Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Lundberg Family Farms

By Carly Price, May 25, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Carly Price

We love our producers, suppliers and vendors and we think most of them have some pretty interesting stories behind their products too. We’re sharing some of our favorites here in an ongoing series

Long before there were national organic standards, Albert and Frances Lundberg began their family farm in 1937. Then in the 1960s, four of the Lundberg’s children, Eldon, Wendell, Harlan and Homer, built their own rice mill and established Lundberg Family Farms as a leading pioneer of the nationwide organic movement.

Now in its 75th year and third generation of family management under Grant Lundberg, more than 70% of the Lundberg family’s rice is grown organically. The other 30% is “eco-farmed,” a term they use to describe a blend of ecological methods, integrated pest management and conventional practices that minimizes use of pesticides and herbicides.

Although the Lundberg brand is best known for brown rice, they also grow and mill more than a dozen other varieties, including exotic Black Japonica and their unique Wehani red rice.

In addition, they offer a range of snacks, including boldly flavorful brown rice tortilla chips and crispy, nutty-tasting brown rice cakes. And they have only one product remaining to be Non-GMO Project verified.

“We take people around the world on their plates with 19 different varieties of rice. Like any agricultural item, there’s a terroir to rice,” says Todd Kluger, vice president of marketing. “There are great flavor attributes that come from the sun, soil and water here in Northern California.”

Along with their commitment to delicious rice, the Lundbergs are equally passionate about protecting the environment. More than 200 species of wildlife, mostly migratory birds, rely on the Northern California rice fields as a seasonal habitat. Lundberg Family Farms partners with local wildlife conservationists to ensure the integrity of the wetlands, help count bird populations and even collect eggs from nests in the fields when needed.

To protect air quality, Lundberg does not participate in the common practice of burning excess straw (a by-product of harvesting rice).

Instead, the straw is left in the field, chopped and incorporated into the soil.

Solar energy panels in the rice fields and at their warehouse also generate approximately 11% of total energy needs and they have a goal of expanding the number of panels to generate 30% by 2015. “Our methods have developed out of the family's deep-rooted beliefs about the land and surrounding environment,” Todd says. “We strive to constantly innovate and to reduce our footprint on the land.”

Have you tried rice from Lundberg Family Farms? What’s your favorite type of rice to cook with and what do you make with it?




Glen says ...
My sister enjoys making rice pudding with Lundberg Family Farms rice. It tastes so good, she says that she's willing to pay a little bit more. And it's so good and so CREAMY! I don't know whether I should give most of the credit to the fact that it's Lundberg Family Farms rice or to my sister for being such an excellent cook! MAN, that's great rice pudding. We're talkin' rice puddin' like you ain't NEVER tasted before! Try it sometime! It's like total ecstasy when I'm eating that stuff.
05/26/2012 10:41:31 AM CDT
tom says ...
Their pasta is the BEST.
05/28/2012 9:08:24 AM CDT
Patty Lynn says ...
It's good learn that the rice I have been buying consistently through the years is rice grown with caring for the environment as well as the product! I didn't know that my Lundberg brown rice was grown in Northern California. That's near where I grew up, in the Bay Area. Nice to know and beautiful part of the country!
05/29/2012 9:52:00 PM CDT
Lilia says ...
INCREDIBLE RICE! tasty and nourishing. Thank You! your rice saved my marriage... !
05/30/2012 2:54:31 PM CDT
Devin says ...
My family grows eco-farmed rice for the Lundberg label. We are very fortunate to be part of their group. Their commitment to the environment is good for all of us.
05/30/2012 3:05:18 PM CDT
Saranne Montgomery says ...
Simply the best rice there is,having been using it for years.
05/30/2012 4:37:34 PM CDT
St. McDuck says ...
Lundberg is the only brand of rice I'll allow in my kitchen. They're a wonderful model for how a company should act, especially a company that produces food. And the smell of their Wehani rice when it's cooking is absolutely amazing.
05/30/2012 5:02:31 PM CDT
nancy wilkinson says ...
love-love-love the Organic brown rice salt free rice cakes-been eating them for years-could u make some of the other brands(flavors) that u carry salt-free also?-thank u!
05/30/2012 8:02:32 PM CDT
Laura says ...
I LOVE their rice cakes! I eat them every morning with almond butter. They are a delicious gluten-free alternative to toast. I greatly appreciate what Lundberg Family Farms is doing for the environment and for our health!
05/31/2012 7:59:09 AM CDT
Paula says ...
Thank you Lundberg for your continued commitment to providing wonderful rice foods that are good for us and for the environment! I use many of your delicious products and will continue to do so as long as you keep up the good work. Organics and GMO free are particularly appreciated! Thanks to Whole Foods for selling Lundberg products.
05/31/2012 8:31:38 PM CDT
wayne says ...
I used to have a recipe for the Wehani rice. It came on the back of the pack, but no longer, and I lost it. It had dried cranberries in it. Does anyone have it to share?
06/01/2012 7:48:59 AM CDT
Barbara Nicodemus says ...
Chemotherapy for my cancer is a part of my life..20 sessions on Tuesday till November. I love love your products & have buy them in Tampa, The Moffitt Cancer Center, when I get my monthly CT Scans. Pensacola is getting The Fresh Market in October & I hope to see more Lundberg representation in the store. Thank you giving me back something GOOD to eat. My diet, due to the ostomy, is much happier with your items in my pantry & then in my tummy.
09/18/2012 10:02:06 PM CDT
Peter Hegeman says ...
I wanted to say that for the last thirty years I have used only Lundberg organic short grain rice as a staple food source when cooking. Have tried other varieties but love the short grain. Thanks for stayin true to the earth .
09/20/2012 5:41:13 AM CDT
Pat Rogero says ...
Love you folks and your commitment to the environment and soil. Love your rices even more!
10/22/2012 2:06:04 PM CDT
orv lehman says ...
thanks for leaving some rice behind for migrating birds
03/24/2013 10:46:08 AM CDT
Angela Rodriguez says ...
I love and enjoy your market every time I am on areas where they are available .Would love to have one of your stores in Claremont, Ca. I hope it will be consider soon. thank you. A. Rodriguez
09/30/2013 3:57:37 PM CDT
ELSIE says ...
Just want to thank God for your family & farm, and for providing your Pasta gluten free. I live on an island, and find it very hard to get foods that my sensitive stomach can digest. I can only eat items made from brown rice, and not all of them. Your pasta keeps me going . I don't have access to your bread. Keep up the great work for saving the birds and our environment. God bless you all.
12/19/2013 6:05:07 AM CST
Jamie Johnson says ...
The best tasting rice cakes ever. I'm totally addictive. Thank You Lundberg Family Farms.
11/02/2014 8:35:40 PM CST