Epic Health

Super Healthy Food We Buy At Costo

So I’m often asked “Where do you buy your food?” Well when I first started this journey in January 2004, organic food was pretty scarce in Memphis, TN. Now (thank the Lord on high) it is much easier to find.

We shop at various places like Whole Foods aka “Whole Paycheck”, Kroger, Fresh Market, and local Farmer’s Markets. And my wife Micah does a pretty good job of keeping up with which store carries what, and who has better prices, etc.

A couple years ago we discovered that Costco has a great selection of organic food and health food. So I thought it would be fun and helpful to take pictures of the super healthy food we buy at Costco on a regular basis.

Now from what I understand, different Costco stores carry different things, so your Costco may not have everything that mine does. Regardless, if you haven’t yet, you should definitely check out your local Costco to see what they have. Take some time to stroll the grocery aisles. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Note: I am a huge advocate of buying local organic produce from family farms, but the reality is that most of these items are just not available at my local farmers market, especially in the winter. Also I am not being compensated in any way to endorse Costco.

Here’s a sampling of what we buy at our local Costco:

Organic Carrots For Juicing! This is the same brand that we used to buy at Whole Foods,
only cheaper.

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Organic Spring Mix for my Giant Cancer Fighting Salads

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Organic Baby Spinach. Another salad staple. Also great in fruit smoothies.
Spinach is pretty bland and doesn’t affect the taste of smoothies.
It’s an easy one to sneak in, if your kids drink fruit smoothies.

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Organic frozen Mixed Berries: Blueberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries.
A key ingredient of my Anti-Cancer Smoothie!
Sometimes this mix also contains strawberries. Other times they have big bags of organic strawberries that I buy separately.

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Sometimes they only have these huge bags of frozen Organic Wild Blueberries.
Hey I’ll take what I can get!

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And here’s some frozen Organic Dark Sweet Cherries.
Great for smoothies in the winter when they are in season.

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Big bags of frozen Organic Broccoli Florets. I mainly put this in smoothies.
I prefer fresh broccoli for salads.

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Creamy Roasted Almond Butter. Ok it’s not organic, but still, it’s great to see almond butter at Costco. Also it’s not raw, but don’t be afraid of roasting…

According to this peer-reviewed study, roasting almonds doubled the antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds in almond skins, better than freeze drying or oven drying. Also raw organic almonds and almond butter can be crazy expensive. So yes, sometimes I buy non-organic roasted almond butter.

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Raw Hemp Seed! I completely lost it when I first saw this at Costco last year.
Whoever is in charge of their grocery merchandising is my new hero. Hemp truly is a superfood. It is arguably the best source of plant-based protein on earth, plus it has the perfect ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids at 4:1. Three tablespoons gives you 11 grams of protein. Shelled hemp seeds are very soft and the taste reminds me of sunflower seeds. And although hemp seeds cannot get you high, it is still illegal to grow them in the US, so most hemp is imported form Canada, including this brand. Hemp seeds are great to put in smoothies, oatmeal, and the Budwig CCFO (Cottage Cheese Flax Oil) mixture.

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Organic Flax Seed Powder Flax seed is a terrific source of omega 3′s, fiber and protein.
I put this smoothies too, and it’s also great for oatmeal and CCFO.

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USDA Organic unfiltered cold-pressed Coconut Oil.  YEEEESSSS!
This is a new addition to my local Costco. I saw it for the first time a couple months ago.
Usually a 16oz jar is like $12 bucks. This is a 54oz jar for $16 bucks!
We cook with it, put it in smoothies, eat it by the spoonful, put it on our skin, you can even use it as deodorant.
If you are like, “Coconuts?”  Read my post on coconuts here.

IMG_4444

 

USDA Certified Organic Gala and Fuji Apples. About $9 for 12 apples.
Cool. Throw ‘em in the cart.

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USDA Organic Brown Basmati Rice in large bags. Yes I’ll take some of that, thank you.

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And just a few feet away: Organic Sprouted Rice and Quinoa Blend. Super yes.

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California Pomegranates 6 for $12.99. That’s actually a good price. Poms be expensive!
Also I don’t worry about them not being organic because I don’t eat the skins.

See this post for which produce to always buy organic.

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For the meat eaters…

Wild Alaskan Copper River Sockeye Salmon
This is pretty much the only fish I eat. $9 per pound is a very good price.
Notice I took this photo in 2011, little did I know that it would take me a year and a half to
get around to doing this post. Sheesh.

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Oh and check this out: Farm Raised Salmon on the left, Wild-Caught Salmon on the right.

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Um yeah, definitely go with wild-caught.

