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Yep, I’m Obsessed With Trader Joe’s—Especially This Time of Year

Ahoy, matey! We have a Trader Joe’s obsession. Credit: Phil Roeder

Earlier this summer, I started getting serious with Trader Joe’s. And now? Well, it’s a full-out love affair. A I-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: the all-natural, brined, fresh young turkeys they have for Thanksgiving.
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.
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…
Are there any grocery or natural-food stores that you’re obsessed with? Dish! —Jenn

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