Fred Bisci was standing at my refrigerator case in the first store I opened in 2010 (located on East First Street in New York City). He asked me if I was the owner, then he asked me to recommend juice (which I did). He grilled me about all my ingredients and the vendors I used for organic produce.
Above Photo: Me and Fred Bisci, circa 2017.
Then asked many questions about my philosophies regarding nutrition in general and juice cleansing in particular. Before he left, he said he really loved the shop and that he thought I was going to do well. He came in again about a week later. He told me he’d been reading the things I posted on my website and that he had some advice for me. As soon as he began talking, I realized that he’d be a great mentor. He had much to say about both science and abstract knowledge, and his insights were incredibly useful. One particular thing he spoke about was misconceptions held by everyone in the in the juicing industry. So I started to write down the
things that he started teaching me in our weekly encounters.
Sometimes people in the shop would ask questions that stumped me. I’d always go to Fred first, and then cross-reference his information with my doctor. Fred’s comments and my doctor’s information would usually be in sync. But I came to realize that information provided by doctors and medical manuals had limitations because most of them are geared towards the diets of meat eaters.
Above: Left: Some east village interesting character in full-battle gear for a summer in NYC. Center: Me. Right: Fred Bisci. We are outside of Juice Press store #6 on east 10th street. Circa 2016.
It’s my strong belief that the medical industry fails people by providing insufficient or misleading information regarding lifestyle and nutrition. Even organizations focused on producing or selling nutrition products often people tell people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear. Seldom do you hear of governmental agencies responsible for the health and well-being of US citizens tell us that eliminating processed food should be the very first thing we should do to improve our physical health. Even the so-called ‘food pyramid model’ is based more on ancient tradition than on science.
Fred helped me to clarify my concepts and become more efficient in my thought processes as well as in my writing. The most revolutionary thing he taught me was that to maximize your health, it’s what you leave out of your diet that makes the biggest difference. People who spend time and money looking for things to add to their diet are usually making a mistake. As far as dietary mistakes are concerned, removing detrimental things from a diet is usually better than taking excessive vitamins and supplements in attempts to correct unhealthy dietary practices.
This was a breakthrough in my understanding of nutrition; the simplicity of reducing a diet down to its most natural human state. Fred repeatedly shared the research he’d done with me to help me understand that human beings are absolutely, completely designed to function at an optimum level as plant eaters. However, we are adaptive creatures and we can include fleshly foods in our diet; this has helped the human race survive in inhospitable conditions and locations.
The customs and desires of humanity were what drove them into a carnivorous state of mind. When you consume flesh food you feel empowered, because the food is densely packed with substance that is filling. Flesh foods also stimulate the chemistry of our body; that gives us a sense of euphoria. Any animal that has its first taste of blood can easily become seduced by the flavor.
So, there is controversy among people in general and nutrition experts in particular
regarding exactly what are we supposed to eat; as people, we didn’t come with instructions. The Christian and Jewish Bibles condone the slaying of an animal for sustenance. It’s feasible that if they restricted this thousands of years ago they wouldn’t have had as much popularity or their massive numbers of followers.
At this point all I have been discussing is the chemistry-related issue of being a plant eater. I rarely ‘come out of my shell’ to discuss compassion as it pertains to dietary issues. Even if flesh eating in itself is not a moral evil, we can make choices that enable us to leave creatures in peace.
I’m not a good spokesman for moral choices that one should consider when consuming a flesh food. I don’t want to appear judgmental or pretend to be a spiritual guide; that’s not my intention. But I would like to discuss things I that do for myself and state what I believe to be true. And I want to do so in a way that might encourage others to follow.
Fred gave me tremendous wisdom during the 10 years that we were constantly in contact. He’s now 90 years old, and I have brought him into the fold of this new business. I still need his mentorship. And I’m proud of the fact that he consumed the products I created and they help him maintain excellent health and a high level of integrity in his diet; I never want to lose that feeling. I always want the most pristine eaters in our society to recognize my effort and believe in what I’m doing. I have deep gratitude for the things that Fred Bisci has given me. We’ve covered just about every subject in life together. He’s a brilliant thinker and he has influenced me the way a father influences a son.
I love my own father very much – he’s a brilliant man who has instilled many positive attributes in me. I was an am lucky to have him as my father. And I’m also glad to still have my mentor Fred Bisci in my life – he will always be like a second father to me.
Above Photo: At my wedding in Talum Mexico, Oct 22, 2017. Fred Bisci, Me holding my daughter Minnie-James, one of my favorite Yogi's and friends, Jared McCann.
Above: Fred Bisci at Juice Press #5 with my dear friend, Jeff Harper.