Taking the Trader Joe’s Obsession to a New Level

JennsTraderJoesIn July, I started going steady with Trader Joe’s. And now? Well, it’s a full-out love affair. A can’t-live-without-TJ’s obsession. I thought that maybe, over time, my love would fade or at least become a little more grown up. But, nope, I get as giddy as a school girl every time I’m in there.

Case in point: all-natural, brined, fresh young turkeys.

I’d been seeing the fliers in the store about the aforementioned all-natural, brined, fresh young turkeys for a few weeks and was super excited to get mine for Thanksgiving. So when I went in the store, a full two weeks before Thanksgiving, and they had fresh, young, brined turkeys? Well, I literally exclaimed “ALL NATURAL! BRINED! FRESH! YOUNG! TURKEYS!”

Let’s note that I was in Trader Joe’s shopping by myself.


My gym bud Lauren and I at the Trader Joe’s opening in July (AKA the best day ever).

Startling everyone in the meat aisle and the employee stocking the ANBFYTs (we might as well just shorten it at this point, right?), I just stood there grinning. Yes, I was slightly embarrassed about my Trader Joe’s outburst and highly aware that the employee thought I was nuts, but I thought something was amiss that they weren’t as psyched as I was. Here are—in a world where everyone complains that eating healthy is too expensive—ANBFYTs that are minimally processed with no artificial ingredients, never given any antibiotics or growth hormones, and 100 percent vegetarian feed for $2.49 a pound. Yes, that’s more than your average non-ANBFYT, but it’s not that much more. If everyone has just a slightly smaller serving of turkey than normal on Thanksgiving Day, then you’re good. And you’re feeding yourself something that’s so much healthier than the typical turkey on the Thanksgiving table. If that’s not worth exclaiming about, then I don’t know what is!

Some days, I think I love Trader Joe’s enough that I willed them to open in Kansas City, Mo., this past summer. That’s probably not the case, but I’m darn grateful they did. They—and their employees and patrons—may not feel quite the same about me… —Jenn

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  1. Nicole says:

    While I’m not discounting this awesome find, why does everyone get so excited about “vegetarian fed” poultry products. Birds eat meat, often in the form of bugs. Those bright orange yolks in farm fresh eggs are from the bugs!

    Vegetarian fed could mean “fed a ton of GMO corn,” couldn’t it?

  2. Alyssa says:

    When I moved to California in ’94, everyone was so excited about this new Trader Joe’s thing that had just opened nearby. Being from Massachusetts, I had no idea what they were talking about. Then my roommate and her boyfriend took me there and told me I would, from that point on, wonder how I’d ever lived without it.
    And they were absolutely right, lol! In fact, I’ll be leaving momentarily for my weekly trip to our newest Trader Joe’s.
    I also recently went over in my head how many different TJ’s locations I’ve been a regular at. Obsessed? OH YES!!!!
    (BTW, have you seen the Trader Joe’s cookbooks? AWESOME!)

  3. GiGi says:

    TJ’s has the best fresh spinach, first of all… but now I am completely obsessed with their Arctic Char! When it’s cooked it isn’t dry at all… and the flavor is awesome! The salmon is dry and crumbly… not fatty and delicious like the usual fresh salmon, but this arctic char, is just like it’s fresh counterpart! Rock on!

    Oh and I also love the pre-grilled eggplant and zucchini as well as the pre-sauteed onions in balsamic vinegar!

  4. Ted says:

    I live in a city with very little to offer in the way of good health food stores, but I travel to Athens, GA one day a week. I have been shopping at an excellent store (Earth Fare)that is based in the Southeast (NC). I just discovered that Athens has recently had a TJ open up and I walked into the store last week but didn’t have time to stay and check it out. I am very much looking forward to checking out TJ thourghly this Thursday!