What Is Trader Joe’s Hiding?

The answer to that question is easy – A LOT.

A family member does this little game with me and it happens over and over. After trying a bite of something that looks homemade, I say, “Mmm where did you get this from?” and she says, “Don’t worry, it’s from Trader Joe’s, so it’s organic.” The fact that people assume all products from Trader Joe’s are organic or healthy or better than what you would find elsewhere is an alarming misconception.

For the last several months, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Trader Joe’s. Many people are questioning the grocery store chain’s policies on genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs) and asking if I personally trust their statements about the use of GMOs in their store brand products – my short answer is no, I don’t.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE shopping at Trader Joe’s. It’s fun, the employees are super nice and helpful and it’s a pleasant experience. However, they won’t share any information with us and are completely cloaked in secrecy regarding their business practices, which makes my head want to explode.

Trader Joe’s Official GMO Statement:

Our approach to Genetically Modified Organisms is simple: we do not allow GMO ingredients in our private label products (anything with Trader Joe’s, Trader Jose’s, Trader Ming’s, etc. on the label).

 

Given what Trader Joe’s tells us about their GMO policy, we should trust them, right? Or are we trusting them just like many consumers trusted Naked Juice, Tostitos, Kashi, Gold Fish, Barbara’s Bakery, etc. who are or have been faced with lawsuits finding suspected GMOs in their so-called “natural” products?

During my research, I found out there is no regular independent third party certifier verifying their products are non-GMO on a regular basis at Trader Joe’s. It is completely up to Trader Joe’s product supply team to regulate GMOs from suppliers – not the Non-GMO Project or the USDA (for organics) that requires a high level of standards and third party testing before stating a product can be deemed free of GMOs. If there are complaints about a product, Trader Joe’s will conduct verification with a secret third party that they won’t disclose, but it’s completely up to the consumer to alert Trader Joe’s with a complaint.

In fact, Trader Joe’s stated that their products “don’t allow for auditing using the Non-GMO Project because there is an additional cost associated with that.” A representative from Trader Joe’s went on to say, “We tend to not label our products a whole lot, and won’t until there is a government regulation to understand what non-GMO even means, we aren’t going to label products that don’t have specific FDA guidelines.” So this begs the question – what does non-GMO mean to Trader Joe’s? Are they making up their own definition because they claim they don’t have direction from a governmental official?

I reached out to the Executive Director of the Non-GMO Project, Megan Westgate, to find why Trader Joe’s refuses to become Non-GMO certified. This is what she said:

“The Non-GMO Project has reached out to Trader Joe’s a number of times over the years, and we remain hopeful that at some point we will be able to forge a meaningful partnership with them. To date, it has been very difficult to ascertain the credibility of their non-GMO claims. We know that many consumers believe Trader Joe’s to be a GMO-free store, but without transparent standards or third-party verification this is impossible to confirm. Many other retailers–independent grocers, co-ops, and Whole Foods Market–are leading the way by requiring rigorous testing and labeling, and it would be great to see Trader Joe’s follow suit.”

TraderJoesProductsGMOs

Trader Joe’s says they review affidavits (the documents that prove an ingredient is not made or contaminated with GMOs) from their suppliers who make their store branded products, but there is no way to verify this. I asked Trader Joe’s if they would send me an affidavit showing proof of non-GMO corn or soy in at least one of their products that wasn’t labeled certified organic and they refused saying, “Unfortunately we don’t share those documents, they are confidential.” They wouldn’t even tell me what country some of the products were produced in either as they do not provide “country of origin” labeling.

I find the denial of my request maddening, considering I requested a similar affidavit from Honest Tea, who is owned by Coca Cola, and they completely complied and sent me the information with the confidential suppliers name blacked out. Heineken Beer also provided their affidavits when I asked them to prove to me they use no genetically modified ingredients in their beer.

Furthermore, when I reached out to the Director of the Cornucopia Institute (the top organic industry watchdog group), Mark Kastel, he stated:

“It is very hard to figure out sourcing with Trader Joe’s.  They heavily depend on private label products which are based on secrecy.  We have said that private-label organics is an “oxymoron.”  Organic consumers want to know “the story behind their food.”  They want to know where it was produced, how it was produced, how the animals and workers involved have been treated, etc.  None of that is possible with Trader Joe’s. Unlike the majority of all responsible brand marketers in organics they have refused to participate in our research studies and are thus rated very poorly on our scorecards that critique dairy foods, eggs and soy foods (etc.)”

 

We have the right to know where our food comes from and what’s in it and Trader Joe’s is refusing to give us this information.

They don’t want us to know which suppliers they are using because it would upset consumers and their suppliers if we knew the truth. For example, Stoneyfield supplies yogurt for Trader Joe’s and Stacey’s (owned by Pepsi) supplies their pita chips. Because Trader Joe’s maintains a limited supply of products, they can buy many of the same items in bulk from different suppliers keeping costs low, which is fabulous, but this comes at a cost of not actually knowing who is manufacturing our food. They keep it secret because the companies they work with, like Stacey’s, don’t want you to know that you can buy their pita chips two dollars less at Trader Joe’s under a private label. This is how Trader Joe’s has become so successful, growing at a faster pace than Whole Foods.

Trader Joes Same Company

There is another disappointing side effect of not knowing where your food comes from because if you are like me and boycott certain companies because of their business practices, it is extremely hard to vote with your dollars and know which products to buy and support. For this reason, if you want to REALLY vote with your dollars, you seriously need to consider what you are buying at Trader Joe’s. 

I have a hard time trusting a company that is not willing to show their affadavits to a customer or prove that their products are in fact GMO free. Trader’s Joe’s won’t spend any of their 8 billion dollars in sales to test and prove their products safe. And they won’t tell us what companies they work with to develop their products or what countries their ingredients come from. Have you noticed that every single Trader Joe’s branded product has “DIST & SOLD EXCLUSIVELY BY: TRADER JOE’S MONROVIA, CA 91016″ written on the back? I hope we are smart enough to know the entire line of Trader Joe’s products aren’t all really from California.

label

Since Trader Joe’s does provide a price point that is unrivaled, I can see the financial benefit to shopping there, but not much else. Their fruits and vegetables are usually flown in from half way across the world, packaged in lots of plastic, providing little to no local produce (at least in my store here in Charlotte, NC). This means you could be eating nutritionally degraded produce. I have been a victim to this more than once when I bought produce that I didn’t know was less than stellar and it went bad super fast in my fridge compared to the local produce I get from my farmer or buy from other grocery stores.