Here’s a fun experiment, cook them side-by-side and do a taste test.
You will be amazed at the taste difference and will never buy farm-raised fish again.
I wrote a post all about the horribleness of farm-raised fish here.


And now a word from our sponsor:

TANG
Tang is a delicious nutritious powder drink that comes in a can.
Being natural is important. That’s why Tang comes in “natural orange flavor”.
Even though tang does not contain any real oranges, Tang gives you all the nutrition
you need to keep you feeling your best in your busy modern lifestyle.
Enjoy Tang with breakfast or anytime day or night. Also available at Costco.

IMG_4427


If you didn’t catch it, that last one was a joke.

;)

(((c)))

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  • Nancy Bengtson

    i freaked at the last one! you got me :) thanks for a great article! I didn’t realize you are also a Memphian. I wonder if you’re aware of the many great co ops we have available? Bulk Naturals foods and Azure Standard are my favorites. yahoo group Memphis_Co-op and wapf memphis as well. Hope to see you “around”!

    • http://none paul taylor

      Hi Chris I live not very far from you in northeast arkansas !! I think your site is such an awsome place!!!!Have you not ever been told about the power of Black Raspberries to cure and prevent cancer? Check it out online there is much reasearch about them.They even make a pure cream made of pure extract to use and a powder to eat on foods.With all the other stuff thats done naturally to stop cancer Black Raspberries together with all the others foods sure is a real power house of help.I don’t have cancer and hope i never do.I do have a terrible sinus condition !!! Thanks paul Taylor

  • Denisa

    Lol Chris, I kept rereading the last one until I read the line about it being a joke! Good one!! Wishing you and your family all the best in the New Year!

  • Gretchen

    I about fliped when I read about the Tang! Good one Chris, good one!!! LOL

  • Kathy

    Nice trick at the last picture. :)

  • Tara

    I was so jazzed when I discovered that our Costco started carrying Organic Coconut oil last week. YES! And for us – it around 18$ Canadian….but that’s way better than the 30 or more $ a health food store charges for that same size container.
    Truly – a blessing. We have 8 in our family.

  • Lewis D.

    The link to your coconuts post is not operational…but I just had some tang and now I feel great!

  • Maggie

    ok, you had me going for a second with the tang…. Question: do you wash your organic salad before you eat it?

  • http://myhealthcare.com Kevin Duraj

    I buy those carrots regularly, I hope they are organic because the price of Organic carrots is the best at Costco.

  • Amalia Tran

    Always shopping at Costco. I also get the frozen pineapple, organic frozen green beans (very cheap), when available organic raspberry, they also have this great veggie burger in the refrigerator section not frozen. They also have this cracker that is all natural everything good for you, don’t have a sample of the name but it’s great to eat with guacomole. Too much to mention.

  • Nicki

    Tang!!!! That’s hilarious!!! Found the hemp seed and coconut oil recently! Can’t get enough of it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rifedigital Sundaram

    GREAT PRACTICAL ARTICLE….do more like this plz!

  • Julia

    I really appreciate the work you put into this posting. We don’t have Costco in TX, but we do have Sam’s Clubs. I will keep my eyes open for more organics when shopping in stores.

    • Elaine

      Julia, we do have Costco in TX but maybe just not near you. Mine is about 15 minutes from our home (DFW area) and I’m there at least once a week buying much of what Chris posted. The coconut oil floored me the first time I saw it. I had to check that it was actually stating it was unrefined, etc . . . so great for that amazing price!

    • Susan

      We have 2 Costco’s in the Austin area. Think I might have to take a stroll thru there now. Had no idea they carried so much.

    • Hannah

      We have Costco in Houston too! I just have yet to get there. .

  • Melissa

    I went to Costco today after reading this post and stocked up on some of these little gems :). Thanks for posting I never really looked past the organic fresh veggies because I didn’t think they would have any of this kind of stuff!

  • claudia

    Okay I’ve just gotta say – this is my first time visiting your site and I was feeling like I was wholeheartedly agreeing with all your food choices (and thinking, “Hm. I should make a trip to Costco soon”) when the Tang came up and I was left saying, “what?!?!” … until I read your message at the end of it. Don’t do that! LOL. You’ve got a great site – I’m excited to check out your story and the info you’ve provided. :)

  • Natalie

    Hi Chris,
    I was wondering if the organic frozen broccoli is from the USA? I live in Chicago and the organic frozen broccoli at my local Costco came from China….said it right on the back of the bag!! Can you believe….China! So needless to say we stopped using it.

