Which is Better – Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Market?


We recently posed this question to the community and received a multitude of replies from all directions. The general gist was that Whole Foods Market (WFM) has better quality food and that Trader Joe’s (TJ) has better prices. These are, of course, generalizations.

WFM has over 350 locations across the US, compared to just over 400 for TJ. Over half of Trader Joe’s stores are in California though. Both chains had about 12 Billion dollars in revenue last year. TJ’s is owned by Aldi, a German based global discount supermarket chain.

Whole Foods publishes a list of unacceptable ingredients that is very much in line with the Fooducate’s philosophy. You won’t find foods with artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, or artificial dyes at WFM.

Trader Joe’s claims the following for all products under the “Trader Joe’s” brand name (which is a large percentage of food sold there): “The finest quality, natural ingredients.”  NO artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, NO MSG, NO added Trans Fats.

All Trader Joe’s branded foods are non-GMO. The same is true for Whole Foods Market’s 365 brand. But both retailer still sell food with genetically modified ingredients. Last year, WFM announced that, by 2018, all products sold in its stores would need to be labeled for GMO content.

When it comes to organic food, both TJ and WFM have a large selection of items. WFM has a larger selection of organic produce, but sometimes the prices do seem extremely high.

At Whole Foods Market, items are typically priced higher than similar products at Trader Joe’s. Here is a  comparison from earlier this year.

Hopefully the above information provides you some more ammo to make a decision. There are of course other options. On one end, you have farmers markets, their produce has a much better taste than anything that has been sitting on a shelf, even at Whole Foods Market. Way on the other end of the size spectrum, did you know that Walmart is the biggest organic player in the US today? With the predictable low prices.

  • Alana


  • Steven Brown

    Slight correction to the ownership of Trader Joe’s. There are two different Aldi companies, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd, both of which are owned by different branches of the Albrecht family. The company split in two back in 1960 over the sale of cigarettes in their stores and split along geographic lines within Germany.. Aldi Nord (Via the Theo Albrecht family trust) owns Trader Joe’s while Aldi Süd has presence in the US under the Aldi name (They have over 1300 stores in the US.).

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Thanks Steven!

    • Michael-Estefanie Elliott

      Thanks, Steven. These details always helps us to remain reassured.

  • Vince Forillo

    Trader Joes is being sued in a class action suit for lying about some contents of their organics, the fact that they weren’t, also included is that they claim there’s no gmos in their private label items but offer no proof or third party verification to back it up.

    • Felita Viruet Delikat

      So is wfm for 365 brand sugar content in Greek yogurt says 4 g really 12 g sugar

      • Vince Forillo

        How am I supposed to know? Call whole foods and ask corp. office

        • Felita Viruet Delikat

          It was on news I replied to your post saying
          So is wholefoods
          Not a Asking you

    • CosmoApe

      GMO is not a bad thing.
      When will you people stop spreading misinformation.
      25% of the world is starving!
      Look at the science.

      • Vince

        I think YOU need to look at the science, open your eyes and mind and do the research, GMO doesn’t address hunger or starvation, that’s the biotech political machine at work, they created an “iron clad” excuse/lie that people believe, it’s just about money, just to let you know GMO crops are banned in 63 other countries except us and Canada, the GMO crops and food doesn’t go to the poop and needy, it goes into cheap animal feed and processed food, right to your plate! It’s feeding America. Thus one of the main components in our 20-year long health crisis! Do the research before blindly posting nonsense, you make the rest of us look bad.

        • kets

          GMOs are still not a bad thing. That the system that predominantly uses them isn’t that great, doesn’t mean GMOs are bad.

          • Dustin Harris

            Based on what? Provide facts, please.

  • Vince Forillo

    Whole Foods Market here! At the end of the day…. Buyer beware, anyone can take your money, but only a few will give you an equal exchange for it!

    • june

      I don’t think they noticed you! Lol! I appreciate that u are listening to us! That’s awesome….we are getting a new wjm I’m looking forward to it BC I don’t live in sunny ca. With a lemon tree in my yard. I’m jealous. I live in cold Dayton Ohio?

      • Vince Forillo

        I’m not from whole foods market, I was just saying “whole foods market here” as in that’s where I shop because everybody was saying they shop at Trader Joe’s, I’m not an employee of whole foods market, I’m just like the rest of you, a commenter.

  • Ashleigh

    Target has a pretty good selection of organics as well. I used to shop there quite a bit in college. Not too bad of prices.
    -And Amazon has organics too; although they don’t have fresh produce, it is a good resource for your processed food needs. Because, let’s face it, most families do need mac & cheese on hand for those occasional nights you don’t want to cook… and it is slightly better than fast food (depending on where you go & what you order of course). Also, I was excited to find white tea on Amazon, since I can’t find it anywhere local :)

    • Mark

      I recommend Harney and Sons’ websitr for teas. It is a bit pricey, but they are very good.