Considering Trader Joe’s total lack of transparency, there’s only a limited list of products I would personally trust from Trader Joe’s, here’s what I would buy and not buy:

WHAT TO BUY AT TRADER JOE’S

  • Certified organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds
  • Certified organic branded Trader Joe’s products (USDA certified), for example their organic popcorn made with olive oil is a good choice
  • Certified organic milk products
  • Certified organic coffee and teas (like Yogi tea)
  • Certified organic frozen goods like frozen berries
  • Some conventional items on occasion (like kimchi) that do not have high-risk GMO crop ingredients like corn, soy, cottonseed, papaya, sugar, canola, zucchini/squash (here’s a full list of potential GMO ingredients)
  • Paper products – they use environmentally friendly practices and recycled paper

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WHAT NOT TO BUY AT TRADER JOE’S

  • Charles Shaw Wine, otherwise known as “2 buck chuck” – It’s so poor in quality, some experts call this stuff “grape-flavored soda” and compare it to what “Ronald McDonald is to the cheeseburger.” This wine is not made in a winery rather, “this wine is made in a factory, with a lot of synthetic and concentrated products, like grape musk, added to manipulate the flavors from bad grapes.” (Stick to organic wine with no detected or added sulfites)
  • Non-Trader Joe’s brands that likely contain GMO ingredients like Simply Lite, Reddi Egg, Dare, Orangina, The Laughing Cow, Morningstar, Toffutti, Think Thin Bars, Toblerone, Kashi, Barbara’s Bakery, Annie Chun’s and Power Crunch
  • Trader Joe’s branded products or other processed products that contain high-risk GMO crop ingredients like corn, soy, cottonseed, papaya, sugar, canola, zucchini/squash (A majority of their products contain one or more of these ingredients, until they can be fully transparent, I would not trust them.)
  • Pre-packaged meals like sandwiches, salads, and sushi – many of these items contain ingredients you definitely don’t want to be eating,  like cellulose (wood pulp), or imitation crab meat. Additionally, there’s way too much sodium added to these meals and they can give you a serious case of water-weight bloat and bubble gut.
  • Trader Joe’s branded dairy, yogurt, or eggs, because they are likely produced from animals fed GMO corn and soy and can contain antibiotics
  • Non Trader Joe’s branded dairy, yogurt, or eggs because they could contain (cancer causing) rBST growth hormone, GMOs and antibiotics
  • Non-organic meat or dairy, Trader Joe’s still allows antibiotics and other harmful chemicals – like autolyzed yeast extract (a hidden form of MSG) in their meat.

The most important thing to remember when shopping at Trader Joe’s or anywhere else for that matter, is to read the ingredient lists. Trader Joe’s still allows harmful petroleum- based artificial coloring, artificial flavors, carrageenan, and other questionable ingredients to creep into their stores via other brands and this is something to definitely watch out for.

licorice

If you know someone who shops at Trader Joe’s, please share this post with them. Making smart decisions together is the only way we are going to change the secretive practices of the food industry.

Keep Your Chin Up!

Food Babe

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to get more info about what’s really in our food, personal updates from me and chances to win cool organic stuff.

 

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890 Responses to “What Is Trader Joe’s Hiding?”

  1. Biggy

    I never had so much troubles about what to eat. Suffering from lactose intolerance and fructose mal absorption it takes me hours to read all the labels and I still do not find products I can eat. Thinking that Trader Joe is a healthy store is just so not true. I tried to buy toast and not one single one that didn’t have sugar, honey, vinegar and about 25 other ingrediants who knows what. Bread needs exactly three things: wheat, yeast and water. Lots of products have high fructose corn syrup. There is a reason why there are so many fat Americans. I have never seen so many really extremely fat people as in the US. There must also be a reason why they are advertising all those cancer clinics on TV. This is frightening.

    Reply
    • Allisyn (to Biggy)

      Have you ever tried Ezekiel Bread? I heard it’s delicious and WAY better for you. Maybe you could give that a try? :)

      Reply
      • Ezekiel (to Allisyn)

        Have you ever looked at the directions for making Ezekiel Bread?

        “…and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man…” Eze 4.12

        - Bon Appetit

      • Jo Ellen (to Allisyn)

        look on the Wonder Mill flour mill site and you will find a NO FAIL recipe for Ezekiel bread that is wonderful!

    • Louise (to Biggy)

      …yes its like The Twilight Zone of the 60′s come to life…this is frightening…they want to take control of the people, threw our food supply…horror’s !!!…what will come of this…and what will stop it !!!???

      Reply
    • Brian (to Biggy)

      The only non-sugar added bread I have ever found was at Whole Foods, which is depressing.

      Reply
  2. Pauline

    I truly appreciate the information in this article because my family and I have been shopping at TJ for about three years. I am disappointed and outraged because for the past six years we have been extremely careful with the food we put on our table. In light of this information, our diligence has taken a set-back. I realize you cannot be naive whenever a claim is being made by corporations, large or small. There are family members, myself included, who have many food sensitivities with MSG being number one on the list. I agree, we do deserve to know what we are buying, what we are eating, and where does it come from, and TJ has fallen short on all three. We have taken the the time to know our local farmers in produce, dairy, and meats, and we thought TJ was among them. It has become quite evident that we treat TJ as a distant relative, twice removed from this point on. Once again, thank you so much for the article.

    Reply
    • Jana (to Pauline)

      I think you are find if you stick to TJ branded products and read labels. I love shopping there, but only buy TJ stuff – and organic when available. Many of their soups are rebranded Amy’s Organics soups, which I love – but are so much cheaper. I think with all of the crap out there these days, TJ’s is one of the better choices.

      Reply
    • Matha (to Pauline)

      Pauline – I have shopped at Trader Joes for many, many years. I grew up in the 60ties and my family has believed in proper eating since the 50ties. It has changed over the years as we learned more and more what is good to eat and what is not. Has anyone in your family become ill from anything that you have purchased at TJ’s because of their sensitivities?

      It is too bad that you feel this way.

      Reply
  3. Sam

    Thank you for publishing this article! With 3 children who have many food sensitivities, I have already discovered Trader Joe’s is NOT the place for us to shop. Gluten, corn, and soy are the three main ingredients they must avoid, and unfortunately, they are in MOST of TJ’s prepackaged foods. I encourage everyone to read all labels and vote with your money.

