For anyone not quite clear on why Trader Joe's is a big deal, here's some information for you. I am the sort of person never completely free of skepticism, but this organization makes an effort and so far has a good reputation. It is good to know that most of what I can buy doesn't make me stand in the aisle and waver for 10 minutes. Some of you know that I actually do that, my conscience screaming at me the entire time. I can hardly stand to buy tuna, for instance. Eggs: ditto. Beef: difficult. Chicken: forget it.
You don't need to be a hippie to care about these things. I like to stay as far away from politics as I can, but if one person makes a crack about how a Republican like me can care about such things, it will be a smackdown. Don't be close-minded and think you know so much. Now let's all be friendly and read what TJs has to say about my new favorite local grocery store! (except that it hasn't opened yet)
This is from Trader Joe's customer updates page:
A Note to Our Customers About Trader Joe's Seafood
In our efforts to offer seafood options that fit customer needs ranging from food safety and taste, to concern over the environment, we have established the following goal: all of our seafood purchases will shift to sustainable sources by December 31, 2012. This applies to all formats of seafood we offer: frozen, fresh, canned, etc.
We are working with third-party, science-based organizations to establish definitions and parameters for this goal.
It is our intent to have this goal function as a seafood policy that addresses customer concerns including the issues of over fishing, destructive catch or production methods, and the importance of marine reserves.
We aim to use our purchasing power to leverage change within the seafood supply community.
We support leaders within the industry who are making positive efforts to "get off the red list" (e.g. freshwater farmed salmon, closed-containment farmed shrimp).
In addition to the mandatory Country of Origin and Wild/Farm-Raised information currently provided on our seafood labels, we are in the process of enhancing our package labeling for all seafood items to include information on species' Latin names, origin and catch or production method.
Based on customer feedback and in support of our work to source sustainable seafood we stopped selling Chilean Sea Bass in 2005, Orange Roughy in July of 2009, and Red Snapper in March of 2010.
As with all the decisions we make about the products we offer, this is an ongoing process. We look forward to sharing updates on this work in the near future.
Trader Joe's Products are Sourced from Non-GMO Ingredients
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.
A Message to Customers Regarding Canadian Seafood and the Seal Hunt Issue
The Issue: It's been reported that some fishermen off Canada's East coast near Newfoundland kill baby seals in the off-season from fishing.
We looked into this, and we think it's important to tell you that we do not purchase any seafood items from the areas where the killing of seals is taking place. Our seafood products that are labeled "Product of Canada," come from reputable suppliers on Canada's West coast, or come from Alaska and are simply processed on Canada's West coast. None of these suppliers are involved in the seal hunt. In addition, we have no plans to purchase any seafood products from the East coast of Canada.
A Note About Eggs
At Trader Joe's we listen to what our customers tell us about the choices we give them. Thanks to their valued feedback, in 2005 we made an important change in our egg selection. As of this time, all Trader Joe's brand eggs come only from cage-free hens. Now customers looking for cage-free eggs need to look no further than the Trader Joe's label. Any conventional eggs sold in our stores are in a brand name carton, not under the Trader Joe's label.