    • Stiffie Fornicatesthedead

      Target is a part of the GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) that donated against consumers’ right to GMO labels on food products. I don’t know about you, but I will not be giving my money to some scumwanker who doesn’t want me to know what the fuck it is I am eating. Download the Buycott app (if you have a smartphone) to start boycotting assholes who don’t want you to know what you are eating.

  • mfp142

    I live too far from either of these companies. And The Fresh Market is too expensive and not much is organic at those prices. The farmers market is full of BigAg produce not any local farmers….So I have a garden :0)

    • johnny mars

      Food pyramid:

      1. Grow your own organic food
      2. Buy organic from local, trusted sources
      3. Buy organic from food stores
      4. Buy non-GMO always
      5. Buy anti-biotic and hormone-free natural products.

    • Stiffie Fornicatesthedead

      WHAT? Your local farmers market carries BigAg toxic produce? What state are you living in? That’s unfortunate. Here in Portland Oregon we are blessed with the highest quality produce at our markets. No GMOs allowed and no big guys.

    • CosmoApe

      Every living thing on this planet is “Organic.”
      “Organic Spinach” is not better than conventionally grown Spinach!
      They’re both the same.

      The word “Organic” was hijacked by the USDA.
      Don’t fall for the B.S. !!
      Don’t be a tool!
      Look at the Science.

      • Jack

        No one said spinach is not organic, the reason it isn’t organic is because it contains chemical pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, which are not found in nature. Which aren’t as bad as most people think but you will be healthier if you avoid them, and they are bad for the environment…. and there’s many things on this earth that is organic and i’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want in unsafe doses in your food like mercury, lead, arsenic…

        • CosmoApe

          Whether or not it contains “chemical pesticides” is irrelevant … Spinach is ORGANIC. It’s living / was alive therefore it is ORGANIC.

          The word “Organic” was patented by the USDA.

          Also, many “organic pesticides” are more dangerous than conventional pesticides.
          Anthrax is organic and all natural … you want to put that on your Spinach salad?

          The entire Organic industry is a joke and for fools.
          A sucker is born every minute.

          • hhh

            The cost of using so many unnatural chemicals has consequences, long term effects to the soil for example and crops dependent upon chemicals to produce and sprayed for weeds. Yes, I would prefer wasps as a natural pesticide to having crops dusted with chemicals to be considered organic. The US wastes tons of food (and not just by throwing it away, but by eating what we don’t need). Corn is not a natural food for cows to eat, but it’s cheap. Still can’t get away from chemicals because they’re in our water, but most of us would prefer less. Call it organic or call it more natural. It’s a word, and you, CosmoApe, seem to be arguing rhetoric, which misses the entire point.

            But that said, yes I agree. There is a sucker born every minute.

  • Melanie

    I would love a Trader Joe’s closer to West Michigan area. … Say Grand Rapids, Grandville, Holland!!!!!

  • timlockk

    Publix! Rumor is they are going to buy Whole Foods.

    • Brittany

      Get in my belly pub sub!

  • rbthe4th2

    Whole Foods prices are too high. Fresh Market is good. Not as much choices as Whole Paycheck though.

    • Jack3331

      Because you get what you pay for. Fresh Market has no local or organic meat. They sell meat from Factory Farms. Why would you participate in that?

      • rbthe4th2

        If you aren’t a meat eater, it doesn’t matter. I’ve shopped at Fresh Market for a long time and the food there is just as good as Whole Foods. Cheaper. Lets face it not everyone can or wants to afford the prices. You wouldn’t happen to work for WF would you?

        • Danish

          I don’t work for them and I agree with Jack. Fresh Market is good with beautiful food, but still overpriced for non-organic food. Trader Joe’s does have organic produce, but the quality is not as good and is often hidden behind plastic film. TJs has had some problems with contamination in their prepared foods the past few years as well. Whole Foods not only has organic produce but it is beautiful and cared for. We eat and shop with our eyes first and it is a pleasure to shop and cook with gorgeous, healthy ingredients. We get what we pay for. I have shopped at TJs (I love their hummus.) but prefer WFM.

      • Stiffie Fornicatesthedead

        Because people are ill educated and would rather live in the dark pretending. Dumbfux.

  • Karrina

    I LOVE trader joes. There not expensive, and they sell AMAZING products!

  • Laurie1617

    Natural Grocers is my store of choice

    • Dale

      I shop both – WF for meat, poultry and fish. TJ’s for frozen and canned wild fish, cat litter, awesome bread and jarred preserves and sauces. I also buy natural body and hand washes and some organic produce that’s way overpriced at Whole Paycheck. I like their simple frozen fruits and veggies and their peanut butter, too.