    Reply
    • AMV (to Sam)

      That’s just 100% wrong. I’ve worked for Trader Joe’s for over 5 years (if is easier to think about it this way, at 40 hours a week I’ve been inside a Trader Joe’s for over 10,400 hours) and there’s PLENTY of items that don’t have those 3 ingredients in them. Yes, just like at ANY grocery store, you’re going to have to look around when your dietary restrictions are so confined, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed or confused just ask any crew member and they’d be more than happy to assist you with finding products you need :-)

      Reply
    • Cate (to Sam)

      Sam if you have food allergies, no pre-packaged foods should be in your diet! Any food in a box or can should be left at the store.

      Reply
    • Matha (to Sam)

      RIGHTt ON CATE! I agree with you – I have been shopping at Trader Joe’s for many. many years.

      Reply
  4. Nini

    I found out that Trader Joes is owned by CON AGRA a year ago. CON AGRA was having a large employee convention at the hotel we stayed at in AZ last summer and boy do employees like to talk a lot while they are on vacation while they have been wined and dined. That is why they will never leave the dark side.

    Reply
  5. HCH

    Food Babe, I think you should take some classes on kinesiology and learn how to muscle-test food. Then you would be really able to test if an item can or cannot be eaten safely. Just looking at the label does not tell you if the “corn” is or isn’t GMO.

    A whole group of us who muscle test have found that Trader Joe products brand products are very “safe.” The ones we have tested (which probably doesn’t include ALL of the products with the TJ brand) do NOT test to contain any GMOs.
    Especially their milk tests very good and beneficial. Their canola oil spray is very safe, in contrast to PAM (which tests very dangerous).

    BTW – why didn’t you try and get Chick-fil-a to stop putting MSG in their chicken sandwiches? At least make them put a warning on their menu that MSG is included in their chicken items? MSG is a very dangerous substance, especially for children to ingest. I thought you only did a half-way job of getting them to change some items, yet not the MSG-laden poison.

    Reply
    • Dorothy (to HCH)

      I agree! I don’t feel like Tradr Joe’s in proponing that their prepared/packaged foods are always organic and minimally processed… just that they have LESS crap in them. Which for the most part they do!

      Anyone who claims to “eat clean” but blindly buys packaged foods from anywhere, TJ’s, Whole Foods, ANYWHERE is ignorant. You have to read the labels! DUH!

      I love Trader Joe’s. It;s allowed me to feed my family better food for less money and for that I am grateful. We couldn’t afford organic milk and grassfed beef if it wasn’t for Trader Joe’s!

      Reply
      • Kelly (to Dorothy)

        I agree. People need to take responsibility for their own health and not just buy from a particular store, assuming it must all be organic and non-GMO. If the ingredient list does not say “organic” then it isn’t. Plain and simple. I don’t see how this is “hiding” something. If doesn’t have the non-GMO project label, and the ingredient list doesn’t explicitly identify the ingredients as “non GMO” then don’t buy the product. How is this hiding something? Read, read, read your labels no matter where you shop!

    • Jean Robertson (to HCH)

      Food Babe was instrumental in Chick-fil-a changing their chicken sources, I think, in something like 5 years. Why is that taking so long? As well why didn’t she say something about their condiments. ALL of them are Corn-syrup based. All full of preservatives, and certainly NOT GMO free or organic. I agree there with all your comments, and I think all the other ingredients matter and are far more unhealthy than eating meat from Trader Joes.

      Reply
    • anton (to HCH)

      msg is fantastic, you get it naturally in tomatoes and cheeses. no studies show it is a detriment to your either. only cases of ill-effects is when ppl eat too much chinese food. common sense says that when you eat too much of anything, you’re bound to feel woozy, stomachaches, headaches, things we like to refer to as the itus.

      the alarming thing here is the negative connotation that comes with eating chinese food. go to china and see if ppl feel the same way about their food.

      Reply
      • cathy (to anton)

        That is such old info regarding only chinese food being full of MSG. If you check, most places have signS that say NO MSG. Msg is in so many things! And saying that when you eat too much of anything, you’re bound to feel woozy, stomachaches, headaches. Thats just stupid. MSG makes some people, like me, fel very sick and from only a small amount. I know pretty quickly when something has MSG and I quit eating it.

    • Noelle (to HCH)

      I would advise the same for you except for you to take Endocrinology and Biology. All Fat people suffer from either insulin resistance, metabolic resistance (syndrome), disturbed carbohydrate metabolism etc etc. You get the gist..
      If you know science then you know the body goes after glucose first and keeps the fatty acids nicely trapped in the Adipose tissue. There is nothing “healthy” about the foods she denounces and since you are acting as a science buff, I am sure on some conscious level you know that

      Reply
  6. Richard

    Ever since they changed the ingredients to their “Vegan Cheese” by adding Maltodextrin, I became frustrated that Trader Joe’s took that route. So, I inquired about it with one of the “demo cooks” and she mentioned that if more customers started complaining about the ingredients in the food, labeling, having more vegan choices, etc, that Trader Joe’s would have no other option but to comply with the customers. I’m sure you already know that, but if not, we need to come together as an online community and force them to change their ways.

    Reply
  7. Jennifer

    Thanks for this, I’m fascinated because I live in Vermont and we just passed our GMO labeling law AND just had a Trader Joe’s open in my city! Curious to see what happens with their labels when they are required to prove it! :)

    Reply
    • Lee in S.F. (to Jennifer)

      Jennifer, thanks for that update. If T.J.’s complies with your new law (or should I say “when” they do), the changes made for Vermont will likely be company wide–else they’d have to prepare their products for the other states separately.
      I cheer Vermont for being so forward-looking and health aware. I hope that other states will quickly follow your fabulous lead. Go Vermont!

      Reply
  8. Patti

    Um, doesn’t this apply to pretty much EVERY grocery store in the USA? I mean, come on…

    Reply
  9. F M

    While I appreciate the tremendous work you are doing uncovering what the greed and profit driven food industry is putting in our “food”, I cringe every time you push “vote with your dollars” because it is highly classist and disparaging to the millions of people in this country who economically disenfranchised. Having less money should not mean you have less of a voice.

    Reply
  10. Lisa

    I thought this was a great article. I sometimes shop at Trader Joes. However never thought they were organic just unique. Maybe it is because where I live we have a store that avoids GMO products and sell organic. It does not carry many brands that TJ’s carries. People probably think they are healthier because of their marketing techniques . I like TJs you just have to read your labels there too.

    Reply
  11. Sophia

    We should always question everything, including Food Babe opinions and information. Along with reading other people’s research, do your own research and make your own decision on the information you collect. I have had a positive experience at Trader Joes. I have asked about GMO products and this has been their response: their TJ brands are non-GMO and their non-TJ brands may have GMO. So, as a result I only buy TJ brands there and read labels. We shouldn’t confuse contractual

    Reply
    • Lee in S.F. (to Sophia)

      I appreciate your recommendation to question everything (since bottom line, we are the ones responsible for what we put into our mouths).

