Based in the southern part of Michigan, Eden Foods is an American food producer that specializes in traditional Japanese products, such as buckwheat soba noodles and umeboshi paste. A range of traditional pantry foods, like apple butter and sauerkraut, rounds out their product selection. How Eden Foods got started Nowadays, organic foods are everywhere, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, not long ago it was fairly difficult to obtain organic products. Seeing this gap in the market, a group of young entrepreneurs were inspired to come up with a way to provide healthy organic food, and created the Eden Foods Co-op in 1968. The co-op was an instant success, finding a large following, mainly of students at the University of Michigan in the college town of Ann Arbor. These bohemian scholars (who were weary of unrefined processed foods) would stop by the co-op to pick up organic vegetables and wholesome foods. Soon, Eden Foods became a community of like-minded individuals and the company expanded into a cafeteria, bakery, and bookstore. People came to Eden Foods from across the country to see what was going on, and health food stores all around America called the co-op to ask what they were carrying. Not long after, Eden Foods emerged as one of the leaders of organic health foods. In 1972, the company opened their first warehouse and established relationships with manufacturers overseas. Soon they began importing foods like sea vegetables, green teas, rice vinegar, and many other Asian delicacies that were a rarity in America at the time. Even today, not too much has changed with Eden Foods since the ‘70s. Despite production becoming much bigger, the company values and the quality of their organic foods has remained the same. Why certified organic products are important Everything that Eden Foods produces either meets or exceeds the mandated requirements set forth by the Organic Crop Improvement Association, which provides a qualified equivalent of the USDA organic certification. That means that the food was produced at a farm or by a manufacturer that adheres to a strict set of guidelines, which regulates food preparation using methods that aim to protect your health and the environment by avoiding the use of chemical additives. How Eden Foods sources their ingredients A large amount of the ingredients Eden Foods uses are grown locally within the state of Michigan or the greater Midwest. However, the ingredients for the Japanese foods they manufacture are imported directly from small local farmers in Japan. Eden Foods believes in fair wages for fair work. To that end, they work directly with these farmers to pay them all a sustainable dollar amount for their harvest. Some of the quality products sold by Eden Foods Eden Foods makes high quality organic food, and Thrive Market is proud to carry a good handful of their products. If you’re looking for a hearty soup, try adding in Eden Foods Buckwheat Soba Noodles to a broth base. And if you’re looking to jazz up toast, opt for Eden Foods Organic Apple Butter. Here’s some more of our favorite products: Eden Foods Bonito Flakes Bonito is a staple in many Japanese diets. It’s a type of fish that’s similar to tuna and mackerel. To make their bonito flakes, Eden Foods uses a recipe that has been passed down for hundreds of years, resulting in a product that’s somewhat similar to jerky. These dehydrated flakes have plenty of nutrients and are often used as a topping for soup or salad. Eden Foods Buckwheat Soba Pasta ”Soba” is Japanese for “buckwheat,” which is a type of plant that is unrelated to traditional wheat. Eden Foods Soba Pasta is not only tasty, but contains 12 percent of the daily value of dietary fiber as well as protein. Eden Foods Organic Apple Butter Using organic apples that are locally grown on a family-owned orchard in Michigan, Eden Food Organic Apple Butter makes a scrumptious, tangy spread that comes from natural, wholesome ingredients. Eden Foods Umeboshi Paste Umeboshi is a Japanese delicacy made from plums that have been pickled and sprinkled with a dash of sea salt. If you’re not sure how to use it, Eden Foods umeboshi paste is ideal when served with sushi and rice dishes.