March is officially “Travel Month” at The Vegetable Centric Kitchen and I’m very excited about what’s coming up! Each week will feature a guest post from frequent traveler/health nuts that I admire as well as a giveaway!
Michael, of Vegus Juices, has generously agreed to host a weekly giveaway for the month of March and let me tell you: this stuff is the best! In the days prior to traveling with my juicer, I would order packages of Vegus Wheatgrass and Broccoli Sprout shots to take with me. These, along with lots of stevia-sweetened lemonade got me through without my juicer. I find these to be far superior to packets of powdered greens. There is life in these little packets!
A weekly winner will receive one container of seven pouches 4 wheatgrass and 3 broccoli delivered to your home or office by mail. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post! Just let us know you’d like to try this really awesome product and you’ll be entered. And if you don’t win this week, you have three more chances!
Now I’ll let Michael introduce Vegus to you:
ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL, DANGEROUS SPROUTS
I had a farm in America.
In fact I had farms in California, New York, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Colorado,
Tennessee, Texas, Arizona – and Canada. I grew beautiful sprouts and I was terrified.
Way back when there used to be hundreds or thousands of sprout growers in America.
Now there are relatively few. Where did they all go?
I watched and saw most of them go out of business because no matter how careful they
were sooner or later someone had eaten their sprouts and become ill – or died!
I looked at packets of sprouts in shops and saw overripe or rotten plants including my
own. Fact is that under perfect conditions perfect sprouts don’t last long and must be
refrigerated every step of the way from harvest to consumption. This perfect cold chain
is unreliable. (I have seen pallet loads of fresh sprouts – and yogurts! – left out on
supermarket ,loading docks for hours in the hot sun and then put on the shelves in the
Fresh sprouts are incredible sources of nutrition and people who know this want to eat
them but fresh sprouts have very little shelf life and they are easily contaminated at the
sprout farms (e:coli), in the shops or even at the seed production stage. (salmonella).
Sprouts are truly wonderful – but good enough to die for? No.
Over a period of several years I searched for a solution to the problem. Bit by bit the
technology and know-how came together. It was obvious from an early stage in the quest
that the answer would be to make juices from fresh healthy sprouts and then lock in the
goodness while locking out the dangers of bacteria, spores and accidental contamination.
Obviously, boiling or heat pasteurising the juices would eliminate the dangers – but that
would also eliminate or ruin the nutritional elements that make the sprouts so very, very
I looked at various forms of “flash” pasteurisation. Guess what? Normal pasteurisation
fast or slow is too much heat and gives you a dead juice – and lacking that wonderful
We investigated everything: modified radiation, electrophoresis, high vacuum, freezing,
freeze drying, chemicals (!), ultra violet light, spray drying and many, many more.
There were two basic sets of results:
a) the system didn’t work for juices or
b) they worked in that they killed the bad guys but left the juice weakened, taste-
changed, un-palatable and just plain nasty.
Then we saw that a research institute in Florida had tested a system that seemed to
work for orange juice. Their product looked like and tasted like pure, fresh squeezed
orange juice. Wonderful!! While they were unable to adapt the system to producing
tens of thousands of gallon of juice a day in a process system the technology remained
and was proven and accepted by government agencies as being at least as safe as heat
pasteurisation. This system works by subjecting the products to ultra high pressure.
(Think of ten big elephants standing on a strawberry –and then some). No chemicals, no
Since I had never dreamed of producing tens of thousands of gallons of wheatgrass
juice a day (Mmmmm. I wonder) the High Pressure System (HPS) looked great for my
The juices are safe. While government agencies require a 5-log kill of target bacteria
for effective pasteurization the HPS delivers up to a 7-log kill. That is about 1,000
times more than required.
The temperature of the juice will only go up by about 1 degree Celsius from room
temperature during HPS. (No heat applied. Qualifies as Raw Food!)
The nutrients in the juice are unharmed
The enzymes in the juices are not denatured. (When other people tried HPS they
failed – but we do something a little extra and it works)
The taste of the juice is natural
The shelf life of the juice is up to twelve weeks – without any refrigeration.
For my own commercial reasons I set up a farm in Ireland with the idea of shipping the
juices world-wide. A little here, a little there.
At the farm, Vegus Foods produces wheatgrass juice and the fabulous broccoli sprout
Wheatgrass juice is a global favorite, widely known and recognised for its health values.
Broccoli sprout juice, to which we add a touch of mint, is not the best tasting stuff
around. Even so people buy it and drink it because of all the published science.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins published a peer-reviewed paper documenting that SGS/
Isothiocyantes, that occur naturally in young broccoli sprouts, could help prevent cancer.
Also, if you already had cancer, these SGS/Isothiocyantes in broccoli sprouts actually
slowed down tumor growth.
This created a huge demand for broccoli sprouts and it’s a demand that has never been
met. (Johns Hopkins did try to patent and monopolize the growing of broccoli sprouts
– but they lost and that’s another interesting story). The sprouts are not cheap, they have
no shelf life, there is no distribution system fast enough to get good fresh sprouts to the
consumer. In those few places where somewhat reasonably good sprouts are available
buyers don’t want to go to the store everyday and they get bored eating a bucket of
sprouts every day. Or several buckets a day. Beware of “broccoli sprouts”. When you
read the labels carefully many retail offers of broccoli sprouts turn out to be only 10%
broccoli and the rest alfalfa, clover, radish. At up to €1.99 a box you need to eat €20 a
day to get a full daily dose of SGS!)
Johns Hopkins also said that the optimal dose was about 78 mgs of SGS/Isothiocyanates
every other day. Vegus Foods had the broccoli sprout juice tested at an independent lab
using the approved HPLC comparative testing. The assay came back as 39 mgs per shot,
which is just about the perfect daily dose and couldn’t have been better if we’d planned it.
Note that this is a “maintenance dose”. If people already have cancer, for example, they
double or triple the daily dose.
Then other studies were made and published around the world showing that the same
broccoli sprout phytonutrients were useful in preventing or treating a whole long list
of conditions including: heart disease, cancer, macular degeneration, stomach ulcers,
Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, the University of California at Los Angeles even
suggested they might slow down the ageing process. Wow! Hard science supporting a
natural product. This is rare.
Our little company is the only producer in the world of these juices in this form and while
we are happy to tell the world of the wonders of High Pressure Processing we are also
happy to know that lots of other people have tried this without success. (We don’t tell
anyone just how we manage to succeed where they fail).
Vegus Foods is still a very small company but we are growing steadily. Soon we will add
new products: raw chocolate wheatgrass juice and a naturally sweet barley grass juice.
(The barley grass powders that are now so popular usually contain about 25% added
maltodextrose and magnesium stearate – not health foods!)
The Vegus juices now go out to consumers, stores and distributors in Spain, Great
Britain, Ireland, Slovenia, Greece, Belgium, Holland, America, Australia, Taiwan,
Poland, Romania, Italy, Switzerland, Cyprus and more with much more to come.
Now if we could just set up a small farm in Tibet, harvest high altitude goji berries and
make juice right there on the mountain and then treat it with HPS and ship it world wide.
There you have it! You have until Friday the 9th to enter by leaving a comment, Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!
***Update: Continue to comment on this post throughout the month of March for extra chances to win every week! Only one comment per week but as long as you’ve commented once you’re still in the running. Each comment just gives you an extra shot 🙂 Winners announced every Friday!