This is one blog that we have put off writing since Thursday morning. We thought it would be a normal Thursday morning at work, until we got the call letting us know that Steve Meyerowitz, The Sproutman had passed away in the early evening of Wednesday September 9th, from a car accident. The shock and ensuing silence in our offices passed throughout the whole day and rest of the week.
Although many of you knew Steve on some level through a book, course, lecture, or as his friend, for those of you who may not know: Steve was pronounced “Sproutman®” by Vegetarian Times Magazine in a 1979 feature article that explored the why’s and wherefores of his 100% sprout diet.
Steve was interested in natural foods after a 20 year effort to correct chronic allergies and asthma with conventional medicine. He made dramatic changes in his diet and within two months of eating a strict “living foods,” vegetarian diet, his lifelong symptoms vanished. He continued to practice a 100% raw foods diet (nothing cooked, packaged, canned, frozen, or processed) for five years. During that time, he also experimented with other extreme diets such as fruitarianism (just fruit), juice fasting for as long as 100 days, and briefly, breatharianism (no food, no water).
Steve’s innovative kitchen gardening techniques and the cuisine he developed from them, gave rise to a “School for Sprouts.” He began teaching indoor gardening 12 stories above the streets of New York City. He called his no-cooking school, The Sprout House, since so much of his cuisine included vegetables from his kitchen garden-sprouts.
Steve invented two home sprouters, The Flax Sprout Bag and a tabletop greenhouse called, Sproutman’s Kitchen Garden Salad Grower. He also supplied his growing kits and a full line of organic sprouting seeds via mail order.
Steve sold the mail order business and he and his family moved to breathe fresher air in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. Much of the information from his teaching years have been related in his books. He has the most popular books on sprouts, including Sprouts the Miracle Food, Sproutman’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook, and Wheatgrass Nature’s Finest Medicine, to name a few. But he also has other books on subjects such as fasting and raw juice therapy.
Steve has been featured on Web MD, Renegade Health Show, Hippocrates Health Institute, PBS, QVC, the Home Shopping Network, TV Food Network, and in Prevention, Better Nutrition, and Organic Gardening magazines and countless lectures across North America. In 3 minutes on QVC, 953 people ordered his Cookbook and Kitchen Garden Salad Grower.
We will never forget the day we met Steve. We already knew of him and happily carried his wonderful sprouters and books to the public. Just getting ready to start at a health expo, up walks a man with a twinkle in his eye, and says, “I think we should work together”. Really, how could we resist listening to someone that had sprouts growing out of his hat and spiraling up his tie? And that is exactly how we replied. From that point on, over some raw vegan food and green juice, we discovered we had found a truly kindred spirit, or rather he found us. And so our walk together began.
A year later brought us distributing his products in Canada, and featuring him at all of the big health shows, we always thought he was a rawk star and let him shine his light. We cannot express the joy we experienced at every single event together. Seeing his kindness and care to every individual, and his patience and fortitude in calming stressed out or beginner “sprouters” needing help, showed us his passion for making a difference any way he could. And although many people have a public persona that drastically differs from their personal one, we want to emphasize to everyone – Sproutman really loved speaking to and helping you all – he was truly genuine. Behind the scenes was a man full of love and admiration for others, and so passionate about helping others. He often spoke about his family with so much respect and love, we almost felt that they were with us at events. In fact, he had suggested including one of his sons to join us at the expos. From the way he spoke of his children and their accomplishments, we could easily tell what a good parent he was. A role model for everyone. His focus and determination to be a shining light in our dark times was so strong you could feel it with every idea he sprang at us.
We will never forget our trip to California at a large expo, we just showed up randomly to surprise him. The fun we had getting lost trying to find a raw food restaurant in California driving in endless circles without realizing it, laughing the whole time. Nor will we forget his astounded look when we recited prayers in Hebrew at a fancy dinner. That evening we toasted our champagne glasses of green juice with smiles in our hearts and memories to treasure.
We are so blessed to have kept company with a man of such integrity that really ‘walked his talk’ and became one of the changes he wanted to see in the world. We have the utmost respect and gratitude for all of his good works and dedication to healing our planet and all of its inhabitants.
Steve, we will truly miss you and keep walking the path and spreading the light.