Shopping at Trader Joe’s is an experience to say the least. It’s a great environment, the employees are the friendliest ever, and the prices can’t be beat. My mom always jokes that Trader Joe’s would be the perfect husband because it always comes through with exactly what she needs.
Other than local farms and farmer’s markets, it’s my go to store for healthy, weekly groceries. When shopping at Trader Joe’s, though, we do have to take extra care to read ingredient labels. Despite the fact that many believe everything that TJs sells is healthy and organic, this isn’t always the case.
Trader Joe’s is notorious for their non-disclosure when it comes to sourcing. They rely on private label products and their sources and suppliers are incredibly hard to track down without the use of a third party verification system; their suppliers perform the research and provide documentation to TJs to ensure their products come from non-GMO sources. Without a verification system, though, can we entirely trust this? Furthermore, TJs is “unable to confirm that animal products (meat, dairy and some farmed fish) sold under the Trader Joe’s label are raised on only non-GMO feed.”
It is for this reason that I, for the most part, stick to their products that are certified organic and avoid the ones that contain corn, soy, sugar, and other GMO approved crops.
Here are some of my favorite Trader Joe’s products that I buy on a regular basis (image)
- Plain Yogurt and Half and Half are two dairy staples that I almost always get from TJs, mainly for the price. When it comes to yogurt, I always opt for plain and full fat to cut back on the suger.
- Cheese! I love their New Zealand Grass Fed Cheddar and their Unexpected Parmesan. Their pre-sliced cheeses are also a great – they’re as convenient as grated cheese (and great on burgers!), but without the wood pulp additive, cellulose. It’s a good middle ground – not organic, but not full of additives.
- There’s a ton of Wild Caught Fish at TJs; I typically rotate between wild shrimp, wild salmon, and wild swordfish. Definitely read the labels to make sure the fish you get isn’t from the radiation-filled Asia-Pacific regions.
- Their Organic Brown Rice Pasta it’s the best gluten free pasta for the value ($1.99), by far. The texture is great and it tastes almost like “real” pasta.
- TJ’s Breads, like their baguettes and ciabatta, are fresh, made with 5 or less ingredients, and usually don’t contain any bleach or food additives.
- Raw Nuts, Nut Butters, and Seeds are abundant and priced right at TJs.
- Trader Joe’s has a great selection of Coffee. Most of it is organic or fair trade, and I love that there’s always a different one to sample.
- Their Coconut Oil is organic and cold pressed – and you can’t find it cheaper at $5.99.
- Flowers always find their way into my cart: $3.99 for a bunch is a steal to add some freshness to our apartment.
Do You Shop at Trader Joe’s? What Are Some of Your TJs Staples?