Eden Foods

46 Years Ago…

Eden Foods began in Ann Arbor in the late 1960s with friends sourcing natural food. Youth motivated by a study of a worldwide phenomenon centered upon macrobiotics: eating a diet of whole grain and seasonal local plant foods that are not nutrient depleted and without toxic chemical adulteration.

Natural foods were simply not available at the time, so they started the Eden food co-op to bring them in. Their initial $200 orders to Erewhon in Boston and Chico-san in California were well received and caused a local stir. This lead to co-op members traveling rural roads, knocking on doors looking for farmers to grow food using organic methods.

The Eden co-op grew into a natural food store offering whole grains, beans, soyfoods, sea vegetables, miso, cereals, vegetable oils, seed and nut butters, and the like. It expanded adding a cafeteria, bakery, and books, and became known as the Eden Deli. It was one of very few places in the U.S.A. where you could get natural, organic, macrobiotic food.

Folks came from near and far. Health food stores called asking to get the foods we were carrying. An Eden brand began to take shape.

In 1972 Eden opened its first warehouse and established relations with artisan Japanese traditional food makers. Imports of sea vegetables, teas, miso, shoyu, umeboshi plums, kuzu root starch, rice vinegar, rice bran pickles, mirin, etc. followed, and this solidified Eden as an important natural food source for the United States and Canada.

Constantly Reinvesting

Eden is the oldest natural and organic food company in North America and the largest independent manufacturer of dry grocery organic foods. We are deeply rooted in Michigan about twenty miles southwest of Ann Arbor. It is here we manage grower relations, manufacturing, trucking, quality control, customer and retailer services, marketing, import/export, accounting, databases and websites.

Over 95% of Eden foods are sold in natural food stores, co-ops, and supermarkets via traditional natural and grocery distribution channels. Web site, employee, and wholesale sales make up the remainder.

All Eden food moves through one of our warehouses in either southeast Michigan or central California.

In 2008 Eden completed a 70,000 ft2 Michigan warehouse addition. Design, construction, and operation reflect our commitment to sustainable growth and follow LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) principles. Our original builder's son utilized 80% recycled steel forged in the area. It uses energy efficient lights and insulation, preserves native flora, and is good-neighbor landscaped for our very close residential neighbors. This warehouse meets a gold LEED certification level, the second highest possible rating.

Eden tracks the environmental impact of its food upstream with suppliers, through company operations, and downstream monitoring all its social impacts. Energy consumption and waste are tracked using custom in-house tools.

In 2009 Eden Foods was selected as the best food company in the world, and the third best company overall by The Better World Shopping Guide. They acknowledged Eden's outstanding record in social and environmental responsibility. The company earned A+ and A ratings in ten food categories. This is further explained at edenfoods.com/betterworld

Introduced in 2011 is an Eden Recipes iPhone® App with 1,000+ Eden created and repeatedly tested recipes. Browse it by course, cuisine, diet considerations, ingredients, or keyword. It includes nutritional information for each recipe. Create a favorites list, or email them to friends. It's free at edenfoods.com/app

Locally Grown Food

Eden buys all food from, and pays farms directly getting more cash to them. Most is grown a few miles to a few hundred miles from home base. In the Midwest we source wild rice, beans, spelt, soybeans, cabbage, apples, tart cherries, strawberries, pastry wheat, and tomatoes. Other North American family farm organic food includes grains from the Midwest and Western high plains; almonds, pistachios, and brown rice are from California; flax and mustard seed are from Saskatchewan; dulse is from New Brunswick. …too many to list here.

Cooking and packaging centers around home too. Eden prepares 70% of its items at headquarters: fresh milled whole grain flours, gomasio sesame salts, unrefined vegetable oils, vinegars, soy sauces, roasted almonds and seeds, packaged snacks, whole grains, sea salt, popcorn and other grain. EDENSOY is made twelve miles east at an affiliate company we founded to bring its manufacture from Japan to Michigan. Eden Organic Pasta Company is in Detroit. Meridian Foods cannery for organic beans, refried beans, rice and beans, and chilies is in east-central Indiana. Eden organic udon and soba noodles are made at Sobaya Company in Montréal, PQ.

Some Eden food comes from afar: extra virgin olive oil from Spain, high altitude white and red quinoa from the Andes mountains, chamomile from Egypt, and green tea and traditional healthy food from Japan. The soybeans in our miso and soy sauces are non-GMO, U.S.A. Midwestern organic.

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