Is Trader Joe’s Healthy and Can We Trust Them?

Though it has had its share of being in the news over the years, it may have you wondering “Is Trader Joe’s healthy and can we trust them”?  A few years ago it was all about the recalls, and more recently about their GMO claims.  

These are two really big topics still today, and the concern definitely applies to all grocery stores, not just Trader Joe’s. The whole GMO issue is wide and vast across the board, including most brands, companies and products. 

So, I decided to do some investigating and see what I could find.

First, I delved into the Trader Joe’s website, which I found quite extensive on how they choose their foods and how they are able to pass the savings on to their customers.  Then I searched online for articles describing ways that Trader Joe’s is falling short, and it should be no surprise that there were several to pick from.   

I have always depended on Trader Joe’s for “better” options than are sometimes offered at the traditional grocery store.

Today, more and more options are available at the local supermarket, but I still love to poke around at what’s new at Trader Joe’s and to grab my favorites.

Some of the huge superstores can be very overwhelming with choices, so I appreciate that Trader Joe’s has  more limited options.

Five reasons Trader Joe’s still has your back if you’re looking for healthier foods at good prices:

  1. They do not use ANY artificial flavors, artificial preservatives or MSG in their “Trader Joe’s” labeled products, with 2  exceptions: there is sulfur dioxide in their dried fruit and potassium sorbet in the prunes, however, they do offer options without these additives as well.
  2.  All “Trader Joe’s” brand products are sourced from non-GMO ingredients. They do note that some of their other branded products may contain GMOs, but if you stick to the Trader Joe’s labels, you’re good. Again, one exception to this is the meat, they state that there is limited availability of non-GMO feed, so some meats could contain GMOs. IF the label says “organic” (meat or dairy) or wild caught fish, they are non-GMO.
  3. Trader Joe’s organic products, which now is about 20% of their products, are sold at very competitive prices.
  4. They have full product lists available on their website (www.traderjoes.com) for gluten free, kosher and vegan items.
  5. Lastly, the people are so nice, kind and helpful. Plus, there’s always a sampling of a product in the store. I love this because sometimes its hard to tell from a package whether you’ll like it or not. And, for moms with kids, you just might get the kids to try something new!

These are some of my favorites that are always on my shopping list:

  • Organic Corn Chip dippers (organic corn, organic sunflower oil, sea salt) – these are so good eaten alone or with a dip, and they are perfectly shaped to hold salsa or a dip of any kind. 
  • Almond flour (blanched almonds) – I use this to make chocolate chip cookie pie, and it’s a good gluten free option, you can also bread chicken with it instead of flour.
  • Cacao Powder (organic cacao powder) – put a scoop of this in any smoothie and it becomes a chocolate delight. It is low in calories – 20 in 1 teaspoon, and sugar – 2 grams, and contains no added sugar.
  • Almond butter (dry roasted almonds, sea salt, and less than 1% dry roasted cashews) – I eat this with a cut up apple, or I add a teaspoon into my smoothies for some protein.
  • Cauliflower gnocchi (cauliflower, cassava flour, potato starch, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt) – these can be made and topped with pasta sauce, pesto, or eaten with butter and a little parmsan cheese.
  • Rare Earth wine (made with organic grapes) – this wine is light, great with food or without, and costs less than $10!

So, is Trader Joe’s healthy?

Yes! I will happily continue shopping at my local Trader Joe’s and I hope you will too. If you find a favorite you love, please reach out, I’d love to know what it is!!

Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach

Eat Well, Live Well & Thrive

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