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Best Health-Food Store 

Natural Way

Going down Aisle 7, your eyes dart from left to right, marking the presence of the enemy, its sodium and processing and preservatives. At the butcher's counter, you spot nitrate traces, antibiotics and steroids; in produce, the pesticides wait to poison you; in dairy lurk growth hormones and fat and other critters' genes. Shaken, you slip out the back and drive to sanctuary: The Natural Way, in homey Webster Groves or in West County, for an intelligent briefing, fresh anti-oxidant weaponry and reliable rations. The stores are small, owner Karen Buckey stands independent, and her ethics test solid, withstanding even threats of a Monsanto lawsuit for her stand on bovine growth hormone. Plus, the Natural Way offers a lot more than bee spit -- there's a wide array of organics, herbs and bulk grains, and nobody expects you to trade the pleasures of the palate for your safety.

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