On Sept. 15, Masashi Matsuda of Matsuda Mayonnaise died suddenly of an aortic dissection at 68 years old. While perhaps 68 may sound old to some, ultimately those numbers creep up on all of us.

Matsuda was well-known in the natural food world for his superior mayonnaise. He also became a folk hero and media darling for his fight to maintain the integrity of his product, which is made from high-quality rapeseed oil, apple vinegar, honey and eggs.

Several years ago Matsuda Mayonnaise received a notice from the Japanese government informing them that honey was not included in the ingredients for JAS standard mayonnaise. After lengthy negotiations with the ministry of agriculture, Matsuda's efforts prevailed and the JAS standard was changed to include honey. And on the back of each package, there is a message of thanks from Matsuda Mayonnaise to all who supported Matsuda's right to call his mayonnaise "mayonnaise."