      In this regard, I question the notion that TJ brands are non-GMO, mainly because many of the ingredients used in TJ brands are ingredients which come from GMO crops, primarily.

      As this article mentioned, IF it is really true that TJ’s is GMO-avoidant, then why don’t they guarantee that with their labeling? Labeling would hold them accountable. (such that they could be sued if the labels said “non-GMO’ but independent labs discovered GMO ingredients). Without such labeling for non-organic foods, your guess is as good as mine, regarding GMO content.

      I used to love TJ’s, or at least “the idea of TJ’s.” Then I started to read the labels more carefully, rather than just relying upon their reputation. I am now very leery about prevalence of canola oil used in their products. (Research canola oil, if you don’t know about its dangers–but you’ll have to go to an independent source like the Weston Price Foundation, because there are plenty of seemingly-independent articles online which praise canola oil, which are not part of an independent foundation.)

      Reply
  12. Kat

    I was just at Trader Joe’s and realized there was soy lecithin in their trail mix! I immediately requested the item be removed while at the checkout line. When the manager arrived to reverse the transaction, he assured me that Trader Joe’s policy is to avoid GMO’s and the soy lecithin was GMO free. I didn’t believe him and still asked him to refund me for the item! The staff are surprisingly uninformed!

    Reply
    • Susan Smith (to Kat)

      The staff are told what to tell the customers AND what not to tell the customers. Unless they go on the internet and search out this stuff, they don’t know the truth either. As a former employee all I can say is we were use to being lied to a lot.

      Reply
      • susan (to Susan Smith)

        I totally disagree with Susan Smith, I too have worked there for many years, I am not discussing their products, however I think you are so wrong, I was never told what to tell the customers, What I was told was to help the customers in any way I could as far as ingredients, etc… I did food demo and was completely up front with all customers re: any product in the store… I think their quality control is spot on…

  13. alexandra

    what about the organic-free range chicken? NOT the “butcher shop” but the normal chicken? thank you :) great article, great info.

    Reply
  14. Ilene

    I am a big Trader Joe’s fan, however, I am quite careful about what I buy there. I stick to the organics primarily, nuts, or other trusted brands, like Kerry Gold butter. I finally found an organic pasta sauce that’s made with olive oil and not soybean oil at TJ’s. It’s no-salt, which is fine, I just add in sea salt. Was trying to find a substitute for my Muir Glen, which I will no longer buy due to their non-support of GMO labeling. But then they carry organic dairy products with carageenan. No thanks!

    Reply
  15. Lala G.

    Yikes, see Tiffany’s quote above. THat pretty much sums it up for me.

    Reply
  16. Susan Smith

    As a former employee of Trader Joe’s I found myself asking that question again and again. (As an aside, they have to be that helpful and cheerful, or else.) Yes, we had local bakers supplying our day breads, but were they really using non GMO ingredients. And what about the labeling that HAD to be on all other non GMO, Organic, Kosher etc. products? I began asking lots of questions to myself. Most of the personal care products had parabenes in them and other toxic chemicals. The fresh produce seemed to rot so quickly. And the sodium in the prepared products is off the charts. I found a lot of their “exclusive offerings” at Aldi’s, which is owned by a family member of the owner of TJ’s. We know Aldi’s doesn’t claim to sell GMO free!
    And the produce…it’s brought to a frozen state, kept at a low temp and sent to the distribution warehouse where it’s loaded on the truck in this semi frozen state and sent to the stores where it should be thawed by the time it gets there so it seems nice and fresh to you, but quickly spoils once you get it home.
    I could go on, but I think you made all the same points I would in your blog. Thank you. I’ve hunted for the same info and it helps to have someone else verify they hit the same walls. There are a lot of former and present employees that feel the same. I shop Whole Foods.

    Reply
  17. Brianna

    Why do you mention the exact same things as high-risk GMO and non-high-risk GMO products? Very confusing.

    Some conventional items on occasion (like kimchi) that do not have high-risk GMO crop ingredients like corn, soy, cottonseed, papaya, sugar, canola, zucchini/squash

    Trader Joe’s branded products or other processed products that contain high-risk GMO crop ingredients like corn, soy, cottonseed, papaya, sugar, canola, zucchini/squash (A majority of their products contain one or more of these ingredients, until they can be fully transparent, I would not trust them.)

    Reply
  18. Christine

    I bet this is the store Food Babe kick out of not too long ago.

    Reply
  19. ali

    so does this mean the TJ brand “organic” yogurt is on the “no buy list” ????i’m confused….

    Reply
  20. Melanie

    You’re awesome, FoodBabe! I don’t shop a lot at Trader Joe’s but recently began to. I’ll take your list to heart. :) Thanks for all you do!

    Reply
  21. Rebecca

    When going in to Trader Joe’s I believe if it’s labeled Organic and non GMO then it’s safe. If it’s not labeled, don’t buy. Why label some and not others if they are all Organic and GMO free?

    Reply
  22. irm

    Thanks so much for this article. I’ve found myself in recent years constantly trying to tell people this, even responding to online reviews of TJ’s etc. to clarify for people, b/c so many (such as on yelp, etc) think that it’s an organic or ‘health food store’. It’s a bit crazy to me, b/c just looking at the labels you can see that this isn’t the case and they do not call themselves organic or health store. So glad you are writing these articles=makes it so easy to share info with people!

    Reply
  23. Charity

    Since this article was from August 2013, has anything changed since then? Just want to make sure all the information in this article is still accurate. Thanks!

    Reply
  24. irm

    Wow, I had no idea this type of article would have such controversial comments. I don’t think FB has sensationalized it really. But I do think the bottom half of the article is more to the point of the title. Listing what to buy or not buy, based on FB’s suggestions, is very useful info. The first half of the article does illustrate how difficult it was, for the person writing this article, to receive transparent information from TJ’s about their ingredients. I don’t find this slanderous. It appears that the product info is not as readily accessible as one might expect.

