Eden Foods Inc.

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Eden Foods
Corporation
Founded 1968
Number of employees
128 (April 2013)[1]
Website edenfoods.com

Eden Foods, Inc., (also known as Eden Organic), claims to be the oldest independent organic food producer in the United States, and the largest supplier of organic dry grocery items.[2] It is best known for its Edensoy line of organic soy milk,[3] and its line of organic Japanese foods and condiments.

Eden was founded in 1969 as a co-op grocery store in Ann Arbor, Michigan to continue the operations of a defunct macrobiotic food buying club.[4] Originally incorporated as a nonprofit, it became a for-profit company in 1970.[4] In 1972, the company began importing Japanese foods such as miso and soy sauce for both the retail and commercial markets. Many of Eden's Japanese foods are still sourced in Japan.

Most of Eden Food's products are organic, most are certified kosher, and all of Eden Foods' products are also vegan, except for their katsuo (Japanese fish flakes). Many of Eden's prepared foods are also gluten-free, and have therefore been recommended for those on a gluten-free or gluten-free casein-free (GFCF) diet[5]

Products[edit]

Soy milk[edit]

In 1997, an independent test by the New York Times looking for traces of GMOs in 11 soy and corn-based products found Eden's milk to be the only product that tested clean, a finding that Eden Foods attributed to their extensive certification and testing program.[6]

Soy sauce[edit]

In 2001, Eden shoyu soy sauce was rated highest for flavor by Cook's Illustrated in a comparison of 12 brands. In 2007, Eden's tamari was rated best out of seven brands tested in a comparison conducted by the San Francisco Chronicle for its "Taster's Choice" column.[7]

Extra virgin olive oil[edit]

In 1999, Prevention Magazine rated Eden's "Extra Virgin Spanish Olive Oil" highest in flavor and protective nutrients out of the 22 brands of extra virgin olive oil studied.[8]

Canned food[edit]

Eden uses BPA-free enamel-lined cans for most of its products (the only exception being tomato-based foods),[9] and was subsequently recommended by the Center for Science in the Public Interest as a safer option for canned food.[10]

In a 2005 study, Eden's canned refried beans were rated best in nutritional value among commercial refried beans by Men's Health Magazine.[11]

Controversy[edit]

Infant formula charges[edit]

In 1988 CEO Michael Potter was charged and later served 30 days in jail on misdemeanor charges for misrepresenting Edensoy soy milk as an infant formula.[12] The suit was brought after a Canadian infant developed a rare eye and bone disorder as a result of vitamin deficiency from being fed the product.[13][12][14] The child's physician later reported the patient to have "completely recovered".[15][12]

Employee healthcare[edit]

In March 2013, Eden Foods filed suit against the Obama administration seeking an exemption from the mandate to cover contraception for its employees under the Affordable Care Act.[16] According to the company's CEO Michael Potter, providing access to any form of contraceptives would violate his beliefs as a Catholic.[17] (This stance against all types of birth control differs from Hobby Lobby's refusal to cover several types of contraception.) Eden Foods lost its suit in both the District Court and the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (Eden v. Sebelius),[18] and appealed to the Supreme Court. The Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision by the US Supreme Court on 30 June 2014 overrules the lower courts. The next day, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, Eden Foods v. Burwell.[19] Public awareness of the filings sparked a negative response from customers, hundreds of whom urged a boycott of the company on popular liberal websites, as well as the company's own Facebook page.[20][21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Irin Carmon (April 11, 2013). "Organic Eden Foods’ quiet right-wing agenda: A crunchy, natural food company marketed to liberals discreetly sues to stop covering employees' contraception". Salon.com. 
  2. ^ about Eden Foods
  3. ^ Dun & Bradstreet report on Eden, via Google Finance
  4. ^ a b Shurtleff, William (2011). History of Erewhon - Natural Foods Pioneer in the United States. Soy Info Center. p. 167. 
  5. ^ The GFCF Diet: Side dishes
  6. ^ Eden Foods' organic soy milk passes the media test for GMOs - The Organic & Non-GMO Report
  7. ^ SFGate.com - "Top tamari balances sweet and salty"
  8. ^ Eden Foods press release
  9. ^ Eco Childs Play:Canned Food and BPA
  10. ^ Report from Center for Science in the Public Interest on BPA
  11. ^ 125 Top Foods for Men
  12. ^ a b c "Eden Foods Pleads Guilty to Infant Formula Violations". Vegetarian Times (Active Interest Media, Inc.): 9–10. April 1989. ISSN 0164-8497. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "1980 Infant Formula Act may have been violated". The Argus-Press (Owosso, MI). August 17, 1988. p. 11. OCLC 36134862. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  14. ^ "Fats & oils news". Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society 66 (4): 500. 1989. doi:10.1007/BF02885435. 
  15. ^ William Shurtleff, Akiko Aoyagi (29 August 2013). History of Soymilk and Other Non-Dairy Milks (1226-2013): Including Infant Formulas, Calf Milk Replacers, Soy Creamers, Soy Shakes, Soy Smoothies, Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Peanut Milk, Rice Milk, Sesame Milk, etc. Soyinfo Center. p. 1698. ISBN 978-1-928914-58-7. 
  16. ^ Carmon, Irin (April 11, 2013). "Organic Eden Foods’ quiet right-wing agenda". SALON. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  17. ^ Pelham, Dennis (1 July 2014). "Eden Foods’ owner ‘grateful’ for Supreme Court ruling". The Daily Telegram. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  18. ^ Eden Foods, Inc., et al. v. Sebelius, et al. (6th Cir 2013-10-24) (“we AFFIRM the district court’s denial of Eden Foods’s motion for a preliminary injunction”). Text
  19. ^ http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/13-591.htm
  20. ^ Hymas, Lisa. "This organic food company is refusing to pay for employees’ birth control". Grist.org. Grist.org. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "Eden Foods' Hobby Lobby-esque Birth Control Fight Sparks Boycott". Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]