June 9, 2010

From 1970: Everything Old Is New Again

I have been trying to locate pictures of so-called "health food stores" from the Seventies, as they always seemed to be the punchline of some joke in the movies and sitcoms of the era. I would like to do an entire week of posts about "health food stores" and the products that were sold, but am finding it difficult to come up with material.


  1. Oh lordy, those were the days in the Bay Area. I lived in San Francisco in the 70's and remember the early days of the health food stores, which were mainly co-ops put together by communes or like-thinking usually leftist hippies. Here's a link to the Rainbow Food Co-op that is still in existence in Berkeley: http://www.rainbow.coop/thecoop/history.html
    I thought Whole Foods would be part of this early history but they didn't start up until the early 80's. It's hard to imagine but their stores were itty bitty at one time and were honestly for the people. Good luck with your research. BTW, the girl on the Life cover looks eerily just like me at that time!!!!

  2. I'm sure you'll manage to find that material!

  3. Funny, we were just talking at lunch today about carob. What ever happened to carob?

    There were some funky ones in LA back in the day, Mrs. Tilly's and Erewhon

  4. Anonymous25 June, 2010

    Ha! Even though I'm a vegetarian health nut (or perhaps because I am!) I love it when health food is the "butt of the joke" in old movies.

    The two best examples I can think of are not '70s movies but much earlier: in 1955's The Seven Year Itch, Tom Ewell eats a "soya burger" and "fried soya beans" at a health food restaurant (served by a clothed nudist, natch) and in 1937's More Than a Secretary, Jean Arthur's boss takes her to dinner at a vegetarian restaurant where she eats a steak substitute called "Protos," made of vegetables and nuts. She later refers to it as "horse hair and mattress stuffing." Good times!