Good Earth Natural Foods
Photos by BETH BRIGHT
Don’t worry, this is not a ploy to convince you to be vegan or vegetarian. Although having super powers does come in pretty handy when dealing with racing season traffic in Hot Springs. Just think, six months on a raw food diet and you will be so healthy that you can literally leap the length of Central Avenue in a single bound. But let’s be honest, we live near too many BBQ joints and taco trucks to let the promise of near flight keep us from a pulled pork sandwich or carne asada!
Fortunately for Hot Springs there are sensible people like Karen Gardner that not only live here but have taken the responsibility of opening a place like Good Earth Natural Foods and guide us through this dietary jungle.
Gardner grew up on a small farm in Texas. And her agrarian diet was all too normal until she got to college. “I was kinda shocked when my classmates asked my why I ate ‘healthy’ and ‘natural’ foods. I didn’t know they had a name. That is all we had, so that’s what we ate.” says Gardner.
This reaction and some time spent overseas inspired Gardner to open a food store in Hot Springs. Good Earth not only provides customers with healthy edible options but also education, and more importantly, massages.
“Our staff is always learning about our products new ways to help people. People need to know what they are eating and how it can help them,” says Gardner, “We also have a massage therapist on location Monday- Friday from 11-4.
Gardner has also stayed true to her roots by selling locally grown produce, eggs, cheeses, and meats — yes, MEATS — from family farms in Bismark and Mena. “You can’t beat the taste of locally grown produce, and it comes in fresh off the farm every week.” says Gardner
So don’t be afraid of the sign. This natural food store is meat-eater friendly and is a great place to get started eating healthier. Gardner eats meat, although not much. She suggests a few things to do to help your diet right now: increase your consumption of water, lay off on the soda, and use fresh ingredients when you cook.