3 Trader Joes products no one needs to buy

Browsing in Trader Joe’s today, I saw some great products. These are most definitely not three of them.

Trader Joe's Vegetable Melange in Butter SauceTrader Joe’s Vegetable Melange in Butter Sauce

This is frozen mixed vegetables in a butter sauce. It’s the “sauce” part that kills me with all its extra ingredients (um, what the heck are “natural flavoring substances”?)

INGREDIENTS: Vegetable mix (green peas, carrots, cauliflower florets, sweetcorn), butter sauce (water, butter (milk), parsley, salt, sugar, potatoes modified starch, potatoes starch, natural flavourings (natural flavouring preparations, natural flavouring substances, salt, wheat maltodextrin, yeast extract, arabic gum).

Really? Just buy frozen mixed vegetables and put butter on top.


Trader Joe's Pasta MedleyTrader Joe’s Pasta Medley

This is frozen pasta and vegetables, with the special delicious taste of glucose syrup and corn protein. Mmmmm.

INGREDIENTS: Bowtie pasta (Durum Wheat Flour, Water), Carrots, Whole Spinach Leaves, Red Bell Pepper, Dried Cheese (Casein, Milkfat, Water, Wheat Starch, Salt, Lactose), [Milk], Glucose Syrup, Salt, Corn Protein, Yeast Extract, Oregano, and other Herbs and Spice Extracts.

Seriously? Just cook pasta and fresh or frozen veggies then top with Parmesan cheese.


Trader Joe's Just PastaTrader Joe’s Just Pasta Spaghetti

My personal favorite, this is cooked spaghetti coated in oil, frozen. For the person who doesn’t have 10 minutes to cook spaghetti.

Are you kidding? Just boil the darn water and throw in some pasta. Then you can make your own decision about oil.

INGREDIENTS: Water, Durum Wheat Semolina, Safflower Oil, Salt

The bottom line: This type of heat-and-eat product can be found at all grocery stores, not just Trader Joe’s. Read the ingredients first. Then go buy the ingredients and make it yourself.

14 comments for “3 Trader Joes products no one needs to buy

  1. Joan Marchese
    September 13, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    The Trader Joe’s in Encinitas, CA no longer carries the Just Pasta spagetti. I don’t get a clear answner from them as to why. How can I get this product?

  2. Joan Marchese
    September 16, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Could I have an answer to my question about Encinitas not carrying spagetti in Just Pasta?

  3. cat
    September 16, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Joan: You can get this product by boiling water, cooking the spaghetti of your choice, adding a little olive oil so it doesn’t stick, and freezing it.

    If you have a specific question for Trader Joe’s, you might try asking in your local store, going to the web site and using the contact form, or tweeting to TraderJoesBest.

  4. Joan Marchese
    September 19, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I did leave a comment. WHY doesn’t Encinitas Trader Joe’s carry Just Spagetti. They only have Penne. I do not get an answer from them nor you. Please respond.

  5. Joan Marchese
    September 19, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    P.S. I don’t need your sarcasm. I have been cooking for 57 years and I know how to make pasta. That was not my question. Focus on an answer.

  6. cat
    September 19, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Joan, I do not work for Trade Joe’s, nor do I have insight into why they don’t carry this product in your local store. I saw this product in March in NJ. I have not seen it since, but I also – if you couldn’t tell from the title of this post — haven’t looked for it.

    Also as you can see from the title and content of this post, I don’t think much of this product. Having frozen spaghetti on hand can be convenient for many reasons but I think people are better off making their own if they are able.

    Try asking in the Encinitas store. If they can’t answer, get the number from them for the main office and call there. You want the product enough to come here and ask me, someone who doesn’t like the product. Focus that effort on contacting Trader Joe’s, which can actually help you get it.

    Best of luck.

  7. Joan Marchese
    September 20, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you for your reply. I have asked at the store and have not received an answer. I’ll try again. I cook a great deal of pasta, but now that I’m care taker for a stroke patient and in poor health myself, I nmust look for any short cut I can get. Three meals per day for 57 years gets to be a drag. Thanks again.

  8. Rose Fox
    October 13, 2010 at 1:43 am

    I love the frozen “just pasta” because I can make it at work, where there’s a microwave but no stove. Think outside the box!

  9. callcorporateindroves
    November 10, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I understand your scorn for the Just Pasta line, but I’m with Joan (and sorry to hear about what you’re coping with, Joan) and Rose. In some circumstances in life, some of us need shortcuts and going to the trouble of making our own frozen pasta rather misses the point of why we need it in the first place.

    I’m posting here only because the question has been asked and I just talked to Trader Joe’s HQ in California about this and got an answer. They’ve already discontinued the Just Pasta spaghetti and are planning to discontinue the penne as they say they just aren’t selling well enough. If others, like me, find this product a staple that makes their lives easier, do consider calling the corporate office and letting them know this is an important product for you!

    By the way, I totally agree with you about the other two products listed and thank you for this post!

  10. Cathy
    December 15, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    The convenience was well worth paying a little more and the taste and texture were great.

    It doesn’t sound like much to boil some water and put pasta in for 10 minutes….. however, I found it to be such a treat to not have to drag out an extra large pot, wait for the water to boil, keep checking the pasta for al dente consistency, and the clean up! This all takes about 30 minutes as opposed to 3 minutes and throw the bag away.

    Bring back the “Just Pasta” please!

  11. March 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    It is dangerous calcium chloride, xanthan gum, modified corn starch and all the other ingredients found in foods that are canned, in air tight containers designed for the consumer to eat months to years later don’t eat it. Even thought the FDA or these government agencies give these chemicals the ok remember they may own the food company, the chemical processing company that produces these items and very well be making lots of money off them regardless of whether it will give you cancer or major sickness down the road. Bottom line stick to foods in your own garden or community garden or farmers market. Do not by anything that says natural flavors or flavors or that has a word in there that you can barely pronounce. Play it safe look at a bag of kidney beans for ingredients it simply says kidney beans, look at a bag of pinto beans for ingredients it says pinto beans. Don’t feed the machine these large corporations are causing many deaths and sickness for that profit. Please eat things that have only simple things listed for ingredients. Stablelizers, preservatives, food coloring, gums are all bad. God intended things to rot so dont put something in your body that is kept to look like it is in good condition when it really only appears that way due to chemicals.

  12. April 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Just wanted to clear confusion on canned foods. Canning the old fashioned way is the original method of food preservation. Oregon Fruit puts fresh fruit water and a small amount of sugar in the can. Delicious and healthy. No preservatives, colors or additives. No high fructose corn syrup. The bottom line is read the ingredient statement. If there are things in there you don’t want to eat, don’t buy it.

  13. David R.
    December 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I am seeing more and more Trader Joe products with unhealthy additives, such as HFCS. Today I saw more with “glucose syrup.” I will be writing to TJ and the more people complain, the better the chance TJ will wake up.

  14. June 4, 2012 at 1:27 am

    It appears to me that this website doesnt load up in a Motorola Droid. Are other folks getting the exact same issue? I like this web site and dont want to have to miss it any time Im gone from my computer.

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