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The Fathers of Juice!

Jun 09, 2014


We celebrate Father's Day to honor those that forged the path we walk down today.  This month we pay tribute to 5 juicing pioneers.

Jay Kordich

If you are looking for a great example of the power of produce, look no further than the Father of Juicing himself, Jay Kordich.  After being diagnosed with a serious illness at the age of 26, Jay flew from San Diego to New York to meet with Dr. Max Gerson and learned about the benefits of fresh juice.  He spent the next 65 years spreading the word, teaching others about eating a healthy diet and juicing.  In 1990 he reached out to television viewers with his first infomercial.  Jay, now in his 90s, continues to practice what he preaches and has written several books and juicing programs with his wife Linda.

So we asked him, how does he feel about juicing today? 

“My thoughts about juicing and juice bars is that I couldn't imagine it could have blossomed into something so global. I used to think to myself, after working decades of 14 hour days, week after week, month after month, year after year and decade after decade, ‘will the public at large ever understand the healing and recuperative powers of juicing and use them daily?’ I somehow never got down or depressed, because I was passionate about my work and passionate about the mission I felt God had asked me to perform.

I certainly do hope and pray it surely will be like a Starbucks, but as we all know, juicing is by far superior than drinking coffee. So many hundreds of millions of people would truly feel energy and vitality naturally if they were to make the switch from coffee to juicing, and of course live a naturally longer and vibrant life.” Just like Jay! He and Linda continue to teach and “love every minute of it and feel it has been a true privilege to share [the] priceless wisdom about the Powers of Juicing”.

Jack LaLanne

“10 seconds on the lips and a lifetime on the hips.” Yep, that was the Godfather of Fitness himself, Jack LaLanne that said that. He was inspired by Paul Bragg at the age of 15 after seeing him lecture at the Oakland City Women’s Club.  Jack immediately began learning everything he could about the human body and how it worked. Opening the first modern health club in 1939, he was way ahead of his time, creating exercise machines and developing training regimes for athletes. Jack believed in daily exercise and a proper diet.   He began juicing as a teenager and eventually began selling Power Juicers on TV.  Jack’s passion for living a healthy life continues on with his grand nephew, Chris LaLanne, at LaLanne Fitness CrossFit in San Francisco.

Dr. Max Gerson

Dr. Max Gerson was a nutrition pioneer.  Born in 1881 in Germany, he began experimenting with food choices to rid him of his nagging headaches and ended up finding a cure for skin tuberculosis.  In 1938 he began practicing medicine in New York, continuing his focus on curing disease and cancer with diet.  In 1958 he published his first book, Cancer Therapy: Results from 50 Cases and a year later, passed away.  His legacy lives on through his daughter, Charlotte Gerson and the Gerson Institute.  An integral part of the program are 13 daily glasses of carrot/apple and green-leaf juices consumed on the hour.  Dr. Gerson was one of the first to recognize the amazing benefits of juice, the detoxification effects and what it does to the body on a cellular level.

Steve Meyerowitz

Nicknames are usually given for a reason, and Steve Meyerowitz surely earned his.  In 1979, Vegetarian Times ran an article about “Sproutman” and his sprout diet, coining the name. Steve became interested in nutrition while searching for a cure for his allergies and asthma, eventually turning to a raw diet for 5 years.   Knowing he was on to something good, he taught citizens of New York City how to cultivate a garden in a 12th story loft for his “Sprout House” school.  Wanting others to reap the same benefits, he developed his own indoor sprouters and has appeared on numerous TV shows. In addition to sprouts, Steve also tested a few extreme diets such as eating only fruit, juice fasting and not eating or drinking at all.

Norman Walker

We certainly owe a debt of gratitude to Norman Walker.  Born in Italy, he found his way to Long Beach, California where he and a physician friend opened a juice bar.  They devised multiple blends for various ailments but because the juice was unpasteurized, they couldn’t sell it at the time.  Instead, they turned to manufacturing a juicer and came out with the Norwalk.  Selling his portion of the juicer business, he moved to Arizona and ran a health ranch, and finally retired to writing.  Norman followed his raw food and juice diet until he died at the age of 99.


Contributed by: Nanette Murray 

Photo courtesy of Linda & Jay Kordich