Michio Kushi, Kushi Institute in Becket, Massachusetts
Lee Swanson, President of Swanson Health Products ®
Dear Friends and Valued Customers,
Swanson Health Products is honored to have been chosen as one of the first health companies in America to introduce Michio Kushi’s new Macrobiotic supplement to the U.S. I recently visited with Mr. Kushi about his work and the development of his Fermented Superfood Complex. In the interview that follows, you’ll learn about Mr. Kushi’s life, the exclusive ingredients he grows in Brazil especially for this new formula, and how Michio Kushi’s Fermented Superfood Complex can help you discover a whole new level of health, energy and well-being.
Michio Kushi: I was born into a family of educators in Japan in 1926. As a boy I lived for a time in Hiroshima, where my father was a professor of Western History at the university. During World War II I studied political science at Tokyo University. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki made a very deep impression on me and I decided to devote my life to the pursuit of world peace and harmony.
Michio Kushi: After the war I continued graduate studies in Tokyo, focusing on international law. With the support of Norman Cousins, editor of The Saturday Review, I came to the U.S. in 1949 to pursue my studies on global peace.
Michio Kushi: I actually studied with George Ohsawa in Tokyo while I was a student. He taught that food was the key to health and that health was the key to peace. He believed that humanity would regain its physical and mental balance and become more peaceful by returning to a traditional diet of whole, natural foods. While living in New York I experienced positive changes in my own health and consciousness by changing my way of eating to what was to become the Macrobiotic diet. Over the next ten years I began to teach the principles of the Macrobiotic diet to the public.
Michio Kushi: Absolutely. The term “macrobiotic” was first used by Hippocrates. It is the Greek term for “great life” or “long life.” Hippocrates used the word to describe people who were healthy and lived long. Other classical writers such as Aristotle used the term to describe a lifestyle, including a simple, balanced diet that promoted health and longevity. The Greek version of the Old Testament of the Bible also has this word. Many societies, such as the Incas and the Chinese during the Han Dynasty, used Macrobiotic principles in their daily lives. In the 20th century, my teacher, George Ohsawa, drew from Asian and Japanese folk medicine to create his version of this philosophy of health.
Michio Kushi: Well, I consider Macrobiotics more of an approach to life, or a philosophy, rather than a “diet.” In general, however, Macrobiotics emphasizes whole cereals, grains, legumes, vegetables, seaweed, fermented foods and fruits combined into meals according to the principle of balance known as yin and yang.
Michio Kushi: That’s right. In the early 1960s I moved to Boston with my family and opened what became the first natural foods distributor in the United States. Erewhon Natural Foods was one of the first companies to make organically grown whole foods and naturally processed foods available.
Michio Kushi: Many items were familiar to certain ethnic groups but to the average American they were quite new—simple things like brown rice, for instance, whole wheat berries, barley and other whole grains; and more “exotic” items like miso, tofu, tempeh, tamari soy sauce and natto that were staples in the East. We also sold a variety of fruits and legumes like adzuki beans and lentils. We were the first to introduce rice syrup, sea vegetables and sea salt in the U.S. marketplace.
Michio Kushi: Yes, we are very pleased to have had a role in the development of the U.S. natural health and organic movements.
Michio Kushi: Yes, we are very excited about this. I developed preB as a complete nutritional complex composed entirely of fermented foods. The complex contains over 50 types of the world’s healthiest plants and foods, all of which are cultivated on our ANEW Farm in southern Brazil. These 55 foods are combined together, then fermented using natural yeast, local bacteria, and the miraculous water that gushes from springs on the ANEW Farm. The result is, I believe, a totally unique all-natural fermented food formula that concentrates all of my Kushi Macrobiotic principles into one convenient supplement. By simply adding my Fermented Superfood Complex to the daily diet, everyone can benefit from Kushi Macrobiotic principles without learning any complex theories.
Michio Kushi: Some of the more prominent of the 55 foods are brown rice, adzuki beans, pumpkin, plum, cabbage, acerola berries, seaweed, cinnamon, lemon grass, ginger and papaya.
Michio Kushi: The ANEW Farm, where all of the foods in the Fermented Superfood Complex are grown (except for the seaweed), is located in southern Brazil at the entrance to the Pantanal Wetland, which is classified as a World Natural Heritage Site. This 17,000-acre farm is truly an ecological wonder. The farm is surrounded by four rivers and is blessed with abundant sources of high-quality, pure water. Because the land is protected and use is restricted, all of the produce grown here is 100 percent safe and free from agricultural chemicals.
It certainly is possible to produce all the ingredients elsewhere in the world, but the ANEW Farm is a totally unique ecological area and the food produced there has a nutritional content we simply could not duplicate in Japan or elsewhere. The quality of the soil, the naturally pure super-soft alkaline water from the springs, and the unique bacteria in the soil make for a food quality that is unequaled anywhere in the world. The energy flowing from the soil and water on the ANEW Farm simply cannot be found anywhere else on earth.
Michio Kushi: Yes, there are at least five natural springs on the ANEW Farm that produce an amazing pale blue water rich in silicon, with a unique mineral balance. The water has a hardness of less than 1.2, which is miraculously soft for spring water. Needless to say, this water contains no contaminants. The water comes from a giant underground lake, the Guarani Aquifer, situated in a special geological stratum that formed in ancient times, about 550 million years ago, under where ANEW Farm now exists. And the water has its unique mineral balance from having lain in that stratum for a long period said to be from 250 to 400 years. This water is used in cultivating and processing the raw materials for my Fermented Superfood Complex. As a result, extraordinarily healthy fruits and vegetables can be harvested and the fermenting bacteria can act with great vigor, producing potent enzymes and creating a true superfood possessing enormous power.
Michio Kushi: The fruits and vegetables are cut and turned into a paste. The grains are soaked in water and germinated, after which they are pulverized. The organic sugar cane juice is boiled down and turned into a paste. And the hops are made into an extract. These ingredients are all put into a large fermentation tank, natural yeast is added, and the ingredients are then fermented using a three-stage process. The second fermentation stage is conducted using local acetic acid bacteria that grow wild on the farm. These bacteria go into the fermentation tank together with the product (of first-stage fermentation). Then a final tertiary fermentation is conducted with lactic acid to create a superfood that contains all of the energy emanating from ANEW Farm. Basically, my Fermented Superfood Complex is a condensed, concentrated, fermented version of that “standard diet” that is considered the foundation of life in Kushi Macrobiotics.
Michio Kushi: My superfood blend is very concentrated, enzyme-rich, all-natural whole food nutrition from 55 of the healthiest foods on earth. The major role of the natural enzymes created from the fermenting process is to enhance the nutritional content of the superfoods and thereby greatly enhance the health of all cells in the body. Activated by the superfood, the good bacteria help synthesize healthful nutrients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids into components the body can easily absorb and utilize.
Eating fermented food nourishes the good bacteria in the intestines and has a cleansing effect within the intestines. Fermented foods help good bacteria establish themselves and proliferate over time, providing long-lasting effects.
Michio Kushi: Macrobiotic theory suggests that poor health and unhappiness are nature’s ways of urging us to adopt a proper diet and way of life. The natural Macrobiotic approach to diet and living can lead to better health for everyone, regardless of age. It teaches that a wholesome, natural diet is the most direct path to good health. It enables one to discover a richness and harmony in Nature, even amidst the pressures of our complicated world. With these beginnings, the Macrobiotic way can lead to a more healthy, peaceful, cooperative and loving world.