FAQs — EDEN Organic Beans

Do EDEN bean cans contain bisphenol-A (BPA), bisphenol-S (BPS), or phthalates?

No. Since April of 1999 the cans for EDEN canned beans have been BPA, BPS, and phthalate-free beginning with a custom oleoresin c-enamel can lining, at that time. This lining was only usable for low-acid foods, not tomatoes. In late 2016 we expanded our BPA, BPS, and phthalate-free cans to include tomatoes and other high-acid foods by transitioning to an updated lining.

In the mid-90s, after learning about BPA from a source in Germany, Eden Foods spent over two-and-a-half years persistently trying to get an answer to the question, "What is the food contact surface of food cans?" Eventually, we were directed to a law firm in Washington D.C. representing the canning industry who informed us that we had no right to know, and they had no duty to disclose, what those surfaces were. They were protected as corporate "proprietary information" and "trade secrets." We as citizens, and we as Eden Foods the buyer of millions upon millions of cans, have absolutely no right to know what the food contact surfaces actually are. This is true throughout the canning industry.

Eden Foods has done an enormous amount of research on can linings.

The new can lining that we are using for both high and low-acid foods is the safest there is. It is BPA, BPS, and phthalate-free. We are confident it is the best can lining on the market.

Why are EDEN black beans and black soybeans not a deep black color, but more reddish-black?

Bean canneries usually add disodium EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetate) or less commonly iron oxide processing chemicals to retain the color of their canned beans. Eden Foods does not use these chemicals. Also, almost all bean canneries do not soak their beans before cooking, a vital step in aiding digestibility. Actually, we are unaware of another bean cannery that does. EDEN Beans are soaked several hours prior to cooking and then the soaking water is discarded. Soaking the beans does result in some loss of pigmentation, especially in black beans. This causes them to appear less black than beans that have not been soaked or that use chemical color stabilization.

Why are calcium chloride and calcium disodium EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetate) almost always used in canned beans? Why does Eden Foods choose not to use these chemicals?

These chemicals are just two of thousands of FDA approved processing aids that are allowed, most commonly undeclared, in our food. Calcium chloride is used to harden the skins of mineral deficient beans so that they don't fall apart during cooking, and EDTA (calcium disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate) is used to hold the bean's color. Eden uses neither. Unseasoned EDEN beans are prepared using only pure water. Due to the vital soil producing EDEN beans, their higher mineral content allows them to be cooked without the need of these extremely undesirable chemicals. EDEN beans are prepared in ways that were perfected in our home kitchens. Because we do not use processing chemicals you may occasionally find broken beans, especially with softer beans such as cannellini and black-eyed peas, and black beans may appear less black than other brands. They are not chemically treated to cosmetically appear a certain way. They are simply excellent organic beans, properly cooked like we do at home.

What is the water source used for preparing EDEN beans?

Approximately 25% of the cannery's water comes from a well producing pristine water on our property. The remainder is from the nearby municipality Eaton, Indiana. All of it is filtered through a fine-particle up-flow filtration system at the cannery.

Are lectins found in beans inactivated by soaking and cooking?

Many plant and animal foods contain glycoproteins, a protein molecule with a sugar molecule attached that acts as an antigen. These proteins are referred to as lectins, and also know as haemagglutinin or phytohaemagglutinin.

There are different types of lectins, many of them are necessary in various cellular functions of our body. However some foods, especially certain beans, contain levels that cause digestive issues when eaten after being improperly prepared. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the FDA's Bad Bug Book: Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxin Handbook, "bean lectins are inactivated by heat and rendered harmless by proper soaking and cooking."

EDEN canned beans are washed and patiently soaked in stainless steel soaking tanks (a very rare step in the bean canning industry). The soaking water is discarded. The soaked beans are steam blanched and rinsed before being pressure-cooked for a specified amount of time depending upon the bean variety. Pressure cooking beans thoroughly inactivates lectins. Traditional fermentation methods (such as those used in making EDEN Miso, Shoyu, and Tamari) also completely eliminate lectins. These beans are also washed, soaked, and cooked prior to being fermented.

Are EDEN Aduki Beans the same bean as Japanese azuki beans?

Yes. This small red bean, native to Asia, is known as azuki in Japan. Due to Japanese/English translation issues, it became known as aduki and adzuki in the U.S. Soil composition differences between Japan (volcanic ash) and the U.S. (glacial deposit), cause aduki beans grown in the U.S. to be slightly more compact and less deep red in color than Japanese grown aduki beans. Although the U.S. grown aduki Phaseolus angularis bean resembles the small red bean Phaseolus vulgaris that is popular in Southern cuisine, it is a different species entirely with a different flavor.

What is the shelf life of EDEN canned beans?

Three years. A 'Best if Used by' date code is on the top of each can. The code starts with the year's four digits followed by a two-letter month abbreviation and then the numbers of the day. Example: 2013MA05

How many canned bean offerings does Eden have?

  • Twelve plain, unsalted (15 ounce) — EDEN Black Eyed Peas, Aduki, Black, Black Soy, Butter, Garbanzo, Kidney, Great Northern, Navy, Pinto, Small Red Beans, and Cannellini
  • Ten plain, unsalted (29 ounce) — EDEN Black, Cannellini, Garbanzo, Kidney, Navy, Pinto Beans, Black Eyed Peas, Black Soy, Great Northern, and Small Red
  • Six plain, lightly salted (108 ounce food service) — EDEN Black, Cannellini, Garbanzo, Kidney, Navy, and Pinto Beans
  • Five Seasoned (15 ounce) — EDEN Baked Beans w/Sorghum, Lentils w/Onion & Bay Leaf, Caribbean Black, Chili Beans, and Spicy Pinto Beans
  • Five Refried, plain and spicy (15 and 16 ounces) — EDEN Refried Black, Refried Kidney, Refried Pinto, Spicy Refried Black, and Spicy Pinto Beans

Where do Eden's beans come from?

Eden's beans are grown organically as close to Eden Foods as can be arranged and as growing season climates allow. For instance, EDEN Pinto Beans are grown in the thumb of Michigan, but bean growers know that one year out of seven years they will get no crop either from too much or not enough rain. Consequently, we work with growers in upstate New York and Idaho to ensure that Eden needs are reliably met. Another example is chickpeas (garbanzo beans) that need a more arid climate than we have locally. We work with growers for them in southern California and Arizona. Another example is lentils. They prefer a more arid northerly climate, and we get them from Montana, Saskatchewan, and Western North Dakota. Eden visits its growers annually and is commonly told by growers we are the only company that does so. They look forward to our visits.

Does Eden Foods offer low sodium and sodium free bean choices?

Yes. Eden has 12 very low sodium Plain beans with no salt added; 5 low sodium Plain beans; and 1 low sodium Seasoned beans.

Are EDEN Canned Beans cooked and ready to eat?

Yes, just heat and serve. See each product 'Detailed Description' for more cooking ideas, as well as our recipe section.

What are the brown specks that can be found mixed in with EDEN Plain beans, towards the bottom of the can?

The brown specks are from Kombu, a healthy sea vegetable also known as kelp, which enhances flavor, digestibility, and nutrition.

Does Kombu in EDEN Beans contribute iodine?

Yes. Based on our third party independent laboratory analysis, the Kombu in EDEN Beans contributes, on average, 48.4 mcg of iodine per 1/2 cup serving, or 32% Daily Value (DV).