  • Sammy

    Whole foods is great for holiday, catering, speciality items, the bin grains and foods. I don’t care for TJs. Limited selection of “junk” I don’t buy anyway. They can keep their cereals and chocolate covered peanuts!

  • Sheila

    I prefer to buy locally, but do get some things from trader joes sometimes. The end of the article needs revision, by the way.

  • Consumers Union

    Another key difference between these two stores is the sourcing of their meat. Whole Foods only sells meat from animals that were never given antibiotics (their policy even includes fish!). Trader Joe’s does offer some no-antibiotics meat, but much of what they sell is ‘conventional’ – i.e. the animals were likely given antibiotics. Almost a million people have asked Trader Joe’s to stop selling antibiotic-raised meat, but so far the company has not acted. For more information, visit http://www.NotInMyFood.org

    • sipbitesavor

      I buy grass-fed beef at TJ’s -no antibiotics

    • Stiffie Fornicatesthedead

      Any of the meat at both of these stores (some seafood products included) is going to be from a CAFO, otherwise known as a factory farm. You’re still eating crap when you eat factory farmed meat, organic or not. “Free range” means absolutely nothing, maybe that they had a patch of grass to sit on for 30 minutes of their whole life… that’s it. And you’ll be paying more just for that 30 minutes of grass exposure. The only meat that may be acceptable is if either of those two stores sells Humane Certified or Animal Welfare Approved (they each have a seal) meat, and I have never seen it at either store. I no longer eat meat due to obvious reasons along with these concerns.

  • Sammy

    Throwing in Walmart at the end doesn’t make sense. Also their produce organic or not is not tasty to me! Tjs is more reasonable but whole foods has more options. I buy different things at both stores!

  • Cmarin

    We have a great chain here in SoCal called Mothers Market and Kitchen. My family loves that place, tjs and wf don’t even come close! Hope they expand to a store near all of you soon!

  • Cactus_Wren

    I’ve never been to Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s fresh produce section is pathetic. Give me AJ’s any day, and keep my dollars in the community.

  • db

    Fooducate this is article disappointing….taking tj’s word for it being GMO free(Google foodbabe and trader joes) and not mentioning the meat issue so many commented on below. If you intended to write a fair article try comparing prices on items that have some form of verification that they are either organic or GMO free side by side.

  • Noreen

    My daughter reacts to GMOs and she reacts to some of the trader joe foods. Plus some have corn syrup, I have recently found out that there is nonGMO corn syrup (my local winco started selling it in bulk) but I don’t trust their corn syrup. They have companies sign an affidavit that the foods they provide TJ are nonGMO but that is all. Who know if they really are.
    I still shop there but read every label just like I do at whole foods.

  • Stars

    Whole Foods sells baby rabbits for eating purposes so Trader Joes wins by default. Rabbits are not for eating.

    As to GMOs, I invite everyone to look up selective breeding, especially in the development of corn into an edible plant.

    • Smile orange

      What whole foods is this? I work at the one in Nebraska. And we do not sell rabbit.

    • kbmomhope

      Wha??? People have been eating rabbits as long as there have been people and rabbits on this earth. It’s a recent phenomenon for them to become pets rather than food. Get a grip!

  • Elaine

    Sprouts. Love the fact that the emphasis is on reasonably priced produce and real food. I shop at TJs occasionally for treats, but never Whole Foods due to the CEO’s idiotic position regarding health care reform.

    • Niemo

      His statements are True. Obamacare = Fascism

      • Lisa

        Obamacare means people like me, who had no hope of affordable insurance, can now go to the doctor when I’m sick.

        • Melinda Carragher Vickrey

          As to the comment about affordable insurance: I had affordable health insurance. It was $182/month. I lost my insurance thanks to Oamacare, and the “new” cost for my insurance is MORE THAN DOUBLE what I was paying before my policy was cancelled . (Even though I was “promised” that “if I like ny insurance, then I can keep my insurance ” over 30 times by the POTUS.) Every family I know is paying more than double for their healthcare. Struggling families! So I’m glad you have health insurance, because as a single, self-employed mother of a chronically ill child, I AM NOW NOT INSURED.
          WFM’s CEO’s position is totally justifiable when you realize that most American families are now worse off. I believe in healthcare reform, but Obamacare “ain’t it,”
          As to shopping: I shop only organics at both WFM and Trader Joe’s in an attempt to provide a long-term sick child with healthful nutrition. WFM is expensive, but in dealing with a chronic, life-threatning illness there’s no other option.

