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Community Salute to Croft

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Much has changed within the Canadian health food industry in the past 30 years. Croft Woodruff has seen it all through the windows of his vitamin shop, Croft's Health Products, in Vancouver, BC.

Much has changed within the Canadian health food industry in the past 30 years. Croft Woodruff has seen it all through the windows of his vitamin shop, Croft's Health Products, in Vancouver, BC.

For eight years, Woodruff was president of the Canadian Health Food Association and, like John Wayne, one of his favorite actors, he still fights on behalf of the little guy. These days, interviewing authoritative guests on "Healthy Living," his weekday radio health show, is just one of the ways Woodruff keeps current.

"I've gotten involved in different fights fluoride, vaccines, food irradiation, the nuclear power industry and now biotechnology. These are all government sponsored technological hazards and, if pursued, their consequences are going to come back to haunt us in a big way," he warns.

In honor of his lifelong commitment to this cause, Health Action Network Society is holding a gala celebration November 12,2000.

Woodruff has made it his business to know what's going on in the burgeoning field of natural remedies. Ask him about nutrition, vaccination, chelation therapy or politics and he'll quote the latest research paper practically verbatim.

His education didn't start in the schoolroom; it began on his mother's knee.

"My mother had several bitter experiences with medical doctors over her lifetime," he remembers. "So she really had a low opinion of the medical profession as a whole, and of course, she started looking for other answers."

That search led to Woodruff's parents eventually opening a health food store in the 1960s.

Natural health knowledge fascinated Woodruff more so than did high school subjects like chemistry or French.

"All this time, I was doing a lot of reading," he says. "I was going down to the library and digging up references that were cited in health journals like Let's Live or Prevention."

Health issues eventually became a matter of justice. "What really got me is when I'd hear these "quackbuster" types say that all of these references were just made up. And I said, 'Well, we'll see about that.' So I went to the library and sure enough, they weren't made up."

By the time Woodruff opened his own health food store in 1971, he knew he'd found his niche. His customers have tended to agree.

"I had a medical doctor come in because I had helped one of his patients," he recalls. Imagine his shock when the doctor requested information on his own recurring acne problem!

"People get into this industry for two reasons," he explains. "Either they believe in it or they're looking at the money. We got into it because we believed in it and we also decided that we could make a living at it."

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