Does Trader Joe’s Sell Humanely Raised Meat?

Does Trader Joes Sell Humanely Raised Meat?

Trader Joe’s is known for having a large collection of high-quality products at reasonable costs. But as Trader Joe’s doesn’t have a full-service meat department. Does Trader Joe’s Sell Humanely Raised Meat?

The short answer is that Trader Joe’s carries both conventional and organic meat, as well as ethically raised cattle. Not all meat at Trader Joe’s is raised humanely, so look for organically farmed meat or meat labeled “pasture-raised” for the most humanely raised options.

What does Humanely Raised Meat even mean?

The word “humanely raised” as it appears on meat products has no legal definition. As a result, it is of little practical consequence. However, many producers use this to indicate that their meat and poultry are free-range or pasture-raised and hence more compassionate than meat and poultry supplied by large commercial meat processors.

However, it in itself doesn’t mean much. But, if such a statement is followed by free-range or pasture-raised, we can be very positive that such practices are being used. 

Another way to ensure organically grown meat is to check for certification by the CertifiedHumane group. They certify producers who meet certain criteria. So, if you see their logo on meat or poultry products, you know what it means: “That the food products were produced in facilities that adhere to strict, objective farm animal treatment standards.”

Where Does Trader Joe’s Get Their Meat From?

Their meat and poultry come from both traditional and non-conventional sources. The former are sources that are likely to include antibiotics, whereas the latter are sources that can be defined as organic, all-natural, or explicitly antibiotic-free (ABF). It goes on to say that it goes to considerable lengths to ensure that the latter variety of meat and poultry is constantly available, based on client input.

As a result, the selection includes a mix of organic and inorganic items, and the criteria aren’t particularly stringent. But TJ’s forthright about the nature of what it sells. But when compared to competitors like Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s standards are a little hazy.

Trader Joe’s also sells meat that has been branded by other brands. Most of their items are purchased from other companies under a “private label” agreement and repackaged as their own. Kayem Foods, Teva, and Empire are just a few of the meat producers.

Is There A Meat Quality Criteria At Trader Joe’s?

Trader Joe’s has a set of broad meat quality guidelines. 

  • No artificial ingredients or preservatives.
  • No MSG.
  • No GMOs on their private label. 
  • A pledge to offer certain meat and poultry that is free of artificial growth hormones and antibiotics. 

Where Does Trader Joe’s Get Their Chicken From?

The chicken at Trader Joe’s comes from the United States. They do not, however, divulge the poultry farms that supply their chicken.

Trader Joe’s has three types of chicken:

  1. Shop for Meat (with a red label)
  • conventionally grown
  • cage-free 
  • no hormone or antibiotic-free
  1. All Natural (with a green and brown label)
  • no antibiotics
  • cage-free
  1. Organic (labeled organically-grown)
  • Organically-grown, all-vegetarian grain feed
  • Free-range
  • No hormones or antibiotics were administered.

All-Natural Chicken at Trader Joe’s

The all-natural Heirloom chicken brand from Trader Joe’s is pasture-raised. They are slow-growing hens that haven’t been given antibiotics or hormones. Heritage chickens are Trader Joe’s Heirloom chickens. Heritage hens are chickens that have been passed down through generations. These are slow-growing hens who have been naturally mated and have lived a long productive existence outdoors. They’re not as large as their more modern counterparts, but they’re more tasty and juicy. They’re also a little pricier.
Heritage chickens are thought to be healthier and happier because of how they are grown. 

Based on the foregoing, we may deduce that certain of Trader Joe’s meat products have been raised humanely and are hence of high quality.

Difference Between Trader Joe’s And Whole Foods Meat

When compared to Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market’s beef is superior. Trader Joe’s sources meat from both conventional and natural sources, but Whole Foods sells meat that meets a far higher quality and animal welfare standard. To put it another way, while both provide all-natural beef and poultry, Trader Joe’s also has some items that are similar to those found at Safeway or Kroger.

To be honest, Whole Foods has a complicated and well-documented set of acceptable meat guidelines. Meat quality is certified via a five-step process. The well-being of the killed animals is a top priority.

Trader Joe’s provides little information about meat quality, and there are no specialist butchers in its stores. In all Whole Foods locations, butchers have received extensive training.


It’s common knowledge that Trader Joe’s keeps its sourcing a closely guarded secret. So, it is difficult to be aware of where it obtains its meat from. And their sources are likely to shift over time. However, it is stated on its website that making non-GMO and organic products available requires a lot of effort. They also revealed that some of the meat is conventional, meaning it was reared with antibiotics, but they also ensure that a certain amount of organic meat is available.

Does Trader Joe’s Sell Humanely Raised Meat?

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