Six months ago, you could see me at TJ’s (because that’s what the cool kids call it) almost every weekend. I loved, loved, LOVED Trader Joe’s—everything about it! They provide quick-to-prepare, inexpensive food, with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, no added trans fat, no-genetically modified ingredients. Their stores are always clean, the employees always super helpful, and they give away samples (food and drink!). What’s not to love? OK, the Frequent Flyers are quite odd, but the food? The food is AWESOME.
Then my TJ’s world came crashing down around me. O was diagnosed with a peanut allergy in January, and as I strolled the aisles one Saturday afternoon soon after, checking all the food labels like a good allergy mommy should, I discovered Trader Joe’s throws peanuts in practically everything they make! Even macaroni and cheese! In short: WTF?
Well, OK, to be fair, they don’t actually throw peanuts in everything, but almost everything. The dreaded “processed in a facility that also processes peanuts, treenuts, etc.” label was on a lot of the food I picked up. And while TJ’s maintains that it abides by Good Manufacturing Practices, and I want to believe them, I’m just not going to take the risk that some peanut protein might end up in my 20-month-old son’s graham cracker. I can’t go there.
From what I can tell from the Labels and Lists, they provide on their packaging, Trader Joe’s can attest to do a good job keeping their milk away from their meat. Now how about trying to keep the peanuts away from the spaghetti sauce?