    Blessings to you,
    Natalie

    • http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com Chris Wark

      Wow. That’s a long way for broccoli to travel.
      This particular brand is USDA certified organic and sourced from farms in Equador and Mexico.

    • barb

      That’s right and one should be a bit cautious. For there is MUCH coal burning goings on there as well as other toxic chemicaling. Many frozen and/or canned organic fruits as well, are from China. I would LOVE to get a test on the contents to discover how many toxic chemicals *or not are in these foods.

  • http://www.jeffsbesthemp.com Jeffrey Von Stetten

    Wow! I seriously did not realize they’d expanded their organic section this much. This is like 90% of all I eat!!!I just had a fellow co packer tell me that they had hemp seeds at Costco but I didn’t believe her. By any chance did it list the country of origin? All the ones we lab tested from china had traces of metals or pesticides, but if these are from Canada then Costco got the hookup.

    • http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com Chris Wark

      Yep from Canada :)

  • Terri

    I too couldn’t believe my eyes about the Tang!! Was just about ready to call my husband here and tell him. You found a way to get our attention realy quick!!

  • Charlie

    Thanks for the great List. I live north of Seattle, and we only have about half of the stuff on your list. Maybe you can update the article sometime with the Costco SKU numbers on the products, which will aid those of us who need to put in a suggestion that our Costco carry those products. Thank you Chris.

  • Michelle

    Hahaha!! I knew the last 1 was a joke… Made me laugh! :D I also buy exactly all those organic items from Costco!! Love Costco for organic foods for our green smoothies and everything good and healthy!! You’re right on Chris! I have been a follower of you for years! Thank you for all your hard work and keep it up!!!
    Michelle :)
    Olio. Brain Tumor 3 times since 23…fighting this fight strong with no chemo at 32 now! Yaaaa!!! Go Organics!

  • Syreeta Jayne

    Great post, thanks for the tips! I need to look for the coconut oil for sure!

    Another little gem I’ve found at my local Costco is Kerrygold butter! While not organic, it is grass fed with no antibiotics or hormones. Oh, and it’s $6.79 for a box of 3 (you’d pay $10 or more at Whole foods for the same amount)!!!

  • jeanne

    Thanks Chris for the update on the items available. I stopped shopping there when the company itself – not just the owners came out against family values. As my own personal boycott (yes, I wrote the company), I stopped going there. I usually go to Sams and have found some great organic items but not as many as you’ve mentioned. I’ll take photos next time and we can compare notes. Honestly, I like Costco better but I have to follow my heart and convictions until I hear from the company and what they have to say about that. I know people will have opinions but I have my own as well. Thanks for his post. It keeps me mindful of what is available short of going to Whole Foods and swallowing up my whole grocery budget! Yeah!

    • http://www.allsaintsmemphis.otrg Bindy

      what does “against family values mean?

  • It

    Chris, you have been and still are my hero and favorite guru!

  • dave

    everthing but the tang

  • David

    My God, how I miss Southern California. When I had to return to Texas to take care of my mother, I had two lemon trees going full speed, and had sucessfully sprouted a Wonderful variety Pomegranate tree from my friend Linda’s backyard tree on the coast. (I was living in the desert at the time). I’ll never know if my pomegranate tree made it, unless I get to move back to Palm Springs someday. :)

  • Kris

    I love Tang !! TY for the great info .!

  • Orlando

    I always kid around that I am still detoxing from all the Tang I drank back in the 70′s, when I saw that picture I hade flash backs! I believe that was one of the items that caused me to get cancer later in life along with King Vitamin cereal! Lol

    I went to Costco 2 weeks ago and saw the very same items you posted, I was pleased but was hoping for more items, but it was good to see the items that I like. Thank you Chris, keep up the great work, Orlando (multiple cancer survivor)

  • Susan

    Hi Chris,
    Thank you so much for that list!! I have been skipping a lot of aisles at Costco as I never knew they carried Organic anything!! I just ordered the vitamin C powder that you take and love it. Please keep posting on what you are doing to keep healthy. We really appreciate it..Susan

  • Kerry Cumberbatch

    Hi Chris,I wish our Costco, the only one here in Melbourne, Australia had all of this! How fantastic. Also wish Wholefoods would decide Australia would be a good place to start up.Thanks for your blog.
    Regards,Kerry

  • Monica Jaynes

    The crackers are Mary’s Gone Crackers, rice with chia seeds, great with organic red pepper hummus, Pita brand, also at Costco….love it! I get 10 lbs organic carrots for $5.99.

  • Sigrid Stroes

    Bothered, however, by the magnitude of packaging of the products you recommend. I believe we have to heal not only ourselves, but also our environment. Unfortunately all the salad packagings are not recyclable — no market for this plastic.