    And I don’t think i’ts an attempt to ‘take Tj’s down’. LOL Whoever wrote some of these comments perplexes me….The idea that ‘well, tj’s is one of the best options we’ve got, so let’s not say anything negative’, makes no sense to me. It’s this very ‘don’t make waves’ mindset that helped to create the mediocrity we are faced with today! (IMO)

    SO many people that i have encountered [and just read some TJ's reviews online for more evidence] assume/think that TJ’s is a health food or organic store. Constantly hearing ‘oh, don’t worry it’s from Tj’s’ is a regular occurrence for me, as well. I would rather educate people, to dispel this myth. Consumers can choose to shop there. And TJ’s has never held itself out as a ‘health food store’, to my knowledge. So it’s up to the consumer to be aware and to think. The idea that we shouldn’t say anything negative about TJ’s b/c it might make people not shop there is ludicrous.

    I get much more annoyed when Whole Foods gets bashed by people who think everyone should shop at a food co-op [newsflash: Every town/city doesn't have a co op], rather than support WF’s role as an introduction for many people, to a healthier lifestyle and food knowledge. [tangent: WF is becoming less whole food oriented and more of a gourmet market now...but point being, we can appreciate the messenger while still being critical of aspects of the message and working to improve said message/product].

    Bottom line: People (who are used to simply buying something based on a marketing slogan, product title or perceived image) need to start thinking, rather than being on auto pilot.

    Reply
  25. Patti B.

    This article might be a little biased towards a raw plant food based diet. But it is informative to an extent. I have learned that with all things like this, you have to decide for yourself what you think. I can say that I had a concern about the TJ canned food having a bpa free lining. When I asked the person working there, he wasn’t sure so he opened the can for me so I could get an informed answer. The only reason I had to ask the question was because the answer wasn’t on the label. The point is that I read the label and when I didn’t get the info, I went further until I got the info. That’s what we all need to do.

    Reply
  26. kelly

    First off, I would like to say the its equally as shady demanding my email address for a comment. Secondly, i would like to add that I did not notice mention of the fact that countries such as New Zealand and Italy have banned GMOs. Each person who shops organic much do thier own research and its nothing more than common knowledge that anything not labeled as certified organic or labeled as non gmo or from a country that has banned gmos may possibly contain them. This in no way implies or assumes that Trader Joes does not do thier best to avoid selling them without adding on the enormous cost of having to have every small farm label them.

    Reply
  27. Alex

    Thank you, Food Babe, for looking into this! I shop at TJs, and it’s always good to know the sourcing practices for the grocer that provides your food.

    Reply
  28. Annabelle

    Honestly, about 2 yrs ago, we got so fed up w/ the food industry that we started our own garden, went vegetarian (I am not pushing vegetarianism, only stating a personal point) and live solely on fresh fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts and grains. We have never been healthier and rarely have to go to a Grocery Store. TJ’s is no different than Safeway, QFC, Kroger/Hagen’s. They are all the same. They all have a marketing scheme to get you to choose them over the other guys and they’re all usually full of poop (much like their “food” products) And although TJ’s may have some healthier options, I have yet to find anything there that I can’t find at a Fred Meyer for half the cost. Sometimes I think it’s all about the packaging and looking trendy, for some people. For others, they just simply don’t know what to look for. But in today’s world, we all need to just face reality that if it’s a large grocer that makes a profit from it’s customers, chances are there is a lot of wool being pulled over a lot of consumer eyes.

    Reply
  29. Lisa

    Thanks, Food Babe, for posting or reporting this write up! It is super informative and helpful! I actually got into a pretty heated discussion with a worker at Trader Joe’s in Center City Philadelphia last week. She was recommending an item to me that was not organic and I said thank you but I would prefer it is organic or at least have it labeled GMO free. She then went into a 10 minute dissertation on how Trader Joe’s does not allow GMO’s in any of their food items. She got upset when I told her I don’t believe it I must I see it and it should be on the label. I finally just walked away because she was so argumentative. I used to be a diehard Trader Joe’s customer and have since started purchasing many of those items at whole foods so I can ensure my family is eating the most helpful options. Until they start labeling their food items as GMO free they will continue to lose a lot of my business to whole foods.

    To your point about their use of carrageen, I recently stopped purchasing their mini whole-wheat crackers that my daughter loved as well as their organic yogurt that contained it as well. I was shocked and dismayed when I actually started reading the ingredients on their products.

    Now don’t get me wrong I still shop there because of convenience -I live a block and a half away from one -but now I only purchase organic items from them and even that is limited as I find that the organic produce at whole foods is of a much superior quality.

    Keep on leading the way Food Babe I’m with you every step of the way!!!!

    Reply
  30. AMG

    Food Babe-I read your article and your comment about Trader Joe’s not labeling what country their foods are from is simply not true. Under the Country Of Orgin law foods have to be labeled IF they are from another country. All produce from Trader Joe’s is GMO free. GMO produce starts with a #8 in its code, and non of the produce there starts with an 8. If a product doesn’t have a country of origin on its packaging, then it is from the United States.

    Reply
  31. Richard_A

    Trader Joe’s policy on verifying non-GMO compliance of their products looks a lot like Ikea’s practices in verifying that the exotic woods in their products come from sustainable growth plantations instead of illegal logging in rain forests. Put it in the purchase contract, but don’t actually spend any money on staff and verification resources.

    Reply
  32. Susan

    I don’t necessarily trust Trader Joe’s organic produce. I bought organic yams from them and ate most of them except one. I left it in my cupboard for about 8 months. When I finally took it out to throw out, and thinking it will look gross and moldy, I pulled it out and it looked like I bought it yesterday!!! There is NO WAY an organic yam would last that long in a cupboard!

    Additionally, I bought their natural thin pizza bread snacks. It was thin pieces with feta, and spinach. It was in the fresh refrigerator section. I am a flight attendant and I left my lunch box in the hotel. Another flight attendant retrieved it for me and left it in Denver, CO at our offices. When I was able to get there ( I am based in San Francisco) and pick it up a month later, the person took it out of a closet and handed my lunch box to me. I opened it up to throw the pizza slices away, expecting the worse, and once again they looked like I bought them yesterday!!!! Impossible for something “natural” with no preservatives!

    Reply
  33. Diana

    Honestly, I found this article a bit misleading. I think anyone who thinks “everything” from ANY store is organic or non processed is kidding themselves. At trader joes like at ANY supermarket, you still have to read labels. And, to play devils advocate, if they paid for all the official labeling, they wouldn’t be able to keep their prices what they are and we would all be unhappy about THAT. You do have to read labels and shop organic where you can. You are, as is the case with all stores, better off buying organic local produce at your farmers market. But overall, trader joes DOES have a selection of organic food and LESS (if not just NOT) processed food than many other stores and unrivaled prices.

    Reply
  34. mel

    You stated that non organic dairy and meats contain hormones and antibiotics but their labels say they are free of both. Are you saying they are lying about their items that are labeled as well?

