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Tag: trader joes

I desperately wanted Prop 37 to pass. I posted countless Facebook status updates on it, proudly displayed my yard sign, wore a “Vote Yes on Prop 37″ button on my purse, and furiously blogged about it on this very site, but in the end, the money won out. I’ll admit I was pretty down yesterday and feeling a bit lost about where we go from here. Then, I saw this message from one of our followers:

I Woke Up Angry

I’m sure plenty of people are happy that Obama has another 4 years instead of the other guy and his magic underwear but not me. For me these two are too similar (well I’m sure that depends on which version of Mitt you get on any given day) and for me, the only thing I really cared about was PROP 37. I say vote with your wallet!!

These companies will NOT get my money any longer. It will take some time but I will know this list by heart and as difficult as it will be, the Grocery Manufacturers Association will feel my wrath. I may have to drive a little further, plan a little further in advance and pay more, but I will not step foot in or buy from their businesses any longer. My voice is but one, but it’s mine and it will be heard.

You guys keep “fighting the good fight!”

- Just Some Random Guy

At the bottom of his note was link to a list of all the companies that contributed to the No on Prop 37 campaign:


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One of my daughter’s favorite smoothies is my banana, peanut butter, chocolate smoothie. I know, you’re shocked, right? Tonight we had breakfast for dinner so I decided to go all out and whip up this smoothie too. The recipe has been rather fluid over the years. It started with bananas and chocolate protein powder. There was a brief stint with chocolate syrup, but I never liked the fake syrup flavor. My newest rendition replaces protein powder and chocolate syrup with unsweetened cocoa powder. The result? Purer ingredients, less added sugar, and amazing taste. I haven’t met too many people who don’t love this stuff.

After my blender broke, my immersion blender became my best friend. If fact, I love it so much, I haven’t even replaced my blender. For all my smoothies, I use an immersion “stick” blender and the tall beakers that came with it. A tall measuring cup, large plastic drinking glass or pitcher can work too if you are sans beaker. If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a your blender, but remember to wash immediately after use to avoid a nightmare clean up.

If you try it, please post your pics on our Facebook page!

Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

3 ripe bananas

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1/4 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup ice

Peel bananas, break in half and place in beaker. Spoon out peanut butter (approximate amount is fine) and place on top of the bananas. Pour milk over the bananas and peanut butter and blend until well incorporated. Add cocoa powder and blend at highest speed until frothy. Pour in a little ice at a time and blend on a lower speed. I like one final blast on high to add some bubbles, pour into 2 glasses and serve immediately.

For this smoothie I used organic bananas (please buy fair trade bananas whenever possible), Trader Joe’s organic peanut butter, Organic Pastures raw whole milk, and Trader Joe’s unsweetened cocoa powder. If peanut butter is not your thing, try almond butter. Serving as a treat? Add fresh whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings.

Jeremy Seifert and his friends eat trash on a regular basis. They are not homeless. They’re 30-something, Angelenos, who rescue enormous amounts of foods from Los Angeles’ supermarket dumpsters and eat it. Sound crazy? It is. But the crazy part is not Seifert, it’s the 96 BILLION pounds of food that we waste in America every year.

“…we’re feeding our landfills as much as our country…Why is all this food being thrown out and not given to people who need it?”

Seifert saw first hand how much food grocery stores threw away. He learned that half of all the food prepared in the US and Europe never gets eating. Seifert decided that this underbelly of our society needed to be exposed and he created a documentary appropriately named, Dive! Below is the 2-minute trailer for the film which has been showing nationwide at film festivals and private screenings since 2009.
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This video takes a look at the ORGANIC egg industry. Terms like cage free and free range become meaningless when you see how most chickens in industrial farms are raised. The video shows thousands of birds in a huge warehouses and their “outdoor access” is one tiny hole in the wall. 99% of the chicken’s wouldn’t even know the hole existed. So what is an organic egg? The USDA states that organic eggs must be fed with organic feed and use no antibiotics (contrary to popular belief, the USDA does not permit the use of hormones in poultry production. Terms like “hormone-free” are meaningless since no egg producing chickens are given hormones).