          • QueenB

            Melinda, im sorry your insurance increased. It did for many as the system is far from perfect. I am also a single mom, self-employed, my child is chronically ill, and I am cancer survivor with many left over side effects from radiation, chemo and surgery. For 5 years I had to guess if my cancer had returned or if my childs illness was worse because in living california rents are crazy high so it was rent and food or health insurance. Because of Obamacare I finally have my cancer screen after 5 years and my daughter is finally getting treatment for her illness and that may save her fertility so she may have kids of her own one day. So not perfect for all….a life saver for some :) and there are definitely other options than “whole paycheck” I too eat only organic non-gmo but I break up my grocery shopping between costco, grocery outlet, and farmers markets and I save a TON over “whole paycheck”. Shopping there is more convenient and time saving but if you don’t have the money for insurance then perhaps you need to be more clever with your grocery bill than shopping at WFM exclusively :)

          • Natalie

            You know, even if I did save money on groceries, it still wouldn’t be enough to cover my health insurance costs. It would be over $1,000/ month to insure my family of four and that’s with a large deductible that would typically not be met in one year.

          • QueenB

            Your circumstances ,finances or county requirements may differ from mine because my share of cost medi-cal was not possible before Obamacare. It changed the financial requirements and made it possible for me. Although I do know people who are having a hard time with the raise in costs. As I said the system is far from perfect. My point of the post was there are other ways to eat organic, non-gmo, grass fed ect without paying the pumped up prices at WF. At WF your basically paying for the convenience of not having to shop for better prices ;)

          • The Dude

            You sound like a government shill, spouting Obamacare propaganda. “The system is far from perfect.” You don’t work for the government? Really, with those kinds of lines?!? Obamacare has royally F***ED this beautiful nation’s citizens. Please take your $10,000 govt. stapler, and staple your hand to your face. Please.

          • QueenB

            Im far from a govt employee DUDE …I have very little trust in our government. Its corrupt from mr pres himself right down to your trigger happy street cops. I simply stated that I was one who able to get medical help ..I also stated that I had friends who where on the flip side of that coin. Never did I say I loved or agreed with obamacare, just stated my experience as a cancer survivor with a chronically ill child. Please promptly take your medication as you seem to be having severe reactions to small situations…Please.

          • Rebecca Anderson

            I agree with everything Queen B says and I do not work for the government either. Dude you sound awful bitter. Be happy for those of us it has helped. Queen B you sound like a remarkable women. God Bless you and your child. Dude you need to relax.

          • Fely

            QueenB, contact me too. I may have something to help you and Melinda re chronic illness. felybayona@yahoo.com. I’ll provide the information, then you decide what to do.

          • Angel

            … but you have a horse…

          • Melinda Carragher Vickrey

            I HAD a Horse (along with health insurance). I had to put my horse down last year – one of the most gut-wrenching things I’ve ever done. Don’t make assumptions. I also have a really sick kid (qualified for Make-A-Wish kind of sick) whose medical bills are financially crippling and we have to travel out of town multiple times a month to see specialists. It’s all I can do to pay for her needs. I am also self-employed. Can’t wait for Obama AND Obamacare to go away.
            To quote writer Jonathan Horn “Americans will never call the law (Obamacare) by its official name, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, perhaps because, as many have pointed out, it neither protects patients nor makes care affordable.”

          • Fely

            Hi Melinda. What chronic illness does your child have? I may have something that can help. Contact me via email felybayona@yahoo.com.

          • Marcus Millard

            I am reaching 76 years old. Have been to a doctor only to have children. Eat organic foods. Trust in Jesus for healing g.. I am test proven!!!!!! Melinda

        • jdk

          Obamacare is just a way to make the working class pay for everything.. I was quoted 500 dollars a month for obamacare ..how is that affordable..just another joke to give the government more power over it’s people and put more money in the bank for obamas wife’s vacations

          • johnny mars

            Republi-con or Demo-con: It’s all the same con in the District of Corruption. I’m an equal opportunity hater.

        • Jane

          That may be true for you (it’s not for everyone) and that’s great! however to force people to buy into something in a free market economy means, well, it’s no longer free at all.

          • jmann

            If you thought you ever lived in a free market economy you have fallen for the biggest lie of all and the corporations that own this country are laughing all the way to the bank.

        • KJ

          What happened to your hope? Who took it from you? Are your paralyzed, blind, disabled in some way?

        • Mmmom

          Lisa- unfortunately, for every success story with Obama care, there are many, many more who are now completely forced out of affordable healthcare. It is not a solution for most Americans. We do need a solution, but NOT Obamacare. Please don’t give up on the rest of us because it worked for you. Now the middle class will be forced to be uninsured because of the high premiums while it pays a fine for doing so and also pays for your insurance!

          • AV

            I have health insurance through my employer and pay $450/month which is a huge part of my check. So I don’t feel bad you have to pay 500 for obamacare. At least you have insurance and thank all of ththose who don’t and force us to pick up the tab. Your welcome.

