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4 Retro Health Food Trends Making a Comeback


You've tried all the latest health food products on the market: Fermented berry juice, vegan meat replacements, probiotic-enhanced yogurts, hemp-flax-acai smoothie powder... you name it. The health food industry is exploding today with new products, trends and diets. But among all of these new-wave health foods, there's another health food wave going on: The revival of old-school foods. No, not BBQ seitan on a stick. We're talking the stuff our grandparents and theirs consumed on a regular basis. Raw milk, cod liver oil, bone broth—the nitty gritty health foods that used to be made from a farm or backyard, not from a factory.

Check out the top four old-school health foods making a revival in today's younger foodie generation. Which ones do you eat?


Up until the late 1800s, people owned their own cows on their own land, and they milked them for fresh milk daily. To prevent the spread of potential pathogens like E. coli, pasteurization eventually became the enforced norm for all milk sold in the United States. Today, since we've seen vast improvements in hygienic practices and conditions of environmental sanitation, Americans have begun once again raising and milking their own cows for fresh, raw milk. Today, about 28 states in the country do not prohibit the sale of raw milk, and locavores nationwide are fighting to allow the production of local, fresh, unpasteurized milk.

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The scoop:

Once a daily supplement of our forefathers (especially anyone of European descent), cod liver oil is exactly what it sounds like: The natural oil of liver from cods. Yum. But this utterly pungent, fishy oil is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin D. Taken for natural disease prevention, it's been linked to healthier bones, heart, skin, hair and brain development. Common fish oil, or anything such as wild Alaskan salmon oil, is almost identical to this stuff, but cod liver oil is richer in vitamins A and D (coming from the liver). As Americans have gotten wiser in recent years about the health properties of omega-3 fatty acids, sales in fish and fish oil have been increasing. Sustainability tip: To choose ocean-friendly seafood supplements, opt for sustainably-harvested cod liver oil or wild Alaskan salmon oil. You'll be avoiding products that use oils from fish that have been overfished from our waters.

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From the Organic Authority Files

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The scoop:

In the 1950s, meat was in. Pork, chicken, beef. Lots of it was mass-produced, and lots of it was consumed. Then, at the turn of the millennium, meat went out. We saw the mass production and mass consumption of these homogenized meat foods leading to environmental degradation and various health concerns in our population. Now, after vegetarians became vegans, and vegans became raw foodists, we are seeing the born-again omnivore. Small-scale ranchers, herders and meat producers are making a resurgence in our local communities, and even big business is making an attempt to provide humanely-raised, organic meat. While we are all still in agreement that when it comes to meat, less is more, we are happy to see the meat industry slowly changing to suit the more mindful consumer's needs. 

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The scoop:

Chicken soup is good for the soul - and a cold - and just about anything else you might be diagnosed with, according to our grandmothers' wisdom. Recent studies have shown that chicken soup may actually be good for the body after all, due to the bones in the broth, not the meat. Minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, as well as gelatin, leach from bones into the broth as it cooks, making a nutritive soup that many consider a health tonic. Culinary followers of traditional foods, such as the folks at the Weston A. Price Foundation, are big on bone broth, and they've been strong advocates in promoting the revival of Gramma's soup for the modern day foodie.

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