What Is a Health Food Store?

photo of fresh tomatoWhat is a health food store, anyway?

It’s a broad category of stores that carry healthy foods, vitamins and nutritional supplements.

Some health food stores also carry household items for greener living, and personal care products featuring only safe, healthy ingredients.

Many health food stores feature locally-grown foods, as part of the locavore movement: Buying local foods, usually produced within 100 miles of the store.

Others feature crafts, also as part of the “buy local” movement.

According to Wikipedia:

A health food store is a type of grocery store that primarily sells health food, organic foods, local produce, and often nutritional supplements. Health food stores often offer foods for people with special dietary needs, such as people with allergies and diabetics, and also for vegans, vegetarians, and people living entirely on raw food.

Most health food stores offer informal nutritional counseling.  Often, the staff have found improved health through a specialized diet, and they can tell you about their personal experiences.

Many health food stores encourage healthier choices throughout your life and lifestyle.

All kinds of stores can be called health food stores. For example, many people consider Whole Foods as the ultimate modern health food store experience.  Others are less pleased with the Whole Foods model.

Because no large corporation can monitor every single aspect of its business — no matter how hard they try and how complex or conscientious their monitoring may be — we recommend locally owned health food stores.  That is, stores that know where their products come from, and often know the farmer or manufacturer, personally because he or she lives nearby.

In addition, by supporting local merchants and the local farms and businesses they work with, you’re helping your community.  Your money stays in town where it can do the most good.

Though the phrase “health food store” can have many meanings, for most people it’s a store that encourages healthier living through a better diet and a simpler, more organic lifestyle.

Looking for a health food store in NH? Click here.

Healthy Living in New Hampshire

photo of NH river sceneFor a healthy place to live and work, New Hampshire is a perfect choice.

In 2010, New Hampshire ranked as the third healthiest state in the United States. That’s according to America’s Health Rankings.

Here’s why: According to verified statistics, New Hampshire has…

•    A low percentage of children in poverty.
•    A low violent crime rate.
•    Ready access to early prenatal care.
•    A low rate of uninsured people in our population.

New Hampshire really shines in many health areas.

For example, it’s a great state for families.  In 2010, New Hampshire had the lowest rate of teen births, and ranked  in second place for low pre-term deliveries.

However, it’s not really news that New Hampshire is one of America’s healthiest states.  We seem to rank well every year.

  • In 2009, Forbes magazine ranked New Hampshire as the fifth healthiest state to live in, after Vermont, Utah, Massachusetts, and Hawaii.  With Vermont and Hawaii having great environments, Utah’s respect for healthy lifestyle choices, and Massachusetts’ forward-looking healthcare options, that’s great company to be in!

Environmentally, New Hampshire is looking good, too. Our state has taken aggressive steps towards clean, renewable energy.  By 2025, nearly one-quarter of our state’s electricity will come from clean, renewable sources, such as wind, solar and clean biomass.   That was assured by legislation in 2007. (That information is from Environment NH.)

Are you looking for a great place to work? In late May 2011, according to MSN Careers, New Hampshire ranks as the second best place in America (after North Dakota), if you’re a job seeker.

“New Hampshire may have the third lowest unemployment rate in the country, but it ranks No. 1 in another category that’s important to most job seekers: Income. According to statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau late last year, New Hampshire has the highest median household income in the U.S.”

MSN Careers, 24 May 2011

Of course,  health living means a balance of work and play.  Few states offer as many year ’round recreational opportunities as the great Granite State of New Hampshire.

If you want fresh air, New Hampshire consistently ranks well for outdoor recreation.  From its pristine coastline and white sand beaches, to the renowned Lakes Region and the legendary White Mountains, there’s always something great to do in New Hampshire’s great outdoors.

Whether you live in New Hampshire or you’re here for a visit, we hope you’ll stop in and say hello at Gemini Health Emporium.  You’ll find great natural foods and interesting conversations at our downtown Tilton location, not far from Concord, Laconia, and Lake Winnipesaukee.