      • Scott

        You’re an ignorant idiot

    • arealpatriot

      Whole Foods is correct in their stance on obamacare. Obamacare is one of the biggest frauds put upon the people of this country. While it may seem like a good thing for the ignorant masses, those that understand this train wreck know what will eventually happen. It has already started to happen. Prices are going up and insurance is being canceled. It is the businesses that support this “affordable healthcare” that should be boycotted!

    • MamaZ

      Our Sprouts has a surprisingly small organic produce section, but great in other departments and I like the prices. The best part is that, at least in our area (CA, Bay Area), they also sell raw milk. My only problem with Sprouts is that they also seem to have no policy on GMO’s and also carry foods that do have artificial colorings/food dyes and probably chemical preservatives, as well. So, when I do go, I still have to read labels, whereas, at least with regard to the chemical dyes, I can relax.

      • Mary-Ann Johnson

        Their policy is to make healthy food affordable, so they do include conventional products, when an affordable healthier or more natural product is not available. This helps them keep the prices lower on the “good stuff.” They never claimed to be a Whole Foods copy, but I do love their selection.

    • Mary-Ann Johnson

      I like Sprout’s too. They have fabulous meats and a good selection of products, and often, some awesome sales! My husband works for them, but I shopped there way before I met him, and well before they opened a Sprout’s in my town. TJ’s is an hour and 20 minutes away by car for us, so we go once a month and generally buy some staples, like frozen entrees (good stuff for less than $2.50 for days we are running late), some times coffee, and often snacks, as well.

      I don’t care for WF, because I don’t particularly care for how often I have read their name in the news for doing something crummy, like firing an employee because they couldn’t leave their kids at home alone on a snow day, type stuff. I am sorry, it’s a freaking grocery store, no there could have really died with out her, but her kids could have.

      • Nicole Katic

        that would be the individual store’s managers that are pulling the stunt, not the whole foods company itself, blame the person, not the group, if applicable.

  • carolyn

    I love trader joes. The are the best by far!!

  • Jenn

    The walmart sentence at the end throws me for a loop. If you are going to throw a statement in like that a little more detail would help make this statement more understandable. I loathe Walmart and find them to have aisles and aisles of processed, chemical laden crap. The produce is god awful and not that I shop there but I didn’t know they had anything organic. If they are one of the biggest players, I’d say it’s because they’re like a grocery hooker trying to be on every street corner in every town. When you have hundreds of thousands of stores you can put very little organics into each store but cummatively it’s adds up to be a lot of product. It would have to be the last store on the planet for me to shop there, especially for produce. Yuck, big business, money hungry, corporate government aid succubus, low wage paying, killer of local businesses is the only way I see that store! Boycott Walmart!!!

    • Coleen Gosnell Wheeler

      Amen. I wholeheartedly agree with you!

  • Yolanda

    This is something I’ve known for 10yrs. ….I got the benefits of both on lock…..make a weekly trip to both to cover all of clean eating needs…

  • Francie

    I always shop at walmart for the pharmacy and they do not have ANY organic produce. The produce they do have is horrible and worse than supermarket quality. TJs has a wonderful selection of fresh fruit at the Princeton, NJ location and is my preferred market for produce if im in the area. If not i just go to shoprite and their produce is just fine. Whole foods ive found is just too expensive but the quality of their produce just cant be matched. We are on a budget since im out of work and pregnant so TJs and shoprite will have to do until i go back to work. I do still buy some items from whole foods but i have to be very careful what i put in my cart bc i will walk out of there having spent $100 easy on pretty much nothing… Also why didnt anyone mention Wegmans? They have a huge organic section but are even more over priced than Whole foods which is hard to beat!

  • Francie

    I always shop at walmart for the pharmacy and they do not have ANY organic produce. The produce they do have is horrible and worse than supermarket quality. TJs has a wonderful selection of fresh fruit at the Princeton, NJ location and is my preferred market for produce if im in the area. If not i just go to shoprite and their produce is just fine. Whole foods ive found is just too expensive but the quality of their produce just cant be matched. We are on a budget since im out of work and pregnant so TJs and shoprite will have to do until i go back to work. I do still buy some items from whole foods but i have to be very careful what i put in my cart bc i will walk out of there having spent $100 easy on pretty much nothing… Also why didnt anyone mention Wegmans? They have a huge organic section but are even more over priced than Whole foods which is hard to beat!

  • Marcos A Salazar

    Hmmm so it’s up to us to chose the best organic store, in my opinion it depends how much money you have for spending on food. But since I’m low class Trader Joe’s meets me needs more then half the time. Oh Sunfoods is awesome too, they have a lot of exotic products.

