Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Another Reason to Shop Trader Joe's

I've written how much I love to shop at Trader Joe's.  I've also written that I'm frustrated that there are so many products that are not safe for Abigail to eat because they are manufactured on shared equipment or in the same facility with other peanut/tree nut products.  That being said, I do have to commend them for their voluntary labeling policy.  On Trader Joe's website, they discuss their allergen labeling policy which includes a statement about their supplier's Good Manufacturing Practices.  At our house, we're zero tolerance on labeling, so regardless, we don't purchase these products.

I recently contacted Trader Joe's about their use of genetically modified ingredients.  They just gave me a really good reason to continue to make my monthly trips across town.  As if I needed another one! Here's their response:

Our customers can be assured that all products in Trader Joe's private  label are sourced from non-genetically modified ingredients. Our efforts began in 2001, when we determined that, given a choice, our customers would prefer to eat foods and beverages made without the use of  genetically engineered ingredients. Our process has been to identify any product containing ingredients that could potentially be derived from genetically engineered crops and work with our suppliers to replace offending ingredients with acceptable alternatives.

Please know that because this is a standard for Trader Joe's products we do not highlight or place a Non GMO statement on our products.

How awesome is that!  I can purchase Non-GMO, Organic, rBST-free and other Natural products for prices less than a lot of processed foods.

Trader Joe's hasn't endorsed this review.  I write this because I'm a huge advocate for eating healthy and want to share any tips I have to make it easier to do so.  But...I wouldn't be opposed if they would advertise on my site or do a give-away.  I might just have to ask them!


Julie Redfern said...

I wish we had a trader Joe's close to us. It is about a 20 minutes drive and 2 towns away.

Mom with a Mission said...

Me too Julie! Our Trader Joe's is 30 minutes away which is why I only go once a month. Their carts are smaller, and mine is always filled to the brim. I haven't resorted to 2 carts yet though!

ZM said...

Oh, I love TJ's - their labeling is wonderfully reliable, and so very very helpful.

Have you ever seen the details of their GMP/cleaning procedures, done between a run of (big 8)allergen-containing foods and non-(big 8) allergen-containing foods? A store manager printed it out for me once, and I handed it to our allergy team.

Who was impressed, FYI, and said that their cleaning could very well be effective, depending on your allergies. We still don't use products labelled "may contain/shared equipment" or even "shared facility" for the boys' worst allergens, but the rest? It's definitely something worth looking into...

glad to have found you - especially glad to read from someone else doing a tolerizing trial....

Mom with a Mission said...

Miryam - Welcome and thanks for all of your great comments!

In my last post about product labeling, a study found more traces of peanut in products labeled "shared facility" than "shared equipment." My theory is that if a company is following GMPs when cleaning the shared equipment, then they are minimizing the risk. If peanuts are in the same facility but not on the same line, there may be a mentality that there is less risk therefore less precautions are taken.

Regardless, we don't buy anything labeled with any allergen advisory statement. Just not worth the risk.

Hope to hear more from you! Also, checked out your blog. Very interesting! I'll be reading more!