People seeking to eat healthy find a helpful partner in the Native Sun Natural Foods market in Jacksonville, FL. Owner of Native Sun Aaron Gottlieb says, "Our customers love that they do not need to read the labels. We make every effort to keep genetically modified ingredients off of our shelves.
While no store is perfect, we have been recognized as part of the Diligent Dozen, which highlights the top 12 Non-GMO grocers in the country, by the Organic Consumers Association. Our produce is 100% organic. We know our customers depend on us to give them the quality that is expected in a natural foods market. In addition our kitchen and juice bar utilize these ingredients and make everything from scratch."
Gottlieb recommends making changes slowly, but including some organics in every meal: "Generally healthy means balance. If your diet is stressing you out, then you might be moving the dial too quickly. No matter what your diet choice, including fresh organic fruits and vegetables into EVERY meal will fill you up with nutrient dense foods, while adding enzymes that are lost in the cooking process. This base will help other foods digest better, add more flavor to your meal, and ensure you're bringing balance to your diet."
Gottlieb understands what customers are trying to accomplish, having gone through the process himself. Before eating natural foods, he was overweight and suffered from chronic fatigue: "I started working at a natural food market in Atlanta and dropped 80 pounds through eating exciting new foods. My experience shaped our product assortment." In addition to ensuring that all foods are GMO-free, the juice and smoothie bar at Native Sun offers delicious and nutritious drinks. A fresh-cut organic fruit bar, sustainably farmed and wild caught fish, and nutritious deli meals make it easy to eat healthy. Organic produce is heavily discounted, removing one of the major barriers to healthy eating.
Supplements are used to fill in gaps in the diet or therapeutically. At Native Sun Natural Foods, the most popular supplements are those that fill in gaps in the diet caused by contemporary diet and lifestyles, says Gottlieb: "Digestive enzymes, probiotics, powdered greens products, natural anti-inflammatories, and herbs that aid in restful sleep and treatment of allergies are some of the most sought after in our markets."
The popularity of organic foods is due to the ongoing debates about the safety of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. While the research has focused on each chemical alone, the cumulative results of different chemicals in combination have not been studied and are potentially very harmful. Gottlieb says, "With cancer, immune diseases, and hormone imbalance on the rise, eating foods free from chemicals is one way to take stress off of our bodies."
Native Sun also attempts to become more environmentally friendly by using plant-sourced, biodegradable plastic bags, recycled Hot Bar and coffee containers, corn plastic Juice Bar cups, and by following environmental guidelines in new constructions.