What Is a Health Food Store?

photo of fresh tomato

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.

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