Human beings, points out Jay Kordich, are the only animals that cook their food. This is not something we should be proud of, he says.
"Cooked food, dead food, dead bodies," he says dramatically. "Only life begets life."Kordich is 69 but looks at least a decade younger. The secret to his longevity - indeed to the fact that he didn't die 42 years ago, he says - is juice.
Kordich has this sort of missionary zeal about juice. He also sells juicers. Both he and the juicer are called The Juiceman.
"Here's what you have to say," he tells the reporter. "The Juiceman (that would be the man himself, not the appliance) wants you to remember: What you need is a high-density of nutrients per calorie, and that lies in all plants."
And here's another thing The Juiceman wants you to remember, he says. "Please eliminate empty calories. They'll do you in quite early. This is a beautiful life. But it's only beautiful when you're well."
Kordich himself wasn't well at all when he first discovered the merits of liquid fruits and vegetables. That was in 1948, after he had played in the Rose Bowl for the University of Southern California and had been drafted by the Green Bay Packers - and then was diagnosed, he says, with an inoperable bladder tumor.
Kordich had read about a German doctor named Max Gerson, who was practicing in New York City. Gerson was treating his cancer patients with fresh vegetable and fruit juices - a prescription that appealed to Kordich. He went to New York, spent a week with the doctor, began selling juicers himself and "overcame" his cancer, he says.
When you cook fruits and vegetables you kill the enzymes - "the life force," says Kordich. Without enzymes it takes longer to digest food and eliminate it from our bodies, he points out.
"When you eat cooked food it takes at least 48 hours to digest it and evacuate the waste," he says. Raw foods take only 17 hours, he says.
With cooked food, says Kordich, the pancreas has to be called in to help with the digesting, when it should be working to regulate blood sugar and neutralize cancer cells, he says. And when the pancreas is overworked, other organs have to take over its function, and pretty soon they get worn out, too.
Raw foods, on the other hand, "don't put a stress load on internal organs and they don't tax the immune system," he says.
Raw juice is the most efficient form of raw food, he says, because it gets 100 percent of the food value into the blood stream, "without the body having to do any work."
Canned and bottled juices, however, have been sterilized to ensure a long shelf life, and that kills the digestive enzymes, he says.
In the beginning of his 40-year juice career, says Kordich, "they used to laugh at me like I was a nut. . . . The medical profession called me a quack. Yet they're dying and I'm still alive."
Thirty years ago he invented his own juicer. It's the first pulp-ejector known to man, he says. It's not available in any store but is available by attending free seminars that The
Juiceman holds around the country. (Last week he was in Salt Lake City, Provo and Ogden.) The juicer itself costs about $250.
While of course he hopes you'll buy his juicer, he says any juicer is better than no juicer. But not if it has an aluminum basket, he says.
He gives the following juice tips:
- Never mix fruits and vegetables in the same drink, unless the fruit is apple. Otherwise you'll wreak havoc in your colorectal area, he says.
- If you feel compelled to eat cooked food, drink some vegetable juice with it to get the enzymes going. If you put raw onions in cooked food they will also help digest it faster.
- A mixture of apple and celery juice alleviates muscle cramping (use one rib of celery to two apples)
- For a good diuretic, make a juice of four apples and 1/4 lemon (peel and all)
- To make watermelon or cantaloupe juice, use rinds and seeds, too (95 percent of a watermelon's food value is in the rind, he says).