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14 Sustainable Food Companies You Can Trust

For consistently healthy, conscientious products, try these 14 sustainable food companies—selected for their health, environmental and social attributes.

| July/August 2012

  • Located north of San Francisco, Alvarado Street Bakery has been a leader in healthy, organic whole and sprouted grain baked products for more than 20 years, supporting sustainable agricultural and business practices.
    Image Courtesy Alvarado St Bakery
  • In addition to sustaining its business and brands, Clif Bar and Co.'s “5 Aspirations” include sustaining its community, its employees and the planet.
    Image Courtesy Clif Bar and Co
  • The oldest natural and organic food company in North America and the largest independent manufacturer of dry grocery organic foods, Eden Organic is rooted in Michigan and buys all of its food directly from farmers, most within a few hundred miles of its home base.
    Image Courtesy Eden Organics
  • Eden Organic Pinto Beans
    Photo Courtesy Eden Organic
  • Eden Organic Whole Grain Quinoa
    Photo Courtesy Eden Organic
  • Ella's Kitchen Chick-Chick-Chicken Casserole with Rice
    Photo Courtesy Ella's Kitchen
  • Ella's Kitchen Oh So Creamy Chicken and Corn Mash with Herb Sprinkles
    Photo Courtesy Ella's Kitchen
  • Created by two parents who believed their baby should have healthier and more delicious food options, Ella’s Kitchen makes 100 percent organic food for babies and kids.
    Image Courtesy Ella's Kitchen
  • Frontier Natural Products' Almond Extract
    Photo Courtesy Frontier Natural Products
  • Frontier Natural Product's Cinnamon Sticks
    Photo Courtesy Frontier Natural Products
  • Member-owned co-op Frontier Natural Products prides itself on its values of integrity, social responsibility and openness, as well as its support of organic agriculture, fair dealings with small suppliers, and community and environmental programs.
    Image Courtesy Frontier Natural Products
  • Fill your grocery cart with healthy, conscientious products from the top food companies on the market.
    Photo Courtesy Fotolia
  • A family-owned and operated coffee-roasting company in the Pacific Northwest, Grounds for Change is committed to providing a sustainably, fairly produced product that benefits the environment, its farmers and its consumers. The company’s mission is “to support social equity and environmental sustainability through fair trade, organic, shade-grown coffee.”
    Image Courtesy Grounds for Change
  • Family-owned and operated Lundberg Family Farms uses eco-friendly farming methods to produce a variety of rice and rice products.
    Image Courtesy Lundberg Family Farms
  • A “fiercely independent” family company based in British Columbia with three distribution centers in North America, Nature’s Path’s guiding principle is “always leave the soil better than you found it.”
    Image Courtesy Nature's Path Foods
  • Newman's Own Organics Newman-O's
    Photo Courtesy Newman's Own Organics
  • Created in 1993 by Nell Newman as a division of her father’s philanthropic food company, Newman’s Own Organics aims to offer organic, healthy snack foods.
    Image Courtesy Newman's Own Organics
  • Founded in 1968 with the belief that good health should not be a luxury available only to the wealthy, NOW Foods has been a family-owned company providing quality foods and supplements for more than 40 years.
    Image Courtesy NOW Foods
  • Numi Organic Tea's Decaf Simply Green Tea
    Photo Courtesy Numi
  • Numi Organic Tea was founded by a brother-sister duo looking to introduce exotic, premium organic and fair trade teas to the U.S. market. The company is rooted in the principle of creating a healthful product that nurtures people and honors the planet.
    Image Courtesy Numi
  • A farmer-owned cooperative, Organic Valley was founded in 1988 to support rural communities and protect the health of family farms through organic agriculture. The cooperative’s 1,687 family farms produce an array of meat and dairy products.
    Image Courtesy Organic Valley
  • Organic Valley Pasture Butter
    Photo Courtesy Organic Valley
  • Founded by a mother dedicated to offering the best tasting and healthiest organic foods for babies, toddlers and children, Plum Organics produces a wide range of products that are certified organic and nutrient-rich.
    Image Courtesy Plum Organics
  • Plum Organics Yogurt Pouches
    Photo Courtesy Plum Organics
  • Founded by a fisherman with more than 20 years experience of wild fishing in Alaska, Vital Choice Seafood offers customers sustainably harvested wild seafood products.
    Image Courtesy Vital Choice Seafood

Shopping for healthy, responsibly produced food can be a challenge. From confusing labels and long lists of complex ingredients to loose government regulation, identifying the foods that are truly good for our families and the environment can be a tricky proposition. Some companies, however, have made their business out of offering reliably healthy products that prioritize the health of their customers, their producers and the environment. In looking to identify such sustainable food companies, we partnered with the folks at GoodGuide, an organization that rates hundreds of companies on their health, sustainability and social attributes. We asked GoodGuide to offer us their top picks for national food companies that offer a wide range of products—focusing on those that offer healthy items and avoiding companies owned by larger parent companies that may not be doing as much good. This time, we aimed to include a wide range of products—in the future, we plan to offer more specific lists of companies that offer healthy foods in certain categories. Don’t see one of your favorite sustainable food companies on this list? Have a food category you’d like to see covered? Email us your thoughts at

Grounds for Change

Overview: A family-owned and operated coffee-roasting company in the Pacific Northwest, Grounds for Change is committed to providing a sustainably, fairly produced product that benefits the environment, its farmers and its consumers. The company’s mission is “to support social equity and environmental sustainability through fair trade, organic, shade-grown coffee.”

Health: Certified organic; grown by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and conservation

Environment: Purchases 100 percent renewable energy for facilities; offsets 100 percent of nonrenewable energy used in business operations and transportation; uses 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper; donates jute coffee bags to local organic farms for use in erosion control; a percentage of profits goes toward the Northwest Shade Coffee Campaign, Save Our Wild Salmon and; shade-grown coffee prevents the clear-cutting of forest

Social: Fair trade certified, meaning products are grown by farmers who receive a fair price for their harvest, work under safe working conditions, and are able to invest in social and business development projects such as scholarship programs and health- care services

Products: Organic, shade-grown, fair trade coffee; website also offers fair trade, organic tea and chocolate

7/9/2014 11:51:55 AM

Eden Organics is not a trustworthy company and according to comments below, neither are some of the others on the list. Makes the entire list suspect!

7/9/2014 2:04:35 AM

I’m appalled that Eden foods is on your list. Eden Foods CEO is opposed to contraception and petitioned the courts for permission to use their owner’s religious beliefs to discriminate against women. Eden’s CEO, Michael Potter, said he was “grateful” for the court’s decision, while calling President Obama a “dictator” who wants to take away Americans’ rights. This is not a socially conscious company. This is a right wing company that wants to turn the clock back on women’s rights.

7/8/2014 7:54:17 PM

Please read this article, and how very specifically Michael Potter, who is getting rich when you buy his Eden Organics products, is and has for some time, tried to deny women access to certain healthcare services because of his own personal religious beliefs: While I have purchase Eden Organics products in the past, I certainly will never spend another dime to enrich someone that believes he has the right to mandate other people's lives based on his personal religious faith.

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