Mississippi Market's rationale for not dumping Eden Foods is similar to Seward Co-op's [UPDATE]

Categories: Food, Health Care
Courtesy of Todd Kolod
Kolod (pictured) says Mississippi Market only carries a few Eden Foods products, but even one is too many for him.
-- Update, including comments from Mississippi Market, at bottom --

Earlier this week, we shared the Seward Co-op's reasons for continuing to sell products made by Eden Foods, a Michigan-based company with Catholic ownership that's under fire for refusing to provide birth control to its employees on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling.

As you'd probably expect, the rationale invoked by at least one other Twin Cities co-op that continues to sell Eden products is largely similar. More specifically, consider how Liz McMann, Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op's consumer affairs manager, responded to Todd Kolod (pictured at top of this post) when Kolod wrote her expressing his concerns about the co-op's decision not to dump Eden.

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Here's her email, which Kolod shared with us:
Hi Todd-
Hope you're doing well! This is definitely a hot topic now, but one that we are leaving open for our shoppers to vote with their dollars. Here is our position on the matter:

Personally, Eden's position is disturbing to many of our shoppers and staff (though not all).

Mississippi Market is committed to educating consumers about food controversies, such as GMO labeling, organic certification and fairly traded goods. Eden Foods decision to sue the Obama administration for exemption from the mandate to cover contraception for its employees under the Affordable Care Act is a health care issue, not a food issue. The co-op believes that everyone has a right and an obligation to vote with their dollars and encourages those that are against Eden's decision to find a product that fits better with their values - we have many other options on our shelves.

Mississippi Market prefers not to take part in product boycotts because we serve a diverse community with a wide range of beliefs. We don't take sides on political issues unless they directly relate to our mission. Rather, we hope that our customers will make educated product choices that work best for them. Check out website to view our product policy: http://msmarket.coop/products/policy/

Your decision to not purchase Eden products is an excellent way to vote with your dollars!


Liz McMann
Consumer Affairs Manager
Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op
In a followup conversation, Kolod said he was actually more bothered by what McMann said to him later while he held an anti-Eden sign outside the Mississippi Market at Selby and Dale in St. Paul.

"Liz McMann came out to me when I was picketing," Kolod says. "She seemed irritated. She said it 'didn't look good.'"

(For more, including an update, click to page two.)

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