  • CJrMom

    So wish there was more emphasis on people taking responsibility to grow their own and not pick on suppliers who don’t share the exact same ideal. Just because, there is such a power and fulfillment in sourcing, planting, tending and harvesting even the smallest of vegetables etc in comparison to driving into town to wage the “who sells the best, freshest, most ethically etc grown” whatever…and talk about a great way to get veggie hating kids to eat veggies that they’ve grown! Not to mention being at the mercy of whatever crisis may happen to keep healthy food attainable consistently. It’s just an amazing thing folks. I don’t have any of those stores in my town, but grew up in Phoenix with Tjs, that was 15 years ago. They were a pioneer in that arena back then. But mom says whole foods is awesome too.So…to each his own…for me…iit’s my garden :-)

    • Coleen Gosnell Wheeler

      Some of us live in apartments or otherwise cannot grow our own. I grow herbs and get my produce at a CSA during the summer, but I don’t have land I can plant. I wish I did.

  • Basmah

    Walmart is well known for exploiting it’s workers and much more. I don’t shop there based on moral grounds

    • Coleen Gosnell Wheeler

      Neither do I for the same reasons!

    • arealpatriot

      Walmart hires workers that no other company will hire. Walmart helps low skilled people have a life. What part of that is exploiting? Would you rather they be homeless?

      • Judy

        Oh please, that is a patently untrue. Wal*Mart has historically and repeatedly treated their workers poorly, and when they try and organize, they are fired. Those are not people “others won’t hire”. Where are you getting these “facts”?

        • june

          Judy, when they organize company’s the union bosses get a lot of the money they are forced to pay and the unions give it to the democratic party? What if you’re a republican???

      • Mary-Ann Johnson

        Uhm, Walmart has been sued numerous times for exploiting and excluding handicapped workers from their labor force! They also exploit all of their labor by failing to provide enough hours to their employees to actually afford to live without welfare. Where do you get your news, Walmart employee newsletters? Do some research in actual news journals!

        EEOC v. Wal-Mart Case No. 2:11-CV-00834 (Dist. New Mexico, 2012) settled
        for $50,000 and agreed to conduct annual live management training on
        the ADA at its Carlsbad, New Mexico store. Wal-Mart fired a part-time
        store clerk, a twenty-two year employee with cerebral palsy, rather than
        allow her, after return from a medical leave, a temporary accommodation
        of periodic breaks off her feet. The manager instead required a medical
        release with no restrictions.

        EEOC v. Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, Civil Action No. 1:14-cv-00862-JKB . Wal-Mart’s
        Cockeysville, Maryland store refused an applicant with end-stage renal
        disease an alternative means for providing a urine sample for a drug
        test, and then denied the applicant employment.
        Brown v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., CASE NO. 5:09-CV-03339 EJD. A federal
        judge certified a class of over 20,000 Wal-Mart workers alleging
        violated the ADA and California Industrial Welfare Wage Order 7
        violations when Wal-Mart refused to provide suitable seating for
        cashiers requesting it. Fines for violation of the California statute
        are $100 per day per person first violations and $200 per person fines
        for subsequent violations. Wal-Mart appealed the class-certification to
        the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and proceedings have been stayed (i.
        e. “frozen”) pending the appeal.

        EEOC v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Civil Action No. 14-cv-50145. Wal-Mart’s
        Rockford, Illinois store rescinded an accommodation it had previously
        provided an intellectually disabled employee of 18 years, of giving him
        written assignments. Wal-Mart then disciplined and ultimately fired him
        for unsatisfactory performance. A similar case, involving a janitor at
        Wal-Mart’s Eugene, Oregon store settled for $50,000 late last year.

        The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Huber v. Wal-Mart Case No. 07-480,
        to decide whether an employer must provide a disabled employee an
        equivalent job, giving preference to other qualified candidates as an
        accommodation under the ADA once s/he is no longer able to perform his
        or her own job. The parties entered into a confidential settlement
        before the Court heard the case. (The circuit courts of appeals remain
        split on this issue.)

        EEOC v. Wal-Mart No. 2:10-cv-00222,
        settled for $275,000 in December 2012. A forklift operator at one of
        Wal-Mart’s distribution centers in eastern Tennessee after cancer
        surgery could not do manual lifting. Although in practice his job did
        not require manual lifting, and he had successfully performed his
        essential job functions for three years after the surgery, Wal-Mart
        placed him on unpaid leave. Two months after the employee filed an EEOC
        charge, Wal-Mart fired him, giving rise to both a disability
        discrimination and retaliation claim. Wal-Mart also agreed to train its
        store managers on disability accommodation and prevention of

        Brady v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 06-5486-cv (2d Cir. July 2, 2008). The second circuit affirmed a multimillion dollar verdict for an employee in the pharmacy department of Wal-Mart’s Centerreach, N.Y.
        store Mr. Brady had cerebral palsy. Although Mr. Brady did not request
        accommodations, obvious speech, visual and walking impediments put
        Wal-Mart on notice of disabilities for which it should have provided
        reasonable accommodations. Also, in the hiring stage, Wal-Mart asked
        questions about his disability, his medications and his medical history
        and was subjected to a hostile work environment after he was hired,
        again showing that Wal-Mart knew he was disabled. He quit shortly
        thereafter. Wal-Mart’s actions also violated a 2001 nationwide consent
        order, which required providing sensitivity training to employees and
        excluding questions about an applicant’s ability to perform jobs without
        reasonable accommodations.

