Friday, February 01, 2008

Between drudge and druid

Before I started, I wanted to check the dictionary, page 188 of Webster's New World Dictionary and Thesaurus -- a handy book at the side of the computer. Drugstore: a store where drugs, medical supplies, and various items are sold and prescriptions are filled. Ah, the out! "Various items" is the can of worms. What else does a drugstore sell? Where do they really make their profit? It's all the anti-health items. It's the booze, cigarettes and junk food that keep the cash registers ringing, 24 hours a day. Drugs of choice, addictions that lead to drugs by prescription as beautiful healthy babies grow up to be sad reflections of a generation that they think they reject when really they are emulating their destructive behavior. Go back to the pharmacy (strategically placed at the rear of the store so that all the heavily advertised temptations on display call out), where you can check your blood pressure free (eating high sodium junk food?), pick up literature on preventing diabetes (ditto sugar), and pick up your prescribed medication ("drug"). I would assume that in an ideal society, the drug store would be the place to find the tools to support health. Let's keep looking!

So what about the health food store? To be fair, I check the dictionary again. Between heal and heap I found health food: food thought to be very healthful, as food grown with natural fertilizers and free of additives -- so far, so good. Thought to be? I can live with the skepticism implied there, and the positive implications, since I have my own disillusionment with the current state of "health foods."

When we started shopping in HF stores (1970's) they were in the hands of "health food nuts," people a little "holier-than-thou" (also in the dictionary), who lived as they spoke and did not hesitate to tell you how to live. Then in 1981 we were store owners ourselves, after years of living the life, but eager to teach by quiet example. Sodas were available, sweetened only with honey. Tofu was made by attractive as eggless-tofu salad and fried tofu sandwiches served in our deli, along with best selling tempeh reubens. Stoneyfield Yogurt started up locally. More and more products became available as delicious healthier alternatives to the white foods in the supermarket. Then the supermarkets caught on -- selling health foods makes profit. Then more replacement products until the stores filled up with Cocoa Puff look-alikes made with white organic flour and white organic sugar, and gummy vitamins, until the whole point had been lost.

So choose a source you can trust, no matter what they call themselves. Educate yourself with reliable information. Listen to your body -- it needs your best judgment, for the rest of your life!


Anonymous said...

We love reading your insightful and informative posts. Wish your store was closer to us, we'd visit you often for your wealth of knowledge. What do you think of gogi berries?

Toni said...

Susan - I don't think there are any more drug stores -- in the sense of a place where one simply buys prescription and non-prescription medications. They have all become "convenience marts", for lack of a better term, filled with foods of unnatural colors and unnatural ingredients.

As agribusiness took over the food supply, health food stores became a necessary alternative for those of us who recognize the fact that what we put into our bodies just MIGHT have something to do with what we get out of them!

Susan G said...

Actually, there is at least one remnant of the old ethic -- the compounding pharmacy. While they work with 'real' medicine, they can account for individual differences (allergies, delivery) and provide real personal service. Locally, we have a pharmacist who not only compounds according to doctor's orders but also has his own formulas, using old-fashioned knowledge and new information. These independents are diminishing in number, from economic pressures and from attempts to limit them legally (good example, bio-identical hormones).

Naomi Devlin said...


Thanks for visiting my blog - were you thinking about contributing to this month's event? We could do with some entries that aren't purely composed of sugar, butter and rice flour! (as delicious as those can be...)

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