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Shoppers Tout Benefits of Healthy Eating & Organic Food at Natur - KOAM TV 7

Shoppers Tout Benefits of Healthy Eating & Organic Food at Natural Grocers Opening

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     Hundreds of people stood in line this morning outside the new Natural Grocers store in Joplin for its grand opening.
After a ribbon cutting, each shopper was given a bag with gift items.
     There were also drawings held where folks could win anywhere from ten to one hundred  worth of free groceries for six months.
Natural Grocers markets itself as a place for organic foods that are pesticide and preservative free.

Mary McGee was first in line at the opening. She explained, "I have celiacs and  I have to eat gluten free and it
s made a huge difference." 
But organic isn't just about gluten free. It
s also how food is grown and dealing with food allergies and more.
Caroline Cheong is the regional director and nutritional coach at Natural Grocers. She said, "Everybody  has bio and individual characteristics  when it comes to food and lifestyle. It
s really understanding your body and paying attention to what it responds positively to and working your way towards that."
That is  something the Boydston sisters discovered. Switching when some foods didn
t digest well.
Somer Boydston said, "It
s changed me.  Just how I  feel.  I feel like five years younger  ever since learning how to eat right for my body that includes organic food." She adds its about listening to her body.
They chose alternatives to dairy and adopted vegan foods. Her sister Katie said she has more energy and sleeps better and mentioned another benefit. "I
ve actually lost like fifteen  pounds in the last two  months," Katie said.

But  does it take a special store to get good food for your body?
Freeman dietician Heather Boline answered, "Not necessarily,  as long as you're eating fruits and vegetables and making those variety of colors and options  in your diet. It
s a healthy option."
 Boline   said eating organic is a personal choice but admitted it
s a  more environmentally friendly one. She said the benefit of organic fruits and vegetables is there are grown  without man-made or synthetic pesticides, or herbicides. She added you  should wash them all fruits and veggies before eating them.

Boline  also said,   "You do get more nutrients when  fruits and vegetables are grown locally cause they're fresh off the vine  freshly picked."

While fruits and vegetables are part of any healthy diet, those who were shopping at natural grocers said that was not the main reason they would be going to a specialty store for food.

Crystal Dawn Hitchcock said, "Organic is not all about fruits and vegetables,
she said, We cant have pork sausage  due to dietary things but turkey sausage,  its really difficult to make but great to find."
  Crystal  was excited to find  sugar-free turkey bacon at Natural Grocers. She said she has lost weight eating a more healthy diet and her  family claims eating organic helps health issues.  Mother in law, Pamela Wiseman said "I am off my diabetic medicine now eating organic."
Wiseman and the Boydstons  say the new store offers more healthy variety.

And while Somer Boydston and her sister said they have traveled as far as Kansas City to buy organic and vegan products, she believes more stores are stocking healthy products and she doesnt mind paying a little bite more for them.

But  all believe another store focusing on healthy foods could be   good for prices.   
Boline said,  "More competition, more availability, maybe drive the price down a little." 

 The Natural Grocers facility will offer nutrition classes.
    It has nutrition coaches on staff. And there are also educational books there when it comes to food prep and storage to retain freshness.

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