    • Lynn

      I don’t shop at Amazon for the exact same reason. In fact Amazon has hired old Walmart executives. I feel they are one of the worst companies.

    • think it out

      haven’t shopped in a walmart for 16 years, and somehow I survive

  • god7

    Both stores do sale GMO foods and foods said to be organic but are not wfm got busted buy its own workers and Tjs is doing the same slipping in bad foods not all products are bad but they lost my respect & trust. Wfm never got a dime from me after one visit to a store in Manhattan, 1 apple 1 yogurt & 1 liter of water. $15 bucks I would have walked out but my old lady was pregnant and hungry. I still like Tjs and will still shop their but will be doing my homework before buying anything.

  • Jane

    I was in a WFM while visiting San Diego. I am from Wisconsin where 1# of sharp cheddar is about $5.00/#. WFM charges 44.99/#. I was shocked.

  • Karibeth

    Back when the PINK SLIME was big news, Trader Joes was selling it. The manager told me it wasn’t, but when I opened the package at home the smell was overwhelming. So gross. I knew it was pink slime meat because it smelled just as the news stories described it. I still buy a few things from Trader Joes, but not meat. I only buy my meat at Whole Foods. Also, I don’t like that Trader Joes puts soy bean oil in everything. They used to have a good pasta sauce with olive oil. Guess they needed to make more profit, because they switched to soy bean oil. Disgusting. I buy the ice cream, coffee filters, organic lemonade, dryer sachets, and non-TJ wine. They also sell Applegate hot dogs, which I buy. But I make very few trips there anymore. Also, maybe the sticker shock has worn off for me, but I don’t find Whole Foods prices to be any higher than Sprouts, Lazy Acres, etc. on a lot of items I buy they are actually cheaper. I do a whole foods diet, so we don’t buy much processed foods anyway. Most of my produce I get at Lazy Acres, because they seem to have more local produce that is organic. Sorry this is long!

    • Karibeth

      Also, the organic produce at our local Sprouts is pathetic They have a very small selection, and the quality is yuck.

  • pigeonnumber3

    Whole Foods is the biggest rip off ever IMHO. And health care trolls aside, the CEO’s comments on that subject confirm my instinct to stay very far away.

  • CaptainLionrod

    Wal-Mart is only the largest seller of organic produce because of their sheer size. This should have been recognized.

  • Samela

    The Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are a block away from each other in my town, I work on an organic farm so I rarely buy produce besides fruits that don’t grow in New England, I probably buy 90% from Whole Foods just because the employees there are so friendly and always offer their suggestions and free samples. I still go to TJ for their Chipotle Salsa and beer and wine selection though!

  • Kim Johnson

    I have both stores available to me, but I refuse to shop at Whole Foods…the persona of the store is one of snobbery, I feel as if I must dress up to shop there(and the feeling seems to be spread through most of the store). Trader Joe’s is fun and friendly…and I do have a garden which supplements in the summer–I always know where THAT food has been!

  • William Fletcher

    I shop Trader Joe’s regularly and always observe the ingredients and can *definitively* say that they indeed DO have MSG in many of their products. It just goes masquerading by other names on the ingredients list (modified corn starch, etc http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html). Maddening as it makes many items forbidden – unless you don’t mind destroying your Brain and nervous system.

  • Kathi

    WFM is the “Emperor’s New Clothes” people shop their because its a status symbol. You can get all of the foods you need a TJs and as anyone been in Costco lately, they carry new brands everyday that are organic, nonGmo and heathy produce that is organic and fresh for a good price. My son in college is Vegan and he finding other stores to shop at other then WFM. $200 hundred dollars for a couple bags of groceries is not OK and WFM knows exactly what they are doing! Marketing with a Capital M!

  • think it out

    sorry to see the post getting so side tracked by Obama care…to those of you on both sides…the sad truth is the no matter which side you are on, the insurance companies wins big…(sorta like lawyers)…the system was less than perfect the old way and still less than perfect the new way…to think otherwise is just buying into your own political party or not so educated way of viewing the world. I now have insurance, which I would have been denied because of pre-existing conditions. Is it cheap- no…and it wasn’t cheap when I used to be on my husbands plan before he retired.
    Get smart and get real on both the health food issues and the insurance issues.
    If you think big business is looking after your best interest…sad. Big business agriculture and big business health insurance are not looking to do you any favors.
    That is why it is your job to not error on the side of “big anything” and do your homework and demand better from all companies. Your dollars really do talk.
    Companies make claims about their food that are incorrect. I am always thankful for the folks who do research on the facts to help keep us informed.

