29 March 2018
Clinton, Michigan - Eden Foods is the oldest natural and organic food company in North America with a focus on providing dry grocery, organic, natural food. Friends studying macrobiotics observed a universal degradation of food quality and authenticity. Their studies motivated them to acquire clean, appropriate, natural food consistent with common sense. This prompted the founding of Eden Foods in the late 1960s. Macrobiotics created the natural food industry. Every initial natural food company was macrobiotic centric, and designed to provide for a new movement of pure food consumption. The natural food movement was centered upon whole grain and seasonal plant foods that were not chemically adulterated or nutrient depleted.
Natural foods were not available locally, so an Eden Foods Co-op was started to open access to them more broadly. The co-op developed into a natural food store whose staff began searching for local growers, traveling country roads and knocking on doors, trying to find the farmers who would grow grain and beans without agricultural chemicals. The store added a cafeteria, bakery, and books. In the 1970s, it became a destination for folks from near and far. It was one of the few places in the U.S. and Canada where one could get natural, organic, macrobiotic food.
Health food stores began to contact Eden wanting to access the foods it was providing, for their own stores. This resulted in wholesale sales being delivered to other local retailers. Flour milling, roasting, and packaging vigorously began in the basement of this retail store, becoming the first Eden warehouse. This was the beginning of the EDEN brand of natural foods.
In 1972, Eden opened a distribution center and warehouse, and established business relations with artisan Japanese traditional food makers. Those relationships with like-minded companies have lasted decades. Macrobiotic sea vegetables, tea, miso, soy sauce, noodles, umeboshi, kuzu root starch, vinegars, pickles, and mirin were imported from them. Eden Foods became, and remains today, the largest purveyor of macrobiotic food outside of Japan.
Eden works constantly to minimize the company's environmental impact, and to ensure that production and distribution energies have maximum positive effect. Energy efficiency and waste avoidance are tracked using custom proprietary tools. In 2009, Eden was selected as the Best Food Company in the World, and the Third Best Company Overall by the ‘Better World Shopping Guide.’ They extolled Eden's record in social and environmental responsibilities. In 2015, they again honored Eden as a Green Hero and determined it to be one of the Twenty Best Companies on the Planet.
Eden buys food from farmers and pays them directly. This method of paying farm gate prices maximizes the farmer's income and keeps Eden in close cooperation with them. Most Eden foods are grown and processed a few to a few hundred miles from headquarters. Some items, out of necessity, come from afar. Regardless of location, Eden regularly visits these grower families, helping them with certification programs and ever-changing demands. Visiting their homes, sitting in their kitchens, sharing updates, exchanging ideas, and walking the fields are the best ways to keep relationships open and to experience what motivates them.
Eden Foods enjoys a dedicated network that provides the finest food that can be found. Its local-first purchasing criteria reduces transport fossil fuel costs and supports local resources. Eden helps support 400 family farms with more than 116,000 acres of vibrant, organic farmland.
One of the things about Eden Foods (besides its people) is that it has remained faithful to its founding ideals based upon macrobiotic principles. Eden remains focused on acquiring and sharing the finest organic, traditional, pure and purifying food. The Eden mission is still the same as it was 50 years ago - procure the best food possible and share it with others.
Eden Foods is grateful to all its employees and customers, past and present, who make possible the pursuit of the wonderful, enormous dream and the continued work toward its realization. [ ]