After seeing this interesting exposé from the Cornucopia Institute on the organic egg industry, I decided to take a look at their Organic Egg Scorecard where they rate egg producers across the US.  The scorecard rates egg farms based on a 22 different factors including, how much actual outdoor space the chickens have, what their indoor space is like, if they have natural light, chicken’s lifespan, and which agency certifies the farm organic. The farms with the highest scores received 5 eggs and the the lowest, 1 egg.

As many of you know, my family does much of our shopping at Trader Joe’s. Sometimes we buy eggs from farmer’s market, sometimes from Trader Joe’s (TJ’s brand Organic, Free Range Large Eggs). As I scanned the report for my eggs, I was shocked to see that they only received a 1 out of 5-egg score. The main reason for this? An unwillingness to share any information as to which farms the eggs come from and how the hens are raised. I understand that Trader Joe’s has an interest in keeping it’s private label brands private, but this is disheartening. I decided to make my concerns known and sent the following message to Trader Joe’s last week:

“We purchase TJ’s brand organic, free range eggs. I recently read the Cornucopia Institute’s Organic Egg Scorecard and was surprised to see that TJ’s eggs received an extremely low score. I understand that it is difficult to disclose information when you have private label products, but it makes me wonder how “organic” the eggs really are. I would appreciate some sort of response to reassure me that your eggs are produced in the most ethical and best standards. Also, I would like information as to if the eggs are purchased from small farm cooperatives or industrial farms and what sort of access they have to the outdoors. If you are not able to provide any information to counteract the report I read, I will have to assume it is accurate. My family does 95% of our shopping at Trader Joe’s and absolutely love your stores. Thank you in advance. I look forward to your reply.”

message sent to Trader Joe’s via their website “Contact Us” form

I haven’t heard back yet, but I will let you all know what I find out. The moral of this story is to try to buy eggs from farms who are open and happy to discuss their farming practices. This may include getting eggs from a co-op, farmer’s market, or a local family who raises chickens. Another option is to raise chickens yourself. Someday I hope to be able to have fresh eggs from my very own backyard.

For a look at the full report from the Cornucopia Institute, click here: Scrambled Eggs – Separating Factory Farm Egg Production from Authentic Organic Agriculture

Sources:

Cornucopia Institute

USDA

We are all looking for ways to save money. Food costs keep climbing while paychecks seem to stay constant or be non-existent for many American families in this tough economy. There are ways to save money while still managing to eat healthy. Here are a few simple tips.

Plan Weekly Meals
Every Saturday morning, my husband and I sit down and plan out our meals for the week. We look at the calendar to see what we have scheduled and select meals accordingly. If it is a busy week, we stick to quick and easy to prepare meals. Have kids? Involve them in the meal planning process and get their suggestions too. It sounds simple, but one of the keys to success with this tip is writing the meals down in a visible place (we have a whiteboard on the fridge). This way everyone in the family knows what to expect each day and cooking can start immediately instead of playing the “what’s for dinner tonight?” game again. If you stay committed to the weekly plan, you’ll also find you go out to eat much less often.
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I didn’t realize I was in love until about 10 years ago. You know those relationships where you fall in love with a friend you’ve known all your life? Well, that was me and Trader Joe’s. I’d been hanging with TJ since I was a little kid. My folks knew TJ and frequented his establishment. Now, as a mom myself, I find I hang out with TJ about 90% of the time.

The reasons I love TJ:

  1. He reads ingredient labels so I don’t have to be so crazy vigilant (okay, who am I kidding, I still read ‘em)
  2. He hates partially hydrogenated oils, MSG, high fructose corn syrup and genetically modified ingredients as much as I do
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