Trader Joes Moms A Lunch Community <![CDATA[ UN-Sustainable!]]>
In fact, I started shopping there more than 20 years. Very friendly employees, fun & colorful packaging, easy to handle and perfect for bachelor/ettes & college students, loooow prices, and kitchy titles on self-branded items.

But my boyfriend & I no longer patron them. This is why: Processed foods from far away places (talk about 1500 miles from farm to table; transporting foods is a huge source of global warming); loads & loads of packaging; heavy use of palm oil in every one of their desserts and other products (unless it specifies "sustainable certified", palm oil is the #1 reason for deforestation, esp in Indonesia where orangutans are going extinct); fake "dolphin safe" tuna from Indonesia (false labeling, only one dolphin safe tuna is guaranteed:; and harmful toxic products in nearly all of their beauty goods.

I've sent a letter about the palm oil, talked to more than 3 store managers at 3 of their W LA stores about packaging and toxic beauty product materials...but more customers need to speak up.

Trader Joes never claimed to be an eco-friendly store, but I think most of its shoppers would be shocked to find out just how Un-sustainable they are. I do wonder if they could use some guidance at their corporate office, e.g., a sustainability coordinator?

So until some effort's been made on their part to step green, we'll continue to use their hardy tote bags (made from non-organic cotton), but that's where our buck stops at TJ's.]]> Wed, 23 Mar 2011 21:09:26 +0000
<![CDATA[Trader Joe's Quick Tip by Clay_Miller]]> Mon, 28 Feb 2011 19:02:13 +0000 <![CDATA[ Yum]]> Fri, 25 Feb 2011 03:47:48 +0000 <![CDATA[Trader Joe's Quick Tip by Bethany_K]]> Fri, 7 Jan 2011 15:13:24 +0000 <![CDATA[Trader Joe's Quick Tip by Davidd]]> Mon, 15 Mar 2010 17:02:12 +0000 <![CDATA[Trader Joe's Quick Tip by sarahcooley]]> Tue, 9 Mar 2010 22:18:16 +0000 <![CDATA[Trader Joe's Organic Rice Drink Quick Tip by GlutenFreeAli]]> Thu, 4 Mar 2010 05:55:58 +0000 <![CDATA[ Trader Joe's - A Vegetarian and Vegan Friendly Grocery Store]]>
Now that I am back on the West Coast again, my local Trader Joe's is again a sane destination. That said, it's still the same products and friendly customer service that I experienced first in California and last in New York.

As a lifelong vegetarian, and more recently as a vegan, it is vastly important that I am able to find products that are free of meat, dairy and eggs. Although Trader Joe's does cater to omnivores they pretty consistently cater to everyone else, too. This is so much the case that their website has downloadable .pdfs listing the products that are appropriate for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, fat free, low-sodium and kosher diets. They also have a list for those on the run and needing a quick meal.

While a typical Trader Joe's store is smaller than the average sized suburban grocery, they do have a large number and variety of products. Many of their products are extremely competitive in price compared to other grocery stores. One example product that we almost always choose to purchase at Trader Joe's instead of other stores is Soy Garden, a vegan butter alternative. It is typically $1 - $2 cheaper than if we were to purchase it elsewhere. They also sell non-food products like Dr. Bronner's castile soap. I always buy the 32 oz. sized bottle, and it is often close to $14 or $15/bottle. At Trader Joe's the same bottle will go for about $8 or $9.

Their bakery is also impressive. They carry a lot of artisan-type breads like sourdough boules, as well as rolls, hamburger buns and sweet breads like muffins. These are all usually reasonably priced around the $2 - $4 range. Not all breads are vegan, so be sure to read the labels for eggs or milk.

I don't normally purchase a lot of alcohol from Trader Joe's but even in just perusing that section of the store, it's obvious that they have a wide variety of low-priced, but decent quality wine and beer. They also sell their famously inexpensive Charles Shaw wine, a.k.a. "Two Buck Chuck" - which, obviously, goes for $2/bottle (in doing a little research on the internet I am seeing conflicting information about whether or not their Two Buck Chuck is vegan-friendly, however - some wineries use animal products in the filtration process).

All of that said, as another reviewer pointed out, their produce section is probably the most lacking and overpriced. Bananas have to be purchased not by the pound, but rather by the individual fruit which is often more expensive. I was also surprised recently that they were selling New York apples in Washington state. It would seem that they would attempt to sell local produce when available over shipping in the same product from across the country.

This is probably my only real gripe with them. Even though their products are high quality overall, they still do not focus as much as I would like on local products. This would probably make the most sense in their produce department, however there are many local packaged products (like spices, for example) that they could offer exclusively to specific regions of the country.

Overall I am a big fan of Trader Joe's, and recommend that if you have one near you to go check it out. You're likely to find yourself something that compliments your diet and your wallet.]]> Sat, 27 Feb 2010 22:24:42 +0000
<![CDATA[Trader Joe's "Just Mango Slices" Quick Tip by EcoMama]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2009 01:24:30 +0000 <![CDATA[ I should pitch a tent in this place!]]> Seriously, if I could I would live there, after all - not a meal goes by without something from Trader Joe's! I don't know how this happened, but first we went to Trader Joe's rarely, on occasion, and we bought very few things there - mostly because of the mentality that if these things are healthier and a lot of them organic - it is more expensive to shop there. That is what we thought until we really started comparing prices with our usual grocery store. To our dismay (!) it was less expensive to shop at Joe's, not to mention that most things sold there you simply can't get anywhere else!

Now it is our primary grocery store despite the fact that there is no convenient location nearby and the closest one is half an hour away. While not everything is cheap, we found things that work for us and most Trader Joes brand items are very inexpensive and often cheaper than their unhealthy and artificial counterparts elsewhere.

This place is also great for vegans or people with food allergies. After discovering that our infant has a milk protein allergy I had to go on a dairy free diet, Trader Joe's consumer friendly labeling makes this a lot easier!

I highly recommend this store if you are looking for inexpensive organic foods or things that simply don't have 'foreign' ingredients that should not be present in food in the first place.

Here is a TJ obsession video that portrays how I feel:

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