  • Kelly

    I’ve picked up frozen organic peaches at costco recently – mmmm, so yummy in my smoothies!

  • DK Hailey

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • cassandra moore

    Chris, thanks for the heads up on Costco. I don’t know if you are familiar with Belewa Bayette (raw vegan gourmet) who once worked out of Sean’s Cafe on Union ave. Maybe you in came while I was working along side him serving food. Belewa has opened his own restaurant at the corner of Overton Park and Watkins, near the old Sears building.

  • David Neese

    The bunny love brand of carrots and baby carrots at Costco is organic. The Cordova Farmers market carries non-organic Bunny Love brand carrots.

    I got flagged at Costco for being a juicer for buying so many carrots.

    I don’t know if it is helpful but i also buy raw almonds and walnuts at Costco.

  • Vanesa

    wow! Your are blessed, our Cost-co on the Central Coast in Cali does not have this great a selection of organic. I hope our buyers get better.

  • Karen

    Chris,
    Are all these items at Costco Certified Organic? There seems to be some hype in the news lately that a lot of markets are selling food that is labeled organic when in fact it is not. The industry does not send out certification police to keep tabs on these.

  • Silvia

    I have to disagree with you all cheering up here for COSTCO & alike.. read between the lines.

    Every time you shop at Costco,you fight against True Organic,you are giving power to big corporations,which will get honest small farms out of business -they drive prices down, and that ends up profiting primarily the large suppliers, and at the cost of quality…in the long run..we all lose here….

    If we don’t understand this simple math..we can’t complain at consequences.Whilst low prices are appealing, they cost in the long run. They cost in quality and selection. Low prices forced by huge buyers result in mono-culture and virtual slavery of producers. … We need to face the reality of the full effects of our purchasing.
    I really wish people understood,that we ,people ,have the power to change things for better,& preserve organic farming,but playing their game will cost us all.

    ”Real organic food is not mass produced. It’s grown lovingly in fields small enough for a family—a real family, not a bunch of corporate hacks—to manage.

    It isn’t grown to corporate pressure’s demands. When it is, then the quality is destroyed”….

    great article below

    http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2011-10-10/the-green-polka-dot-box-is-not-truly-organic-theyre-and-astroturfed-walmart/

    • http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com Chris Wark

      Thank you for your input Silvia.

      My mission here is two-fold:
      1) To alert people to the dangers of conventional cancer treatments.
      2) To encourage people to take control of their health, which includes eating clean organic whole foods that can help the body heal and prevent disease.

      One of the reasons this blog is popular is because I don’t get on a high horse about what I think or make people feel judged for what they are currently doing.

      I’m a real person with a family and like I said in the post, we buy food from a variety of places, farmers markets, Whole Foods, Kroger, Fresh Market and Costco.

      Yes growing your own food or buying it all straight from the farmer is ideal, but it is not practical or possible for many people depending on where they live or their station in life. If we bought all of our food straight from farmers, grocery shopping would literally take us an entire day of driving from one farm to the next to get it all. And for some it takes a lot of extra time and effort that they just don’t have.

      I choose to meet people where they are at.
      If that means buying organic healthy food instead of junk food at Costco or Walmart, then that is an excellent start.

      I do agree with you that if the USDA organic designation is redefined then we will have a real problem.

  • JoCarole

    Chris, I love your newletters, great info. But to be honest, the last time I looked at the label on Tang it was full of chemicals, so I am surprised this may made the list.

    • http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com Chris Wark

      Thanks JoCarole,
      The bit about Tang was a joke, clearly stated under the photo. :)

      • http://none paul taylor

        Hey Chris Tang dose actually contain Vitamin C LOL I think if tang were drank by people there sure are worse processed drinks out there.I know it was a joke but i wonder how many jars were bought from your post.I don’t buy orange juice i just eat oranges lve them. and I tell people about your site.I hear about people suffering with cancer i really have to tell them.Thanks paul

  • Trinity

    I suppose it’s a little late in commenting on this article but I’m going to anyways.

    First, I’d like to say I appreciate your blog and I’ve been passing it along to many (In the last three weeks I’ve had several close friends, or close friend’s family members diagnosed when some form of cancer) and they’ve now shared it with their loved ones too. Thank you!

    I agreed with both you and Silvia on different points.

