By Heather Legg
The last time I was shopping in my neighborhood Trader Joe’s market, I happened to notice a large amount of Gluten free products. This in turn made me look a little closer at some other products in regards to allergies. I liked what I saw.
I like shopping at Trader Joe’s for a number of reasons. For one, their products are marked quite well. They list shared products and may contain products, along with of course, the required contains list. But another nice thing about their labeling, or products should I say, is that the products don’t contain a whole lot of ingredients. It’s a lot easier to read a list of 8 ingredients than 40 ingredients. Whereas mainstream products, like cereals and crackers, often have a lot of artificial ingredients and additives, Trader Joe’s products are much more natural, many of them organic.
In fact, according to the Trader Joe’s website, the Trader Joe’s
“logo assures that the products it is on contain NO artificial flavors, colors or preservatives; NO MSG; and NO added Trans Fats. In addition, ALL Trader Joe’s private label products are sourced from non-genetically modified ingredients.”
There are also symbols on labels to denote things like Gluten Free or Vegan (a plus for dairy and egg allergies).
On the website, I also found an allergy statement which lets me know that this company is conscientious to allergies and the effects they can cause. They maintain that they strive to ensure all labels are easy to read, accurate, and reliable. Also, the company practices steps prevent cross contamination including
“education and training of employees about allergens, careful labeling and segregation of allergen ingredients, cleaning of lines between production runs and stringent scheduling of product runs. Manufacturers may even use alternate days to process products that contain allergens from those products that do not.”
The store itself does carry a wide selection of nuts and peanuts, but these are packaged well so shouldn’t be a deterrent (my daughter has a nut allergy and I am comfortable shopping there). I am careful with the products I allow her to taste when they have their samplings, but there are many she can safely try; I just always check with the employees.
Though Trader Joe’s isn’t nationwide at present, it is making its way to more and more areas around the county. It is on both coasts, the Southeast, the Southwest and Midwest. If you have one of these stores around you, you may want to check it out for your food allergy shopping needs.