Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Trader Joe's Organic Lowfat Yogurt

So we tried Trader Joe's Organic Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt the other day. It was very natural tasting. It tasted like it was straight off the farm. And really, we're not used to that taste. We're used to super-processed yogurts with fake ingredients, preservatives, and added colors. The au naturale version tasted a bit funky to be honest with you. We looked at the "use by" date just to make sure. We still had a week or so until it expired.

I think if we were totally accustomed to that completely natural taste, this would have been absolutely amazing yogurt. It's certainly not bad. It just might take some getting used to for those of us who are in the process of trying to break a lifetime of bad eating habits.

Then later we tried the strawberry version of Trader Joe's Organic Lowfat Yogurt. Same thing. Very natural. Not only the taste this time, but the overall look of the yogurt seemed very peculiar to us. It was fruit on the bottom style yogurt. Except now, instead of a vibrant crimson emerging from the bottom of the cup, a dull, sort of muted red-brown color came up. Well, after doing some research, I became increasingly thankful that the color we stirred up from the bottom was not that familiar brilliant red...

Did you know that most leading yogurt brands use an ingredient called "carmine" to color most flavors of their yogurt? Did you further know that carmine is made from bugs? That's right. There are bugs in your yogurt. I'm not a big fan of bugs in general, and I'm really really not a fan of eating them. I know there are FDA regulations that allow for X number of spiders per cereal box and all that, but to intentionally color a product with bugs seems downright disgusting to me. It's enough to keep me from buying all those fancy yogurt flavors now. I think TJ's should change the name of their yogurt line to "Trader Joe's Organic Bug-Free Lowfat Yogurt." Their slogan could be this: The protein comes from the farm fresh milk, not from thousands of little red beetles.

Yogurt was never vegan-friendly, and now we know that it really isn't even a vegetarian food, as tiny red insects count as animals, right? That's enough to make you switch brands. One more reason to get more stuff from TJ's.

So, to summarize, the yogurt is bug-free and natural-tasting, but it's not the flavor-extravaganza we're used to...Sonia gives 3's to both of them. I give them 3.5's.

Trader Joe's Organic Lowfat Yogurt (Vanilla). Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

Trader Joe's Organic Lowfat Yogurt (Strawberry). Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The following article/s I am about to post requires some deep investigation about TJ's Organic products that pretty much all have the QAI stamp in micro-print on the label. Many are *not* Organic at all I am sorry to say, however let me let you and hopefully Trader Joe's senior staff and management read about this deception and hopefully lead the way in correcting it: http://www.cornucopia.org/ http://www.cornucopia.org/USDA/OrganicWatergateWhitePaper.pdf

  3. Vanilla is hard to get right in nondairy yoghurts, maybe the same is true for dairy. But they can be easily rescued with cocoa powder. As much as it takes....