Health Food Stores

Health food stores sell food and nutritional products considered beneficial and supportive to an individual’s physical health. Health food stores are a resource for people who adhere to alternative or specialized diets, including vegan, vegetarian, athlete, body-building, gluten-free, raw, and macrobiotic diets; subscribe to alternative healing practices, including naturopathy, homeopathy, and herbal medicine; look for food and health products that are environmentally friendly and socially responsible; or for those who want minimally processed, whole foods made with no artificial additives or chemicals.

The development of health food stores parallels the major health, diet, and agricultural reform movements in the U.S. history. This entry explores the history of health food stores in the United States, discusses their role in major alternative health movements, and presents the social ...

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