In fin de siècle Europe, from 1896-1908, a German youth movement known as Der Wandervogel began to grow as a countercultural reaction to the organized social and cultural clubs that centered around German folk music. In contrast to these formal clubs, Wandervogel emphasized amateur music and singing, creative dress, and communal outings involving hiking and camping.



During the first several decades of the twentieth century, these beliefs were introduced to the United States as Germans settled around the country, some opening the first health food stores.

In turn, young Americans adopted the beliefs and practices of the new immigrants. One group, called the "Nature Boys", took to the California desert, raised organic food, and espoused a back-to-nature lifestyle.