    Of course buying locally from a farmer is the ideal way to go but when it’s not an option I would recommend instead of just buying “organic” or even “USDA organic” when possible opt for products labeled with “NON-GMO project verified” Non-gmo food has to be organic. “Organic” doesn’t always mean non-gmo. Why gmo-free? Just google “rats fed monsanto gmo corn”

    Thought for food:
    http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5090396

  • http://www.msminimal.com Ms. Minimal

    I’m going to run, not walk, to my nearest Costco. I had no idea that they carried so many healthy options. Thank you for all of this valuable info. I picked up a can of the organic Garden of Eden raw protein powder & will be giving it a try tomorrow.

    I’ll pass on the tang. :)

  • Tanya

    This is so funny because I just posted a 4 picture collage of my organic finds in Costco on facebook! Everyone always complains that organic is expensive, so I wanted everyone to know it available and affordable if you just look a little harder.

  • Raw

    Go raw food and you will beat your cancer in no time!

  • Bob E

    …and don’t forget the Kirkland ORGANIC Extra Virgin Olive Oil! I Googled Kirkland Olive Oil and found 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.” This quote came from an article “5 Things You Should Buy at Costco” from CBS Moneywatch. If you click the link “The Olive Center,” then “What We Do,” then under ‘Reports’ click on “Tests Indicate That Imported ‘Extra Virgin’ Olive Oil Often Fails International and USDA Standards,” you should be able to find the .pdf report. No, I don’t take a lot of what I find in the news seriously because most of it is commentary not news…but I take my health seriously enough to chase down all the information on organic and non-GMO foods that I can get.

  • Ariane

    Just did a google search for best things to buy at Costco and was glad to find your list. Looking forward to trying some new things. I live in Memphis and got a little kick out of seeing it mentioned in your first paragraph.

  • Heathur

    You lost all credibility with me with the Tang.. thank goodness it was a joke! :) yay to Canada and our Hemp!

  • Torii

    I just (GRATEFULLY) lost an hour of my life on your page. These posts are wonderful, and you’re too freakin’ funny. Thanks so much for all the great info!

    PS. It’s totally okay I “wasted” an hour because I’m at work. Gettin’ paid to get educated. hehe

  • Diane

    Love the info and still laughing about the TANG!

  • http://Cosco Dottie

    Why is the organic brocolli that Cosco sells imported from China? I have been buying that for an entire year now and today I finally see the boxes they come in! I never noticed the imported from China on the bags. I only noticed the USDA graded organic stamp! I will never buy that brocolli again! I hope my family’s health doesn’t suffer from my lack of reading the labels better. Shame on Cosco!!!!!

    • http://none paul taylor

      All I can say oh!! China is the most polluted country on earth how dirty of costco to offer that as organic its not even good enought to be eaten by animals wow!Yes read labels i sure do.And some labels i don’t even trust what I read.Whats to keep a produce company that gets a huge shipment of apples from china to replace the bags they were in or however they were packed and put them in new bags that sat USA Organic Apples very possible,

  • http://google Heather Sanford

    Thanks so much!! We need to buy bulk foods but I want to stick to organic foods. Your post helped me make the decision to join Costco tomorrow!! Thanks a million!!!

    Hugs,
    heather

  • Beverly

    I just opened a Costco membership because they ARE family values friendly….paying a decent wage and closed on Thanksgiving. Walmart in Ohio set up an in store food depository to “help out their needy employees”. Really, Walmart? Pay your employees subpar wages then ask them to feed each other. Sick.

  • http://wwwadifferentway-rebecca.blogspot.com/ Rebecca Cody

    You can also get good deals on Vitamix and the other powerful blender – is it K-Tec? I think they changed the name = but they demo them from time to time.

  • Rusti

    I was looking for the “USDA” (on Tang??)…I thought Hmmmm…you got me! LOL I do find things in Food Lion too..(the only market near me :)… but, when I get to Costco, I will be looking there now..Thanks Chris!

  • carolyn matos

    Not only is Chris knowledgeable as hell, he has a great sense of humor! pretty cool punch lines throughout the blog

  • Love from Toronto

    Wow this is really useful! Thank-you for posting this!

  • minimags

    It’s very disappointing for me living in Manchester UK to find our Costco sells NO organic fresh or frozen produce and none of the other organic stuff you’ve listed. Infact, their Kirkland organic salsa jar has sugar in it so :( That’s about the only organic thing they do. They don’t even sell coconut oil. Perhaps no one in Manchester shopping at Costco wants organic…I shop at an independent local wholefoods grocery where they sell ALL organic fruit and veg and 90% organic other vegan produce so I’m blessed but it would be nice to get non-farmed salmon at Costco at the very least!

Hi there!

My name is Chris Wark.
I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2003, at 26 years old.
I had surgery, but refused chemo.
Instead I used nutrition and natural therapies to heal myself.
By the grace of God, I'm alive and kicking, and cancer-free!

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