Vibe Ketchup options you can probably find at your local store. (By the way, “medium vibe” means not the best thing you could do, but not the worst).

I consider these to be medium vibe because although they are organic and corn syrup free, they still contain sugar. Use in moderation.

Annie’s Organic Ketchup: tomato paste, distilled white vinegar, water, cane sugar, sea salt, onion, allspice, clove (all organic ingredients)

Woodstock Organic Ketchup: tomato paste (water, organic tomato paste), organic sugar, organic vinegar, salt, organic spices, organic onion powder.

High Vibe Ketchup Options:

Make your own:

Homemade ketchup recipe from Nourished Kitchen

Homemade ketchup recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie

Try eating more foods that you don’t need to cover in ketchup. 🙂

Tessemae’s Ketchup: Someone just tipped me off to this ketchup and it  looks super high vibe!!! OMG. Ingredients: Tomato puree (Tomatoes, Salt), Date puree (Water, Organic dates, Lemon juice), Filtered water, Apple cider vinegar, Sea salt, Lemon juice, Onion powder, Garlic powder.

WOW. Ok so there you go. What do you think? Please answer the poll below and then leave me a comment with all of your ketchupy thoughts.


[socialpoll id=”2180756″]


If you know of any other medium/high vibe ketchups we should look into, please comment!

Love, Jenny
Resident Vibe Critic



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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamie December 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Have you tried Tessemae’s Ketchup? SO good! Plus, it’s literally how I make my homemade version.
“Tomato puree (Tomatoes, Salt), Date puree (Water, Organic dates, Lemon juice), Filtered water, Apple cider vinegar, Sea salt, Lemon juice, Onion powder, Garlic powder.”


jenny sansouci December 16, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Oh man! That looks super high vibe! Thanks, Jamie, I will add it to the post. 🙂


john johnson January 6, 2014 at 1:40 am

To speak the way you do like “vibe” and stuff.. how many drugs have you and the people you assosiate with done during your lifetimes?


jenny sansouci January 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm



Victoria December 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Long ago, I loved loved loved ketchup – that was my thing! Then I got into a crazy barbecue sauce phase. Now- never! The worst! The thought kinda horrifies me. I like to eat food that tastes good on its own. Toss the sauce! But………… Confession: I still like mayonnaise every once in a while. I really don’t eat it, except occasionally with artichokes, but I did recently find a local “everything good” version at Whole Foods… organic, vegan, non-gmo, all that “good stuff.” It is made with canola oil and pea protein though, so I’d say it’s probably medium vibe. Do you have any thoughts on pea protein?


jenny sansouci December 16, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Pea protein I can get down with on occasion, but canola oil is low vibe. I’m gonna explain it in a vibe meter soon. And a friend just asked me to do a vibe meter on mayo, so I’ll make sure to get that one going too. Lots of things to vibe out!


Leah December 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Where does Trader Joe’s organic stack up? It’s my favorite!


jenny sansouci December 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Ingredients: Organic Tomato Puree, Organic Sugar, Organic White Vinegar, Salt, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Spices.

Great that it’s organic and has no “natural flavors.” Still has sugar, so it would fall under the medium vibe category, in my world. 🙂


Brad December 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Ok you may have inspired me to make some Ketchup…. maybe. Jenny you know all things awesome are here in Colorado. My Fav Ketchup is made here in Denver! Elevation Ketchup. Local by Birth. Organic by Choice. Love their tagline.


anjali December 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm

i think you’ve sort of stumbled upon what is really hard for me. i like to eat as healthy as possible -quinoa, veggies, organic chicken, etc but i cant find enough sauces and dips and things that are high vibe, without having to make them (and while i would LOVE to all the time, real life gets in the way). also, going out to dinner is def a struggle bc you can’t really ask the waiter for the ingredients of their sauces/dips/etc. what do you do in these cases?


Kelsey December 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Totally was just about to put ketchup on my potatoes, then read this, and opted out. Definitely going to have to try some of those home made ketchups or find a better organic, non-sugar and corn syrup filled version somewhere in my city.

At least I don’t do what I used to do as a kid… apparently I even covered my salads in ketchup. Disgusting! How did my parents let me do such a thing!? At least I was eating salad….? I guess…


Jennifer Kardian February 20, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Our California Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup = high vibe, for sure. Ours starts with four pounds of fresh, California tomatoes that are sun dried for every 16 oz. bottle. Sun drying the tomatoes in the fields of our family farm allows us to amp up the tomato power in this classic condiment, creating a rich, flavorful ketchup unlike anything you’ve tried before.

With less sugar and sodium than traditional ketchup and more real tomatoes (more lycopene!), our better tasting California Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup has received rave reviews. At last month’s Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, a panel of “trendspotters” identified “dressed up condiments” as one of five major food trends for 2014.

May we send you some to try?


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