  • Sue

    The produce at farmer’s markets may be freshest, but that does not make them organic. I’m surprised that was not mentioned.

  • Food searcher

    Both are fine if you are shopping for gluten free or organic, but if you have other allergies both are bad. I have an allergy to corn and everything has some sort of corn product. Like soy yogurt has cornstarch but stonyfield farm soy yogurt does not, and I have to go out of my way to get it. Neither store carries daiya soy cheeses, van’s gluten free waffles has pear juice (allergic to pears). Rice dream makes many kinds of frozen “ice cream” desserts. Only can get vanilla at another store. You do not have enough dairy free products at either store.

    Are they healthy, yes, gluten free, yes but if you have other allergies, bad….try to find yeast free products. Only one bread…brown rice by Ener G….can’t find at either store…nice stores but….

  • Mary-Ann Johnson

    The other major issue to consider is how these companies treat their employees. Trader Joe’s pays more than a fair wage and they are not out fighting against insurance for everyone, fair wages, and other employee rights issues.

    The CEO of Whole Foods and their management have been in an out of the media for statements against employee rights and the ill treatment of employees.

    So, at Whole Foods it is okay to sell Fair Trade products, but not mirror that sentiment with your own labor forces? For me, it’s TJ’s all the way, and I supplement my shopping with smaller, more affordable stores such as Sprout’s and Natural Grocer. I can read labels and I don’t need to pay the luxury fees of WF to know which products to avoid.

  • Mary-Ann Johnson

    The other major issue to consider is how these companies treat their employees. Trader Joe’s pays more than a fair wage and they are not out fighting against insurance for everyone, fair wages, and other employee rights issues.

    The CEO of Whole Foods and their management have been in an out of the media for statements against employee rights and the ill treatment of employees.

    So, at Whole Foods it is okay to sell Fair Trade products, but not mirror that sentiment with your own labor forces? For me, it’s TJ’s all the way, and I supplement my shopping with smaller, more affordable stores such as Sprout’s and Natural Grocer. I can read labels and I don’t need to pay the luxury fees of WF to know which products to avoid.

  • Jackie

    Mom’s Organic Market is hands down, without a doubt, the best food store found on the east coast – dare I say, the continental US. I’d like to see a comparison of Mom’s Organic Market to the others.

  • Too much!

    We are so spoiled in this country. It’s embarrassing. We’re arguing about things that would make absolutely no difference if we lived in another country. We have too much money, too much time and little regard for making this world a better place, other than planning our next party for the weekend. I do feel fortunate, but in all honesty, to save money and eat decent is a gift all on it’s own.

  • c green

    I live in new york city. I love whole foods. They have everything i need. Never shopped at trader joes, but i will give it a shot

  • Carolyn Woods

    New choice.. Sprouts. It’s in the SW and now coming to the midwest. IMO, best buy for the buck for supplements and fresh veges.

  • Nicole Katic

    lol this is a comparison for Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market. WHY is there a note about walmart slipped in at the end??? I wouldn’t trust walmart for anything to be quite honest…

  • Nicole Katic

    hm… seems my comment was deleted, so i’ll post it again.. this is a comparison for Trader Joe’s vs Whole Foods, WHY oh WHY is there a quip on the end about walmart??? I wouldn’t trust Walmart for anything, their “food” is low priced, but i’d hardly trust anything they claim, or for anything else for that matter…

  • Patty S

    I love how commentators turn this into something it’s not. Last I checked this post was about TJ vs WFM. How about neither, because they’re too far away. I buy from farmers markets or the local grocery store, and organic where it counts. I’m a single mother and buying all organic all the time is simply not feasible. My philosophy is 1/3 organic is better than nothing at all.

  • ChelseaLJ

    Trader Joe’s uses a lot of Palm Kernel Oil in their products, and they also use imitation crab meat, both of which Whole Foods does not use.

  • Kathryn

    If price is a factor in either case I recommend iherb.com. They have a huge selection of organic and natural grocery and health care items … (including lots of those “weird” ingredients that you can find at WF but not TJ)… but they’re so much cheaper. I used coupon code PUM485 to save $10 on a $40 order. Or it will save you $5 if your order is less, plus free shipping on shops over $20 (I don’t know about you but never in my life have I got out of either store for less than that!) I hope that’s helpful to anyone who wants organic but is on a budget.

  • Vince

    Trader Joe’s is not GMO compliant they do not have non-GMO foods everything they have besides organics contains gmo, they actually removed the gmo statement off their website and removed it from in-store on their chalkboards Trader Joe’s claims that they will label gmo when the USDA and FDA tell specify what a gmo actually is, they have no stance on it until then