Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Betsy Mahaffey See

Trader Joe's meats

Recommended Posts

I mainly shop TJ's for my meats. I do get the frozen grass fed ground beef for $6/lb, but I can't afford organic or better meats there.

I will occasionally get a steak there, but wondering if you all think the quality of their non-organic meats are good?

I get their Cage Free All vegetarian fed eggs. Are those good?

TIA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tia I think most of their meats, eggs are higher quality than your average grocery store. Do you have a Costco in your area? I really like their meats and their organic 24 pack of eggs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband used to work at TJ's and it is really a crapshoot. There is no way to know where the source of their meat is from if you buy their brand. I live in the PNW and they have one brand of chicken that is local and humane. But I had to do my own research.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eggs sold as cage free and vegetarian fed are not better than any other eggs. If you pay more for those labels, you are wasting money. The chickens producing those eggs are very likely living in crowded conditions and are certainly not in a natural environment if they are eating vegetarian. Chickens will eat an amazing variety of things including bugs, snakes, worms, etc if they can get them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of TJ's beef - I am pretty sure the tri tips - come from New Zealand. If the meat is from New ZEaland, my understanding is that it is grass fed. It isn't super cheap, but it is a wonderful piece of meat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eggs sold as cage free and vegetarian fed are not better than any other eggs. If you pay more for those labels, you are wasting money. The chickens producing those eggs are very likely living in crowded conditions and are certainly not in a natural environment if they are eating vegetarian. Chickens will eat an amazing variety of things including bugs, snakes, worms, etc if they can get them.

So what do I look for? Organic/cage free eggs?

Also for grass fed beef at TJ's. I found some frozen for $6 per lb. So I'm going with that. I hate buying frozen ground beef, but it's a couple dollars cheaper. My food bill is already crazy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Betsy there is nothing wrong with frozen meat. Buy the best quality food that you can and don't stress about it. Eggs from pastured chickens are best. I can't always afford them. My second favorite are the organic eggs from costco. They are certified humanely raised and reasonably priced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eggs sold as cage free and vegetarian fed are not better than any other eggs. If you pay more for those labels, you are wasting money. The chickens producing those eggs are very likely living in crowded conditions and are certainly not in a natural environment if they are eating vegetarian. Chickens will eat an amazing variety of things including bugs, snakes, worms, etc if they can get them.

Many, many times this is true. However, I think it's worth giving some of these brands a good research and even a try out. I've found a "cage-free" brand at my local Sam's Club that I am (more) satisfied with after researching the company and then comparing the actual eggs (size, color, variability between eggs, yolk) to the cage free and pastured eggs I can get locally. The yolks are a dark vibrant yellow, there is good variety in the size, shape and color of the eggs, and some even get to me with a bit of the film still on them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We buy those eggs from Sam's or the ones Susan buys from Costco(I like Sam's the best over Costco) and I buy a six pack of pastured eggs from WF's solely for making mayo.

I think we are twins. :) I do exactly the same...pastured are for mayo first and then I enjoy the rest. We don't have Sam's here though. Isn't it owned by Walmart? Our Walmart doesn't have any organic eggs...I don't think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you guys go about this research? Ask the store where the eggs/meat come from? I generally make pasture-raised eggs a priority but every once in awhile I will miss the farmers' market on the weekend and then I'm SOL when it comes to eggs.

I have also read about people buying grass-fed meat from Costco. We don't belong and I'd want to investigate before joining. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be a stupid question but is there a difference between free-range and pastured? With the way the food industry uses words, I just want to make sure because I can get eggs from free-range chickens for $2.50/dozen versus almost $7 for pastured. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yikes. There is a difference. Pastured means they get to roam and live like chickens should pecking away at bugs and worms. Free range means not a lot. Just that they aren't kept in a cage. I like to buy the organic 2 doz pack at Costco (sorry TJ) because they have the Certified Organic and Humanely Raised stamp on them. They are 6.99 for two dozen. Like Sharon said..do the best you can without having to sell a kid. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow those sames eggs are over $8 at our Costco. I am between emails with a person from craigslist selling eggs $4 for 18. I asked a lot of questions so they might not answer, lol. They claim free range and while I prefer to buy local.. I dunno, guess I will wait for their answers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow those sames eggs are over $8 at our Costco. I am between emails with a person from craigslist selling eggs $4 for 18. I asked a lot of questions so they might not answer, lol. They claim free range and while I prefer to buy local.. I dunno, guess I will wait for their answers.

I've looked on CL for grassfed beef. Lots of options but I always chicken out or they are across the state from me. I did find a CSA that I am going to go with. It starts in May. He also has chicks that will lay eggs in July. They will be 4.25 a dozen. I am fine with that. I am watching them grow and go crazy when he moves their shelter to a new pasture. I think I lucked out on the CSA. Still working on the meat though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've yet to find a local source of ground beef and I have a lead on pastured pork. We have farmers markets year round and one guy there sells grass fed beef but it's more expensive than Whole Foods. I've been wondering if should buy veggies and fruits locally whether they are organic or not just to support the local economy. I'm trying hard to get away from buying in grocery stores, only when I have to, but until I find good local sources for meats/poultry I am kinda stuck with shopping in stores. I've had bad luck with CSA's so far.

edited to add the beef guy at the farmers market also drives 8'ish hours round trip to market.

edit 2: heard from the craigslist egg lady, she says they have 15 chickens and they are free to run around except when they aren't home and at night, she says they have a large coop. Makes sense, but she supplements with triple grains. I'm on the fence about this one, maybe someone will weigh in with some advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have farmers markets all over the place. A few year round do eggs cheese and meat. I am just so bad at going to them. I really should do that. I like picking out my own veggies. I feel like I am more careful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've looked on CL for grassfed beef. Lots of options but I always chicken out or they are across the state from me. I did find a CSA that I am going to go with. It starts in May. He also has chicks that will lay eggs in July. They will be 4.25 a dozen. I am fine with that. I am watching them grow and go crazy when he moves their shelter to a new pasture. I think I lucked out on the CSA. Still working on the meat though.

That sounds great! I'm going to look on CL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gosh, $6/lb for gr. beef sounds pricey to me when you can get a 1/8 or 1/4 of the absolutely best quality locally cow for about the same price. I definitely want to know who my farmer is when it comes to eggs - it is a dirty, dirty industry. I like to make sure eggs are pastured and fed GMO free grain - I don't know of an egg you can find on the market that is GMO free unless you know your source intimately. I don't worry about whether it's organic if it's local - you can find out what their practices are first hand which is far superior. There are good websites out there to show what is available in your area.

http://www.eatwild.com/index.html and http://www.localharvest.org/ are 2 really great sites.

Here is a report on eggs that can be helpful to determine what those labels really mean and how the eggs you are buying stack up. This report doesn't even address the fed which is GMO unless you know otherwise. http://www.cornucopia.org/organic-egg-scorecard/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a bummer! Will any of the farms in your area allow you to set up a buying club or distribute to a local spot that might be closer? We have had really good luck setting up workplace CSAs in our community where farmers will deliver shares of veggies, fruit, meat and eggs to a worksite if 5 or more people sign up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To add to what Sharon said, most everyone, if not everyone on this site does the best they can with what their finances and resources allow them. We shouldn't get to the point that we become elitist by insisting on parameters that not everyone can enjoy for whatever reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites