I went to the Natural Products Show in London last weekend, where I was treated to the largest trade show of its kind in the UK. I'm told around 6,000 specialist buyers brought along a staggering £2.7 billion worth of naturally-oriented budget, looking to splash out on the latest innovations in wellbeing.
Now, with the show its eleventh year, I reckon it's safe to say that natural products have come a long way. Organic, wholesome and ethical are no longer the exclusive domain of the knit-your-own muesli, sandal-toting tofu mafia.
In the press, on the TV and in every supermarket, healthy living is everywhere and it's sexy too with no end of celebrity endorsements. Sales are up, the marketing men have moved in and natural products are here to stay.
But behind the health-based hype and commercial appeal of feel good foods and the fast-growing array of non-edible life-enhancing gadgets, is it all good news?
I'm all for the higher profile that environmentally-friendly, ethically sound and rudely healthy natural products are getting, but there are causes for concern away from the organic lime light exemplified by the relatively unknown, yet thoroughly vital Goji berry.
A marketer's dream in terms of product pedigree, Goji berries are found in the pristine "Heavenly Mountains" of China and have been famous and revered as an anti-aging elixir for thousands of years.
These "immortality berries", according to whatreallyworks.co.uk have "a unique group of polysaccharides found nowhere else that are a super source of essential cell nutrients". Apparently they help facilitate the release of Human Growth Hormone, which its thought increases concentration, offers more restful sleep, faster healing, weight loss and even increased sex drive.
Also in the Goji nutritional blueprint are germanium, selenium, carotenoids, and more beta carotene than carrots; pound-for-pound, they pack a nutrional punch and taste something like a cross between a cranberry and a cherry.
Trouble is, it seems they've ruffled a few food industry feathers and are likely to be banned by – what is in my opinion – a very dodgy piece of EU legislation, the 'Novel Foods' directive.
Don't you just hate the fact that Goji berries and products containing them may have to be withdrawn from sales if an EU-wide investigation confirms that they are a 'novel food'? Because under the "Novel Foods Regulation" a food or ingredient is defined as novel if there is no significant history of consumption within the EU before May 1997.
I'm keeping an eye on the investigation launched by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) which says it received enquiries from food companies about the status of goji berries. Though I suspect it will leave other controversial 'food'stuffs like sugar-laden fizzy drinks, artificial sweeteners and transfats well alone.
The FSA has put the burden of proof on retailers, health food companies and other stakeholders, asking them to demonstrate a "significant history of consumption" and I await their findings with a mixture of bated breath and incredulity. Without the evidence, Goji berries will be considered novel and cannot be sold legally until they have been formally authorised. What's next I wonder?
What might make sense logically, i.e. protecting the public from rogue foods, does not actually add up in a world where, as the old cliché says: "you can get enough paracetamol in a supermarket to kill yourself, but you'd be struggling to finish yourself off in a health food store".