Organic Eden Foods Isn't Progressive Enough to Pay For Its Employees' Birth Control


Eden Foods, an independently owned natural food company, is just as interested in the “Creation and Maintenance of Purity in Food®” as the maintenance of purity in your uterus: the company is suing the Obama administration for exemption from the contraceptive mandate. Owner Michael Potter believes sex is for baby-making alone, and hopes to force his 128 employees to follow suit.

In court filings (brought to our attention by Salon‘s Irin Carmon) the plaintiffs (Eden Foods and Potter) lay out the reasons why Potter’s personal and nonsensical beliefs regarding birth control and emergency contraception — which Eden Foods has historically referred to as “Lifestyle Drugs” (we hear all the It Girls will be popping Yasmin at Coachella this year!) — should take precedence over reproductive choice. Examples: the company believes that contraception and abortifacients “almost always involve immoral and unnatural practices” and that the morning-after pill “can cause the death of the embryo, which is a person.” (No, it can’t, and if an embryo is a person, I’m a bag of “organic whole leaf dulse.”)

It’s unsurprising when Christian publishing companies and craft supply stores fight the contraception mandate. (We covered the first 18 for-profit companies that fought to eliminate the birth control benefit earlier this year; now 25 have filed suit.) But doesn’t it seem rather misleading for Eden Foods, which says it’s the “oldest natural and organic food company in North America,” to hide its conservative agenda?

The company clearly caters to a particular demographic — its on-trend feel-good slogans (”Organic agriculture is society’s brightest hope for positive change”) and mission statements (“contribute to peaceful evolution on earth”; “maintain a healthy, respectful, challenging, and rewarding environment for employees”) are a fair trade quinoa-eating, Prius-driving liberal’s wet dream. I have some Black&Tan Eden Gomasio in my spice rack right now — and I wouldn’t if I knew it was dreamed up by an owner who probably thinks abortion clinic protesters are a shining beacon of hope in today’s godless world.

When Eden Foods’ request for exemption was denied in March, District Court Judge Denise Page Hood wrote that “The purpose of the Women’s Preventive Healthcare Regulations is not to target religion, but instead to promote public health and gender equality.” A hearing has been set for May 10. Until then, consider throwing out your Gomasio; yes, it does wonders for all types of breakfast eggs, but the guy who makes it thinks your sex life is “immoral and unnatural.”


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