Bulk Frozen Elderberries

Labor Day 2020 Update: MEC will NOT have enough berries to meet existing member and customer needs, so there are no berries available for any more orders until the 2021 harvest.

Harvest yields varied across the board for different reasons. Since most of our growers also make their own products that sold out last spring, they also required more of their harvest.

Contact Chris Patton first by email: info@midwest-elderberry.coop. or then by phone, preferably between 9am-5pm Central Time 612-418-4624.

Prices for certified organic frozen elderberries (2020) harvest:

  • $5.50/lb. plus freight for orders up to 500 lb. and drop to 
  • $5.25/lb. plus freight for orders over 500 lb. up to 1600 lb. 
  • Pricing over 1600 lb. begins at $5.00/lb

Sustainably grown native elderberries are priced 50 cents less per pound. MEC has relationships with a few frozen LTL carriers (delivered frozen on a pallet), which usually makes financial sense at 500lb. or more. Buyer must have a receiving dock for semis and a paved road to it. 

On all orders, priority is given to MEC member growers, past customers, small orders and date deposit is received.
(Orders are usually in 25 lb. increments due to our pack in 4 gal. food grade pails.) We will then send you a PayPal invoice (credit cards accepted) that allows for a partial payment equal to the deposit. This non-refundable deposit towards the full purchase & delivery is required for all purchase orders. Deposits will be refunded only if Nature or other causes beyond MEC’s control prevent fulfillment of your order.

Are Raw Native Elderberries Safe? 
A multi-year project ending in 2018 by University of Missouri researchers discovered that ripe native (Sambucus canadensis) black elderberries and their seeds do not have any meaningful level of glycosides (pre-cyanides) that can make one sick. [Note: Ripe native (S. canadensis) berries often appear more reddish in color than the European (nigra) berries, which is probably due to the additional anthocyanins found in the North American condenses cultivars. Native berries are also quite a bit smaller.]

This does not seem to be true for European Sambucus nigra elderberries, which have a history of production processes to neutralize the potential issues related to glycosides. That is why those imported ingredients are more processed and may also be part of the reason why native elderberries taste better than the European ones.

While the latest research at the university of Missouri (soon to be published) indicates that fresh/frozen, ripe elderberries do not have significant levels of glycosides, some few people seem to be strongly affected by consuming raw elderberries or elderberry juice, where it upsets their digestive system. Why they have a lower tolerance for elderberry is not clearly understood. Fresh and raw frozen berries that are fermented or heated so that the entire volume reaches 180° F, or more have not been associated with any health related incidents to our knowledge

Technical Note: Cultivar “Marge” was not a part of the above study and is likely to have more glycosides present since it is classified as an American adapted European Sambucus nigra. (4/9/2019 email from Andrew Thomas lead researcher UMO)

© 2020 Midwest Elderberry Cooperative