FAQ: Does Shopping in a Health Food Store Really Make a Difference?


There are two factors to consider in “health food” shopping. First, many people simply don’t know what they’re selling. Natural foods have become a large, profitable market which has naturally attracted lots of unscrupulous individuals. As a result, many “natural products” contain refined sugar and flour (i.e. “organic sugar or cane syrup” and “unbleached” flour), synthetic flavoring and so forth. Understand that “natural flavors” can be anything, including MSG. You need to read labels as carefully in the health store as in any other shopping site. Second, even many so-called organic products do not muscle test well. They may be processed with polluted water (remember, “filtered water” may be run through a screen and nothing more!), sprayed with fumigants after harvest, or stored in pesticide-treated warehouses or stockrooms. This last reason has been my motivation for preferring not to buy organic food in a commercial supermarket setting. The new federal organic standards allow farmers to claim organic for crops grown pesticide free for three years; traditional standards required seven years before land was considered “clean”. Intermediate crops were labeled “transitional organic”, which is not a part of the new guidelines. Texas standards even required transport in separate railroad cars from sprayed crops to prevent transfer contamination, even for cotton, which is not consumable. I am concerned about fad foods, even if they are herbally based or supposedly natural. Arsenic is a natural substance, but not one to be ingested in isolation! Too often today I am seeing “active ingredient” extracts that remove the inherent balance that exists in healing plants as they were created. We seem obsessed with putting man’s touch on everything!

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