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Natural Prophets: From Health Foods to Whole Foods--How the Pioneers of the Industry Changed the Way We Eat and Reshaped American Business by [Dobrow, Joe]
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Natural Prophets: From Health Foods to Whole Foods--How the Pioneers of the Industry Changed the Way We Eat and Reshaped American Business Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Length: 320 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Joe Dobrow's account of the birth and boom of America's natural/organic food industry is not merely about a spectacular business phenomenon. It is a very human story that introduces us to the minds and hearts of entrepreneurs who created gastronomic empires out of high-flown ideals. Their improbable rise to fortune and fame, keenly framed in the context of the late 20th century's cultural upheavals, is history at its most compelling.” ―Michael and Jane Stern, authors of Roadfood, NY Times bestselling Elvis World and The Encyclopedia of Bad Taste, and weekly contributors to public radio's "The Splendid Table"

“In a lifetime of reviewing books about American Western and 20th century social history, Joe Dobrow's Natural Prophets is one of the most important, original, revealing and significant books I have ever read….The author deserves high praise and recognition for providing all Americans with a fuller understanding of the reforms achieved by the whole foods industry that helped shape and affect every aspect of our lives today.” ―Howard R. Lamar, former President of Yale University and Sterling Professor Emeritus of History

“At last we have the story of how the natural products business evolved from a scattered bunch of mostly struggling producers and retailers into the major industry it is today. But this is not a dull business narrative. It is about idealistic people who believed they could change the world, how those people met sometimes through luck and circumstance, how they created a shared vision, then through hard work have indeed--even while competing--changed and are still changing the world. Dobrow is a masterful narrator, and even if you know nothing about natural products, even if you know nothing about business, you will be drawn into the lives and stories of the disparate group of people who created from scratch an industry that changed the way Americans eat.” ―James A. Autry, author, The Servant Leader and Choosing Gratitude 365 Days a Year, and former president of Meredith Corporation's magazine publishing group

Natural Prophets is a beautifully written, factually rich account how a handful of fascinating people built the natural foods industry, and how that industry influenced other businesses into believing that missions and causes really do matter. It's an intriguing read for anyone who grew up in the 60s and 70s and then lived through the business transformations of the 80s and 90s. And it's a must read for anyone with an interest in natural foods or triple-bottom-line entrepreneurship--including today's business students who dream of becoming tomorrow's conscientious leaders.” ―Carol Cone, cause marketing pioneer and Global Practice Chair, Business & Social Purpose at Edelman

“Like all good Bible stories, Joe Dobrow's history of the Natural Foods movement starts in the darkness and moves to the light. It makes the connection between what we take in, and the quality of what comes out. Thanks Joe, I feel better already.” ―Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy and What Women Want and founding president of Envirosell

“While primarily focused on companies and their founders, Dobrow succeeds in relating changes in the natural foods industry with concurrent social and dietary movements. His surprisingly interesting, well-written, and well-researched chronology offers a social and corporate history spotlighting large U.S. natural food stores and manufacturers.” ―Library Journal

“A lively, informative look at the transformative potential of a mission-driven niche industry.” ―Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Joe Dobrow is a marketer, management scholar, historian, and journalist with two decades of experience as a top executive with some of the most prominent natural foods retailers in the U.S., including Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmers Market. A graduate of Brown and the Yale School of Management, Dobrow is the recipient of numerous awards, including Advertising Age's Eco-Marketer of the Year (2007) and the Hub Prize for Retail Excellence (2011, 2012). He lives near Phoenix, Arizona, and in the Washington D.C. area.

Product Details

  • File Size: 12848 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale (February 18, 2014)
  • Publication Date: February 18, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DVF12HG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #860,284 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The fluid narrative and abundant details are so vivid that the reader cannot help
but want to learn more about the Prophets. Who knew that someone out there named Mrs. Gooch could be part of such an amazing movement to natural food? This documentary should be
required reading for everyone, whether committed to eating whole food or not.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I very much enjoyed Natural Prophets. There is important education here - particularly for people (like me) who have gone through life blithely crunching Doritos and Oreos while ignoring the labels. But Dobrow wisely makes it much more, telling the fascinating and entertaining tales of the natural food industry's Founding Farmers against the backdrop of history and, in particular, the colorful post-WWII period in America.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I work in the natural foods industry and this book gave me a context of where it's been and where it is going.

To be great in any profession, you have to know the history behind it. Who were the great ones?

This book tells the story behind the baby boomers that built the industry.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Natural Prophets" is a triumph for marketing guru and historian Joe Dobrow. His unerring sense of humor, tight historical narrative and gift for story telling make this a book that sits on the same shelf with those of such greats as Joseph Mitchell, E.J. Kahn, John McPhee, Susan Orlean, and Michael Lewis. This book doubles as an overall history of the American food business as well as the recent revolution in organic and natural consumables. There are very few books that make you feel you've just experienced a series of great classroom lectures by a professor both wise and funny. This is a tome that would be appreciated by both Marx's..Karl and Groucho.
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Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this ell-written and meticulously researched account of the rise of the natural food industry. Joe Dobrow gives an incredible account of the challenges overcome, and personalities involved in taking this industry from one dominated by mission-driven hippies, to mainstream acceptance. My only complaint is that this book is written with very small type, which makes reading for long periods of time difficult. Even so, I loved it.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book, and anyone who is interested in what they eat or in 20th Century American history should read it. Not only is it informative, but it is a great read, entertaining the whole way through. Dobrow is an impressive story teller who weaves together the history of an important sector and cultural changes in the U.S. He brings life to the characters, who are not only the eccentric founders of familiar and beloved brands, but the brands themselves. Reading this gave me new perspective on the items stocking my refrigerator and pantry. Stonyfield, Cascadia, Organic Valley, Erewhon, Earthbound Farms -- the list goes on and on. Dobrow takes us on an engaging and spirited journey from the creaky, sawdust covered health food stores of the 1960s and '70s to the mega temples of worship, like Wholefoods, Read this book!
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