    Reply
  35. Spauldo

    Thank you for this article! I was in there this week for the second time ever. I kept asking questions about GMO’s, sourcing, and why they didn’t ensure their palm oil was sustainable. Every time I asked a question, they said well we have a helpline….I will call the helpline and be right back. OF COURSE, they came back with vague info. I told them they need to enforce the palm oil sustainability issue!! The low prices definitely made my gut leery!!! Thanks for all you do!

    Reply
  36. Joel

    Vani-One of my favorite tools is an app called Buycott. After choosing what particular things you want to support and the things you don’t, it allows you to scan the upc code and tells you not only whether it is within your parameters, it actually shows you the tree of ownership of that particular company.

    Reply
  37. Victoria Hill

    they r lying

    Reply
  38. Heather

    My husband is trying to purchase healthier foods but on a recent trip to Trader Joe’s he bought something that has absolutely no nutritional value for my daughter. Got to love him for thinking it was healthy but he really needs to read labels! In fact you should always read the labels!!!!

    Reply
  39. AT Mikey

    Go Food Babe !!

    Reply
  40. Ashley

    Hi food babe great article! I was wondering if you could possibly publish an Article or a list with all the names that GMO is listed under on the ingredients list. It makes so hard for me to see what is or isn’t gmo free if I don’t what the names companies are using to secretly hide their lies. If you already have an article like this great! Can you repost it?

    Reply
  41. Dave

    Really, somebody needs to just independently test some of their products. I know the tests are expensive, but the Cornucopia Institute did it for their expose on “natural” cereals, many of which were GMO. Trader Joes position is unacceptible. I think they lose more business the way they are handling it, compared to saying nothing, and just having a good selection of organics. I only buy a bag of organic popcorn about 4 times a year from them. That’s $8,000 a year that’s going to somebody else. Stop in one of their stores sometime and tell the manager how much business his store is losing. If I was in her/his shoes, that’s the last thing I’d want to hear.

    Reply
  42. S K

    Re post June 18, 2014 Ezekiel bread Bon Appetit – to Allysn

    Whoever wrote about Ezekeil 4:12 needs to go back and read the whole passage. The reference made was a completely tactless post – especially in light of God’s instructions, read the WHOLE passage, not just taking one thing and posting it as a vile addition, and out of context.

    Reply
  43. Jefferey

    Quality posts is the crucial to attract the visitors to pay a quick visit the web site, that’s what this web site is providing.

    Reply
  44. Bryn (to )

    On a related note I hadn’t considered the presence of corn syrup in a large number of beers until I saw a post about it several weeks ago. The whole list tastes pretty much like dishwater to me and I live in Oregon so I didn’t care much, but then I thought about my favorite cheap beer: Simpler Times Lager from TJ’s.

    I thought “Great, that’s a TJ’s product so I can drink it with no worries.” Then I looked at the label. It’s not a house brand. So I called the brewery and said I wanted to ask about the ingredients in the beer they make for TJ’s. I was told I would have to talk to the brewmaster and she could put me in his voicemail since he was gone for the day. I had been reading about the brewery while finding the number, so I knew they were in the top 10 beer suppliers in the USA. I left a message but figured that would be the end of it.

    Imagine my surprise when I get a call from a number I don’t know the next day and it’s the Minhas brewmaster! We talked for well over 1/2 hour and he was very friendly, smart and funny. He told me right away that he uses some corn sugar in that brew and it might very well be derived from GMO corn. He explained that the color, strength, and flavor of the brew would not be possible with malted barley/syrup alone for the fermentation. He then told me that GMOs have been a concern of his for some time and he only uses a corn sugar that is so completely refined that it contains only sugar molecules. He explained to me that it tests out to exactly 0 molecules of DNA because that’s what he requires from his supplier. Yep, I trust him at his word. I haven’t looked up the science to see if that level of refinement is considered possible, but I’m confident I will find it is. I sure hope so, because nothing compares to that beer for price/taste bang for the buck.

    Reply
  45. natasha (to )

    Thank you! My thoughts exactly. Why try to damage a company thats core values are in line with this non-gmo movement? Be informed and read labels. That’s it. Personally, I love Trader Joes and am so happy I gave them a chance, they are helping me not go to the poor house and feed my family in a way that I feel is better for them and the environment.

    Reply
  46. Bev (to )

    Totally agree. We should be encouraging companies to be more like Trader Joe’s. Food Babe consistently shows a lack of understanding as to how business works. Tearing down good companies like TJ’s is not going to help anything. I’m seriously considering avoiding Food Babe’s posts in the future, because it seems to me that her focus on “investigations” is really just a way to slander certain companies. I think a positive, pro-active approach would be much more beneficial. The bottom line is that a well-informed consumer is vital. WE are responsible to read labels and make decisions. I think as with any other information, you have to read Food Babe with a critical eye and do your own research.

    Reply
  47. Kathy F. (to )

    So David…You seem to believe that you know how business works. Mmmmm… and you really believe you can trust them so completely? You really believe everyone of their employees that affect their products GMO content is completely trustworthy? Statistics regarding human behavior make that very doubtful. The fact that you feel that the risk of TJ’s testing for GMO’s would lead to massive loss of sales which would be so much worse than continuing to withhold information regarding the contents of the food we consume to nourish and maintain our bodies optimum level of health. Ahh yes…putting the old corporate profit value priority above the health and well being of the of the people. You ask on what untrustworthy info she bases her concerns, did you read the article with an open mind? You sound more like a knee jerk, defensive, reactionist vs. an educated, critical thinker. We are all at different knowledge levels the author’s goal is to inform & educate. I believe she is doing an outstanding job. Finally most of us learned in elementary school that “one who assumes often makes an ass out of you and me.” Me thinks YOU may be the naive one.

    Reply
  48. Doug B (to )

    Bryn must work for Trader Joe’s. Also, you come across as a huge rude know-it-all which completely deflates the desire for anyone to listen to your arguments. You sound like maybe you took a class or two in law school – but I for one would prefer if you took a class at charm school. If you want to make points of consideration regarding her research or where it may be lacking, that’s fine. But taking the approach that Food Babe knows nothing about her craft is truly ridiculous. She reaches out to try and find out information so people can make the best decisions for their health and well being, and I for one appreciate that. I’m not saying she’s always right or doesn’t cover some areas of the issues, but your approach isn’t one that would make me consider your point of view.

    Reply
  49. Bryn (to Kathy F.)

    Who is David?

