Customer says there’s now something ‘off’ with the grocery items at Trader Joe’s

@diego.milaa/TikTok Sundry Photography/Shutterstock (Licensed)

‘That’s a complete red flag’: Customer says there’s now something ‘off’ with the grocery items at Trader Joe’s

'I used to get all my groceries there. Not anymore.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Feb 24, 2024   Updated on Feb 24, 2024, 8:04 am CST

A user’s video on TikTok has gone viral after they called out Trader Joe’s, saying that there is now something “off” with the store.

Earlier this month, another TikTok user named Dodi (@dodidays) sparked discussion after alleging that Trader Joe’s food began tasting different recently, leading her to claim that “there is no way that Trader Joe’s is serving us real food.”

While many in the comments section noted that Dodi’s questions about the food can largely be answered by explaining innovations in packaging and food production technology, TikTok user Diego (@diego.milaa) isn’t so sure. According to Diego in a video with over 1.6 million views, three points of concern have led him to question the practices of modern-day Trader Joe’s.

First, he says that people often “rave” about the frozen section at Trader Joe’s, something he cites as “a complete red flag.”

“Things that are frozen, we all know it’s common sense, common knowledge that usually has a bunch of ingredients that are just total bullsh*t and totally bad for you,” he states.

Second, he alleges that there is “something off with the produce in general at Trader Joe’s,” a point upon which he does not elaborate.

Finally, he says that, if one does not believe him that something odd is afoot in Trader Joe’s, one must simply look to their eggs.

“Go to Trader Joe’s, get pasture-raised eggs. Go anywhere else and get pasture-raised eggs from Vital Farms, which is a very reputable brand and they sell them probably anywhere else other than Trader Joe’s. And please, crack an egg from Trader Joe’s and from the Vital Farms pasture-raised eggs and see the difference in the color of the egg yolk,” he details. 

“Pasture-raised eggs mean that the chickens are going around in pasture and eating what they’re actually supposed to be eating, so that means the egg yolk is supposed to be blood orange. That means it has a lot more nutrients,” he continues. “But for some reason, the pasture-raised eggs from Trader Joe’s is the same pale yellow as all the other eggs.”

So is there any truth to what Diego is alleging? 

Concerning the first point, it is a little difficult to verify whether Trader Joe’s frozen items have “a bunch of ingredients that are just total bullsh*t and totally bad for you,” given that Diego does not define which ingredients would count as “total bullsh*t and totally bad for you.”

That said, a page from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics notes that freezing food rarely changes its nutritional content.

“Generally, frozen foods retain their vitamins and minerals and there is no change to the carbohydrate, protein or fat content,” the page reads. “In some cases, frozen foods have more vitamins and minerals compared to fresh because fresh foods lose vitamins and minerals over time while freezing preserves nutrients.”

That said, the site states, “Not all frozen foods are created equal — many can be high in saturated fat, added sugars and salt.”

@diego.milaa Trader Joes 🤨 #traderjoes #2024 #food #listen ♬ original sound – Diego Mila

Concerning the second point, complaints about Trader Joe’s produce are nothing new. In a Reddit post from three years ago, a user asks if the chain’s “produce quality [is] going down everywhere,” to which answers range from “yes” to “no” to “it’s always been bad.”

Finally, with regards to Diego’s egg test, a dark yolk can sometimes be an indication of a hen’s lifestyle and nutrition — but it frequently isn’t. Yolks can change color due to everything from the type of hen laying the egg to, indirectly, the time of year the egg is being laid.

Additionally, in an interview with Successful Farming, extension poultry associate at the University of Kentucky Jacquie Jacob notes that changes in yolk color can be induced by altering the feed, even if one’s chickens aren’t pastured.

“The commercial guys when they want a darker yolk, they use marigold petals, the powder from it. You can also use dehydrated alfalfa if you don’t want to go that route because you’re getting the dry foliage that still has the pigments in it,” explains Jacob. “So, typically a diet high in dehydrated alfalfa will give you darker yolks.”

Regardless, users took to the comments section to share their thoughts on Trader Joe’s and Diego’s video.

“I agree with you that there is something off with Trader Joe’s, But your comment about frozen food is wrong. frozen food can be extremely healthy,” said a user.

“I get my eggs from my local farm which I see the chickens right there running around and their yolks are pale too so idk if this is true,” offered another.

“Literally EVERYTHING is made with freakin canola oil, like what?!” questioned a third.

The Daily Dot reached out to Trader Joe’s via media contact form and Diego via TikTok direct message.

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*First Published: Feb 24, 2024, 9:00 am CST