Does the health food industry decide what’s good for us….or do we?
I made a trip to the health food store this week, something that I don’t do very often any more. I needed some dandelion leaf, which I bought in bulk to boost my sagging iron levels.
As I stood there waiting for my herbs to be weighed and priced, I couldn’t help but look around at the ever-expanding grocery shelves of so-called “healthy stuff”. Lots of stuff.
There used to be just the basics at your corner health food store, like organic produce, soy milk and gluten-frees.
But over the years, the health food market has grown to the full-capacity that any capitalistic-respecting industry would. What began as a specialized industry that catered to those with very special dietary needs has now convinced most of us that we need what they have to offer in order to be healthy.
Anything you want in organic, natural form can be had at today’s health food store. There’s organic soda pop, organic cookies (whole wheat, mind you) and even organic dog food, all at organic super-inflated prices.
The last number of years, I have seen a strong trend towards the “exotic” items to bring healing in the health food stores. The fruit that you’ve never heard of, much less pronounce, that only grows in the rain forest now comes in pill form. Green foods that grow on the other side of the planet are marketed to the American market and we buy them because those people on the other side of the planet seem pretty healthy. Oils that generate from trees that only grow on the equator’s line are marketed as the cure for arthritis for the consumer in Wisconsin.
The sad story here is that there is a lot of truth, but even more fiction, in today’s health food stores. Most folks don’t know enough about natural remedies and cures to know the difference.
Worse yet, most of what is marketed today is completely unsustainable.
I can’t believe that God made this earth in such a way that a busy mom in Ohio would have little chance of being healthy and/or healed without some random ingredient from a far off land. As a matter of fact, I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I do believe God made it possible for me to be healthy, right where I live and breath.
Sustainable, healthy living done in a local manner appeals to my interest much more than a miracle cure from the Arctic. Sustainable means that I can grow it or find it near me. Sustainable means that I can easily afford it. Sustainable means that it becomes part of a healthy lifestyle that I choose for myself. Most of us are smart enough to figure it out….
As I walked out of the health food store, with my bags of dandelion leaf that I should have harvested myself last Spring, I didn’t regret that I didn’t buy an organic soda pop and a Rain Forest dark chocolate bon-bon for the road.
I also didn’t regret keeping more of my money in my pocket.