others are saying...
"Don is one of the world's top natural health educators and someone who walks his talk, and is a superb example of health. His lectures clearly explode common misconceptions about food and health, and he sets his audience on the straight path to health creation. I would not miss any of Don's events he is a most inspiring role model." Dr. David Klein
You are so deserving of abundance Don. Really, you are one of the rare people out there who truly have no agenda but to spread true health and wellness information for people. Your sincerity is both obvious and touching - as well as being rare. Thank you for doing all that you do, and know that you are making a huge difference. Ali Washington
"Don is one of the most intelligent health educators I have ever met. He is very honest and extremely humble. It is rare to see a person in this day and age go above and beyond the way Don does in order to promote healthy living." George Galiounghi
"You honestly ARE my go-to guy for good, logical health info." Megan Elizabeth
"I really appreciate the information you give people, and I believe you have one of the most balanced voices in the raw food movement." Alison Andrews
"Don is a wonderful instructor passionate about the material. I felt free to ask questions. He knows the material backwards and forwards, has a lot of energy, and is living what he teaches." Cindy Gomez
"Don is a magnetic, entertaining, and professional speaker; truly an inspiration." Ellen Livingston
"I am writing to express to you my appreciation and admiration for your work. You are one of the most valuable leaders in the raw food/natural hygiene movement. Your obvious intelligence and insight, and your impeccable ability to differentiate between truth and lies is rare. So I just wanted you to know that you are admired and appreciated. And I want to thank you for your efforts to help others and make the world a better place. You are indeed a jewel amongst men." Elizabeth Westlund
"Your views on health and fitness are so rational and well-communicated. You are really a breath of fresh air when it comes to raw foodism and natural hygiene." Swayze Foster
"Amongst all my fruitarian friends, it is you who comes up time and again as the 'voice of wisdom' amid all the conflicting info that goes on out there!" Angie Bedson
"I found you most informative on the basics, which is where I really needed to learn. I've really benefited from your years of research and experience. Your books and DVDs are great!" Kirsten Blok
"I admire you for not participating in affiliate programs or selling your own supplements. You undoubtedly could be making a lot of money by doing so, but instead you have chosen to maintain your integrity as an unbiased health educator." Mark Hovila
"Thanks again for the help. You seem to be one of the few down to earth guys, not ruled by dogma, and out of the drama. It's sad that there is so much of that when looking for answers." Jared Tavasolian
"I would like to thank you for providing such a wealth of important information for free on your website. Your intelligence and sincerity shines through your writing. I came across your site through researching natural hygiene and a few YouTube videos, and I'm enjoying working my way through the articles. Much appreciated." Chris Lennon
"I simply wish to thank you for how you helped me. You responded so fast and with a lot of detail, and I really felt you dearly wanted to help. It is really amazing to have people like you helping and guiding people!" Cecilie Hjorth
"Thank you Don. I appreciate how thorough your responses always are, and I value your opinion greatly, more so than virtually anyone else in this movement." Emily Nowell
"Congratulations Julie on this wonderful [Facebook] group! I love that Don Bennett is participating here as I feel he is, by far, the best raw food nutrition expert!" Janett Van Dyke Hoke
"I personally have read so many different books, traveled around the world and have worked at 15 different types of jobs and 'achieved all the grades a parent could want for their child' in mainstream academics (Economics major), and all I can say is at 25 looking at the world today, from the heart, I sincerely classify your work and dedication to seeking the truth, collectively the most valuable positive work being done. I have studied everyone in the raw food movement, and you truly pave the path of truth and optimal health." Ali Horasany
"I just want to tell you how thankful I am for your health guidance and the information you are providing to the community! I very much trust your recommendations and think of you as having some of the most thoughtful advice for healthy living out of any modern health educator. It's difficult for me to express how much you've helped me indirectly achieve a vibrant sense of well-being." Nate Richie
"Don brings a solid rational approach to a topic that otherwise is filled with pseudoscience and quackery." Woodstock Fruit Festival attendee
"Don's courageousness in speaking up despite influential raw vegan and other health teachers not liking it has been inspiring to me. He does it because he cares more that people know the truth than about what other people think about him. So that's who Don is and why I ask for his opinion from time to time, because he has lots of experience and trial and error and research of his own to share, and I appreciate considering his viewpoints. Since he specializes in diet and deficiencies he has good information to consider." Tasha Lee
You'll notice the initials "DAS" after my name. This stands for "Disease Avoidance Specialist". Although an accurate description of what I am, professionally, I did not dream up this title. When trying to answer the question, "What do you do for a living?" I was struggling to find a short 'n sweet description; something that would sum up my vocation. Being that I had no formal training and thus didn't have a degree in anything, this was a challenge. A close friend someone who knows me well and is very familiar with my work suggested the title of "Disease Avoidance Specialist." Perfect!
The reason I added this title's initials after my name was twofold: I felt it would be a good conversation starter since "DAS" didn't stand for any particular title at the time (now it could indicate a degree in "Digital Arts and Sciences"). And many such conversations have indeed occurred, some to the benefit of the questioner. Adopting those letters was also a comment on the use of initials after one's name, and how they can be meaningless and even misleading. Consider the following example:
The takeaway: So-called "accredited" titles do not necessarily mean that the best, most helpful information will be made available to you, and that titles that have no formal academic standing associated with them (or no title at all) does not necessarily mean that the person's information should automatically be discounted as nonsense. There are of course exceptions to this. If I were hit by a bus and rushed to the ER, I would want someone operating on me who was qualified, and the initials after a surgeon's name, while not able to show if he/she graduated in the top 5% or bottom 5% of their class, would be a requirement for me. Conversely, there are those with no initials after their name who are charlatans and just want to separate you from your money. And while we're on the subject, there are educators who have "real" degreed initials after their name (and diplomas to prove it), like some chiropractors, but the curriculums associated with those degrees have nothing to do with what they are teaching, and yet the "Dr." before their name gives them a certain appearance of credibility, when it shouldn't. (By-the-way, there's a university program that offers PhDs in my area of study, and I could have gotten one and been able to use "Dr." in front of my name, but as this is meaningless compared to "DAS", and because that course has inaccurate information, I chose not to.)
So regardless of the initials that follow someone's name, it would be wise to vet the person's title and consider their education, remembering that traditional curriculums do not automatically mean that the person who sports that title has the best, most beneficial information. Most doctors who are MDs do not go beyond their conventional training, but a few do. Some physical therapists have gone beyond the basics of their profession and are now able to help people resolve serious disease, and some chiropractors give the appearance of doing the same, yet do not offer accurate information; a person's motivations and ethics also need to be considered.
Bottom line: Some of the most knowledgeable people are self-taught, and this can be especially advantageous considering that certain health-related accredited courses-of-study contain missing information, and even misinformation. So just because there are no universities that offer a degree in Disease Avoidance, doesn't mean I'm not knowledgeable in this field. And the many people I've helped to resolve semi-serious and serious conditions would no doubt support my use of this title even though the person who gave it to me isn't a university. Outside-the-box areas of education warrant outside-the-box approaches to traditional norms. And think about this... why is disease prevention not taught to medical doctors? If you think it's because it isn't known how to prevent the most common conditions people experience today, you haven't yet done your due diligence.