    Why did she “overlook” the single public clear published policy and procedure document of TJ’s GMO screening practices? Between Food Chick and TJ’s there’s only one entity showing a clear intent to deceive and mislead. Or, alternatively, be completely incompetent at “investigating”. Take your pick.

    “Trader’s Joe’s won’t spend any of their 8 billion dollars in sales to test and prove their products safe.”

    That’s directly saying TJ’s GMO statement is a lie. She better have something to back that up. I’m no lawyer, but I’m pretty sure TJ’s has a slam-dunk slander case should they choose to pursue it. FB is the one assuming TJ’s is lying. Where’s her foundation for such an assumption? She just thinks it would be too much trouble to do what they say they do so they must be lazy like her and not bother? I’m sure the judge will love that argument.

    Reply
  50. Bryn (to Doug B)

    I’ve never been to law school. I studied acupuncture at a young age (17-20) in a small Japanese school but realized later that sick people annoyed the hell out of me so it was a poor career choice for me. Currently my mother and I have a small (no other employees) business that make the best pastel painting surface in the world. My mom’s the artist who invented it.

    I do not now, nor have I ever worked for TJ’s. In fact I have never had a friend who worked there, although I did know someone about 23 years ago who went to grade school with the children of the family who started it. She said they were very nice.

    Perhaps FB had, at one point, the zeal, attention to detail, and good intentions that many of her posters seem to ascribe to her. If so she has clearly turned the corner, at least as far as this post goes. To say that this can be held up as any example of someone “reach(ing) out to try and find out information so people can make the best decisions for their health and well being.” is what is ridiculous. This is the first article of hers I have read and it will be my last.

    I will refer you again to her omission of the freely available, clear, published statement of TJ’s GMO policies and procedures.

    http://www.traderjoes.com/about/customer-updates-responses.asp?i=4

    Is it your opinion that she left this out accidentally or on purpose? Which choice makes her more trustworthy or competent? Oh, right. Neither.

    Reply
  51. Doug B. (to Bryn)

    Again, that’s your opinion. Just because a company has a policy doesn’t mean they follow through on their claims, and I don’t think that TJ’s posting a policy on a website negates the reality that we don’t always know what’s in food products. Losing you as reader and a commenter will not affect this site in the slightest. We won’t miss you. See ya!

    Reply
  52. stasi (to Bryn)

    She didn’t leave any of that statement out. She quotes it at several points in the article.

    Reply
  53. halcyon (to Bryn)

    I clicked on the link and turns out there’s a lot more to their statement than was provided in this article…

    “When developing products containing ingredients likely to come from genetically modified sources, we have the supplier of the product perform the necessary research to provide documentation that the suspect ingredients are from non-GMO sources. This documentation is in the form of affidavits, identity-preserved certification of seed stock, and third-party lab results from testing of the ingredients in question.

    In addition to this work done in developing a given item, we conduct random audits of items with potentially suspect ingredients, using an outside, third-party lab to perform the testing.

    Given our position on GMO ingredients in Trader Joe’s label products and the work done in support of that position, it is our expectation that our products test as non-GMO.

    We have yet to take the approach of labeling products as non-GMO because there are no clear guidelines from the US governmental agencies covering food and beverage labeling. Instead of waiting for such guidelines to be put into effect and based upon customer feedback, we took a more holistic approach and made the no GMO ingredients position part of what the Trader Joe’s label encompasses.”

    Reply
  54. Bryn (to Doug B.)

    Absolutely true. You can lead a horse to logic, common sense, critical thinking and business sense, but you can’t make them think. ;)

    Reply
  55. Marilee Reyes (to MacKenzie)

    Excellent reply. I am ant- GMO, anti-Monsanto, Con Agra and all the other mega corporations who don’t give a fig how they poison the public. I happen to know that Trader Joe’s makes every effort to be above board and honest about their products and has dropped any number of suppliers who have not lived up to their contract or stipulations.

    Reply
  56. john (to )

    Brien, I don’ get into forum fights, I say just this, if you believe calling other people names will score you any points you are sadly mistaken…your whole point you are trying to make has become totally irrelevant.

    Reply
  57. Bryn (to )

    Johanne, judging by the number and tone of responses on this forum, your opinion is in the minority. Perhaps you’d have more time to enjoy life and be less bitter and suspicious if you spent less energy on trying to tell people and organizations what to do.

    Or if you are going to spend that time and energy, target someone who’s not on the positive cutting edge. What about raising awareness about Walmart’s 100% GMO sweet corn among the masses this summer? Safeway? Albertson’s? Why go after the one store chain who is delivering the combination of quality AND price? And they are taking great care of their employees, appear to be ethically responsible, etc.

    Why on earth are you attacking the one Reed Richards in the room full of Dr Dooms?

    Reply
  58. Claire F (to Bryn)

    Thanks Bryn for taking the time to research this and share your results. I might suggest Simpler Times to my husband.

    Reply
  59. Rachel (to Bev)

    Thank you! This will not deter me from shopping at TJs one bit. I think there is definitely a larger underlying issue here.

    Reply
  60. Bill (to Bev)

    Dear Bev…. You state that a well-informed consumer is vital and responsible to read labels and make decisions. My question back to you is: how can a consumer make a decision if TJ’s (or any other company) doesn’t properly label their product?
    That is exactly the point that Food Babe is making with this post!

    Reply
  61. Sarah (to Bev)

    I agree. Food Babe can be too harsh when it comes to companies and brands that actually are taking steps in the right direction. It just isn’t realistic to expect 100% perfectionism and change RIGHT NOW. There just is no pleasing some people…

    Reply
  62. Zurls (to Bev)

    It has been shown earlier in these comments that trolls, apparently in the employ of Trader Joes, have been posting anti-Food Babe posts, GLOWING praise for TJs and all it stands for, and concealing their illicit origins by using fake names – always the first names of ladies. Funny, isn’t it “Bryn”, “Bev”, and “Natasha”. If Trader Joes paid half of what they do to have creepy trolly like you hampering open discussions to instead be open and honest with their customer, we would not be having these discussions. You are lousy frauds and I can’t wait to hear your specious denials. Now that you have been revealed, please go away.

    Reply
  63. Zurls (to Bev)

    It has been shown earlier in these comments that trolls, apparently in the employ of Trader Joes, have been posting anti-Food Babe posts, GLOWING praise for TJs and all it stands for, and concealing their illicit origins by using fake names – always the first names of ladies. Funny, isn’t it “Bryn”, “Bev”, and “Natasha”. If Trader Joes paid half of what they do to have creepy trolls like you hampering open discussions, to instead be open and honest with their customers we would not be having these discussions. You are lousy frauds and I can’t wait to hear your specious denials. Now that you have been revealed, please go away.

    Reply
  64. Zurls (to Bev)

    It has been shown earlier in these comments that trolls, apparently in the employ of Trader Joe’s, have been posting anti-Food Babe posts, GLOWING praise for TJs and all it stands for, and concealing their illicit origins by using fake names – always the first names of ladies. Funny, isn’t it “Bryn”, “Bev”, and “Natasha”. If instead of Trader Joe’s paying to have creepy trolls like you hampering open discussions, if they spent half of that to be open and honest with their customers we would not be having these discussions. You are lousy frauds and I can’t wait to hear your specious denials. Now that you have been revealed, please go away.

    Reply
  65. zach (to Bev)

    what’s the issue? are you just too lazy to care? you made your effort and now you’re done? stop being like the masses and deceiving yourself into thinking everything is hunky-dorey, when no, this world and society are full of horriblenesses that could be otherwise

    TJ’s is saying one thing, but in actuality are behaving another
    yes, it’s about consumer awareness, and TJs are keeping their consumers unaware

    Reply
  66. Abraham Frohman (to Bryn)

    Absolutely adore your Reed Richards, Dr Doom analogy there. And agree with exactly what you are saying elsewise.

    Reply
  67. Rica (to natasha)

    Natasha, I’m with you. Out of all the stores, I love Trader Joe’s. You just have to read the labels.

    Reply
  68. Zurls (to natasha)

    It has been shown earlier in these comments that trolls, apparently in the employ of Trader Joes, have been posting anti-Food Babe posts, GLOWING praise for TJs and all it stands for, and concealing their illicit origins by using fake names – always the first names of ladies. Funny, isn’t it “Bryn”, “Bev”, and “Natasha”. If Trader Joes paid half of what they do to have creepy trolly like you hampering open discussions to instead be open and honest with their customer, we would not be having these discussions. You are lousy frauds and I can’t wait to hear your specious denials. Now that you have been revealed, please go away.

    Reply
  69. MARIA (to natasha)

    Sorry to say if you feed your family this shot from there you are feeding them POISION!!!

    Reply
  70. Rebecca (to natasha)

    Wow – where’d you get the idea that “their values are in line with this non-gmo movement?” They are now contracted with ConAgra, who spent over a million dollars to defeat the GMO-labeling act in California. I would say they are most definitely PRO-GMO. I used to shop at TJ’s years ago but no more.

    Reply
  71. geni (to Rachel)

    yes!

    Reply
  72. Robin (to halcyon)

    I haven’t seen any mention of it here, but Trader Joes has updated its statement about GMOs (on October 1, 2013, which appears to be after this post was made), to include the following statement:

    “We are also 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, due to the prevalence of GMOs in the commodity grain market, and the limited availability of verified non-GMO feed. For customers looking to avoid products from animals fed GMOs, we continue to carry organic meat and dairy products (organic standards prohibit the intentional use of GMOs) and wild-caught seafood. All organic products, regardless of brand, are by definition non-GMO.”

    So, when they said (and sadly their employees and managers continue to say) that all TJ-labeled foods are non-GMO, they really mean as long as it doesn’t contain meat, dairy, or fish! That’s a pretty big caveat, and I wish they’d at least update the information that their staff is giving out in the store.

    http://www.traderjoes.com/about/customer-updates-responses.asp?i=4

    Reply
  73. kelly (to halcyon)

    Than you for this halcyon!!

    Reply
  74. Crohnie (to Sarah)

    But why not 100% change right now?

    65 other countries flat out have bans in place on GMOs while us poor saps the American sheeple just follow along on every Miley Cyrus news story but can’t give a frick less about paying attention long enough to read about the garbage we are shoveling into our faces on a daily basis.

    Reply
  75. Gary E. Green (to Jozseph Schultz)

    Don’t know if your comment deserves a reply, but obviously you’ve never had a 3 day MSG induced headache.

    Reply
  76. Noz (to Crohnie)

    You have no one to blame but yourselves….as a nation you’re all asleep at the wheel, couldn’t care less what you eat, who you bomb, who you hurt, how much trash you produce, and what effect you have on others. It’s that simple.

    When people in the US don’t even flinch at spending trillions on foreign wars, do you really think GMO’s are high on peoples’ lists?

    Immoral companies like Monsanto exist because we let them exist…because we let crooked officials in office let them exist….because we are too busy thinking we live in a democracy when we don’t.

    Those 65 other countries have citizens who are active in their countries policy making…who are care about what their government officials do…and take offense to the stupidity of government officials when they are not being properly represented….here…no.

    Reply
  77. esteban (to Bryn)

    one picture confirms the claim (which was only supposed, but not made) the picture that shows canola oil as an ingredient. canola was the first transgenic GMO ever released. the fact that it is labeled on the ingredients shows that some GMOS can and will slip through the cracks. food babe is not rallying against trader joe’s, but calling for transparency and third party confirmation. there is nothing slanderous about her post, but there is something fraudulent about TJ’s claim that they try not to source GMOS, considering that canola is listed plainly on the label

    Reply
  78. Bliss Doubt (to Rosemary McElroy)

    I appreciate this blogger’s attempt to make people understand that fresh, natural, local, organic and sustainable can often be nothing more than marketing jargon. There is no untruth here, only exposure. If you’re satisfied that the TJ image aligns with the reality behind the image, you’re welcome to shop there.

    Reply
  79. Rosemary McElroy (to Bliss Doubt)

    I can understand how you enjoy the information provided within the article. But. It is not delivered without bias. The article mentions the hiding of the fact that larger, more mainstream companies provide food for Trader Joe’s under their in-house label. It is misconstrued as Trader Joe’s trying to deceive you which couldn’t be further from the truth. The companies providing the food want to make the increased dollar on their sales within the common stores and don’t want to be exposed. As an employee we were discouraged to expose the major companies brands even as they were clearly packaged upon receiving – in the instances that we did mention the major brand (against rules), people were thrilled. They were excited and not disgruntled at the fact that they were purchasing the same products without the higher ticketed amount.

    In short, I think the information she’s provided would best be delivered without assumptions and just of facts.

    Reply
  80. Tiffany (to zach)

    Pull your heads out of the sand… TJ’s has GMO’s. Read the labels… if it says corn, sugar beets, soy etc and is not organic then it has GMO’s. I look at labels every time l want to buy produces there. The company line is ( that we are to tell to tell the public,) we don’t have GMO’s. When l wore my button in that said to label food, l was told to take it off because we have GMO’s. End of story.

    Reply

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