We’ve said it before; we’ll say it again: when it comes to nutrition, you can’t make healthy choices based off of packaging, marketing, or even content labels (see a previous post on the subject here). Attracted by higher profit margins and changing consumer preferences, food manufacturers are employing increasingly shady tactics to fool consumers into thinking that they items they’re buying are healthy alternatives. Historically, the best tools consumers have had against such trickery have involved education. By educating themselves on the merits of the products they’re buying, and by learning how to read nutrition labels, consumers could safely navigate the isles of their local grocery store without falling victim to the latest buzzword or fitness craze. However an increasingly lax regulatory environment has reduced the efficacy of these tools. Skeptical? Consider this: recently, a soft-drink manufacturer vehemently defended it’s decision to label one of it’s drinks as “juice” even though the product contained less than .3% (you read that correctly -that’s 3/10th’s of a percent) of the actual fruit juice in question. If consumers are to stand a chance against the onslaught of marketing jargon that’s out there, they’ll not only have to educate themselves, but also they’ll have to have the support of their retailers. Until retailers are willing to turn a critical eye to their product assortments, consumers will be at a disadvantage.

This is EXACTLY why we’re such fans of Healthy Living Market. Each and every one of the products carried in their 2 storefronts is exhaustively researched by their buying staff to ensure that it meets the exceptionally high standards they hold for their products. Additionally, they’ve proven that they’re willing to invest in wider product offerings to meet the needs of their customers. Their most recent such investment? They’ve so increased their selection of Gluten Free offerings over the last year that they’re no longer able to fit all of them in one section of the store. To better ensure that they’ll be able to continue growing the volume of their Gluten Free offerings, Healthy Living will soon be dedicating a section of each of aisle to Gluten Free products. Looking for gluten free pasta? Not a problem. Simply go to the pasta aisle, and you’ll find an entire sub-section within pasta that’s dedicated to Gluten-Free alternatives. Same goes with breads, crackers – even desserts. Not only will these dedicated Gluten-Free sections within each aisle afford shoppers additional gluten-free alternatives, but also they’ll  and increase awareness for naturally gluten-free items that individuals may have otherwise missed if they were shopping exclusively in the gluten-free section of the store.

At risk of sounding repetitive, we’re grateful to Healthy Living for making these changes. Their decision to invest so heavily in such a diverse array of gluten-free alternatives doesn’t  reflect their commitment to the category so much as it does their commitment to carrying a product selection that can help anyone accomplish their nutrition goals. In this sense, they’re a perfect partner for CrossFit TT – a fitness community that’s dedicated to helping anyone achieve their personal fitness goals. We’re proud to have them as neighbors and business partners; We’re incredibly fortunate to have such a resource in our community.

Be on the lookout for these changes over the course of the next few weeks. And while you’re at it, be sure to check out one of Healthy Living Market’s nutritional seminars…and one of their Honey Ginger Drinks in the deli case. The former is still essential; the latter…is still delicious.