For the twenty-third interview, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Scott Grzybek, Chief Fermentation Officer of Zukay Live and Jacob’s Raw Fermented Foods in business since 2008.
Question #1: Tell me briefly about yourself and why you decided to get involved in the “health” industry?
I wasn’t raised in any special food way out in the PA countryside, though I would say my mom was considerably more progressive than other parents of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. “Health food”, organics”, etc were something that came to mean something after college, as I started to gain some weight and started to wonder about keeping my own health strong throughout what I hope is a long, happy and healthy lifetime. It became more and more important throughout my adulthood, and became of utmost importance once my wife and I decided to start a family – she and I have been blessed with great health and we wanted the same for our children. So “health food” took central importance.
From a career standpoint, I’ve pretty much always been in the consumer packaged good food industry. I love food, and I love providing others with food. I enjoyed my pre-Zukay career considerably – some places more than others – but at the end I really wanted to form a company that was based on what my wife and I believe and practice, and we felt that raw, fermented vegetables were the best way to do that.
Question #2: If you were stranded on a desert island and were allowed to take only 5 items with you (they can be food, books or specific products that are all health-related), what would they be and why?
Other than a fishing rod, wood and flint? Probably just Nourishing Traditions.
Question #3: What one message do you want to share with the people of this world that is crucial for their ultimate well-being and longevity?
One – stop eating processed garbage. Two- Love each other as much as possible, especially those closest to you. Three – Drop as much guilt as you can, especially about food. Eating healthy is great except when guilt gets in the way.
Questions #4: If someone could afford to purchase only one product at this moment to start their journey towards better health (food or health-related), what would you recommend and why?
Probiotic veggies. So many of your health problems are in the gut and you need to get that healthy first. But there’s no one thing. Nothing worth it is easy.
Question #5: Tell me more about your business/company and/or products you offer to the public to help them achieve optimal health and well-being?
Our mission has always been to bring the health benefits of raw, fermented and probiotic vegetables to the American public in ways to make them part of the daily diet. That’s our main thing – purely the virtue of fermented vegetables. Our products are as locally sourced as possible and organic, and we are a small family that cares – but it’s really about the fermented vegetables.
Question #6: What are your hopes/aspirations/dreams for the future health of the people and the planet?
I think my dreams are coming true – people are awakening to a better, healthier future based on the principles of natural ways of eating and living. Whether it’s the Paleo or the Vegan or Raw Vegan diets, it’s being figured out – and it’s also helping people to awaken in many other ways as well. As a culture, we’re way beyond where we were when I started in 2008. I’m optimistic.
Question #7: Who is your greatest hero and why?
My oldest son, Jacob. He’s the toughest, highest character, and hardest working kid I know – and is a ridiculously fun, free spirit as well.
Question #8: Is there anything else you would like to share with the public?
Just a simple guy, trying to make the world a simpler, better place in one way.
I also have 2 video review of their products on my youtube channel, that you can check out: