One of the nation’s oldest and largest organic and natural food cooperatives is donating 30 years of its records to the State Historical Society of Iowa. Iowa City-based Blooming Prairie Warehouse also donated five-thousand dollars so the items can be preserved and used. Mary Bennett, the Historical Society’s special collections coordinator, says the collection includes things like business and financial records and minutes from meetings. There are product catalogs and price lists and information on different kinds of soy products, wheat berries, grains and flowers that might improve our diets. Bennett says the collection is a treasure trove of information about how the Blooming Prairie Warehouse and the entire organic foods movement got its start in Iowa and in the Midwest.Founded in 1974 as a cooperative natural food warehouse, Blooming Prairie is now a division of United Natural Foods, the nation’s premier organic food distributor. The Midwest division distributes food to more than 25-hundred active buying clubs, retail co-ops, grocery stores, and other businesses. Bennett says “They were able to secure local vendors for producing food that was safe to eat and grown organically” and was more nutritious and better for the environment. Bennett explains why it will be important to future generations that the roots of this organic effort be preserved. She says “Blooming Prairie Warehouse really represents an alternative movement in our society to…maintain local control over food supplies and making sure they’re high quality. We can contrast that with the mega-corporations that…form monopolies over the beef, pork or poultry that we eat. The control moves away from our local neighborhood and our backyard and goes off into some strange environment we know nothing about.”