Rebuttal to Comments Made About
a Barley Grass Juice Supplement
The original video has been taken down, possibly because of the drama
associated with Graham implying in that video that T. Colin Campbell was
endorsing Graham's 80-10-10 Diet, when Campbell wasn't.
But I've placed the audio portion here.
1. Doug Graham
saying that when you juice, dry, and powderize plant matter you are
removing nutrients is not accurate. Yes, you are removing the fiber,
and although it's not normally thought of as a nutrient, fiber is
a nutrient because it nourishes the body. But since most people think
of vitamins and minerals when they hear the term "nutrients",
Graham's stating that this processing removes "nutrients"
(plural) is disingenuous. Juicing concentrates nutrition, and the
cold temperature CO2 spray-drying process used to dry and powderize
the barley grass juice product that I recommend (not all barley grass
juice powders are dried this way) does not result in the loss of the
bulk of the juice's nutritional content as some people might think
from listening to Graham's comments.
2. Graham says
that barley grass juice powder offers nothing in the way of nutrients,
and is "a detriment to your nutrition". If barley grass
juice powder provides no meaningful amounts of nutrition, then I would
like him to explain why it has helped people resolve various conditions
of ill-health. And we're not talking about a placebo effect, a stimulatory
effect, or a pharmacological effect; it is clearly a nutritive effect.
Sure, Graham could say that he has seen no evidence of any benefit,
but how would he since he doesn't recommend it, and therefore has
no experience with it. While I having vetted its efficacy and
incorporated it into my practice have seen, first hand, how
helpful it can be at compensating for the nutritionally sub-par fruits
and greens that many people are eating (provided by agri-industry
who does not grow for nutritional content). And I am
not the only practitioner to experience this. Sure, Graham can dismiss
this out-of-hand by saying that this is just anecdotal evidence, but
there is not going to be any multiple, double-blinded, placebo-controlled,
peer-reviewed studies done, and in the absence of that, empirical
evidence of this supplement's helpfulness in supplying nutrition that
is otherwise lacking in the diet is credible and compelling evidence,
especially when it's from someone who has no ulterior motives for
saying so. Ask yourself, why else would I be recommending barley grass
juice powder as strongly as I do? Because I sell it? No, I don't
sell it or make any money from its sale, and I purposely don't sell
it so that my recommendations will have the highest degree of credibility
because I know how helpful it can be. And this is something that should
be taken into account when vetting information such as this. Plus,
I've participated in having this green powder assayed, and it does
have the nutrients in it that it says it has on the bottle's label.
And there are no harmful heavy metals in it that could be a cause
of the detriment Graham refers to. And if his contention that it is
"detrimental" stems from an interpretation of Natural Hygiene
that says that all supplements are detrimental, well, he needs to
read a real-world interpretation
of Natural Hygiene.
3. I won't dignify
Graham's ridiculous "five year old celery" analogy with
a comment. If you read my
writings on the subject, you'll understand why. And we're talking
about the juice of a green food, so Graham saying that
if you dehydrate celery and powder it, and then add it back to water,
it's going to rehydrate and you've gained nothing, is obfuscating
the point. I'm not advocating consuming barley grass
powder; we're talking about barley grass juice powder.
There's a significant difference. So Graham saying that you are "concentrating
food but you're not concentrating nutritional value" does not
apply to a nutritional supplement that's made from a juice, and would
appear to be a disingenuous statement considering what Graham knows.
4. Now, to answer
Graham's question as to why barley grass juice powder would be any
more nutritious than celery because "aren't they grown in the
same soil?", actually, they are not grown in the
same soil. The difference between store-bought celery and barley grass
juice powder is that the celery was grown in agri-industry soil, and
they grow for yield, size, appearance, pest-resistance, shelf-life,
growth-rate, and sugar-content, but not for nutritional content (because
there's no demand for it nor profit in it), and the barley grass juice
powder was grown to be used specifically as a nutritional supplement,
so the soil it's grown in would certainly be better than the soil
the celery was grown in. If store-bought celery was assayed for its
nutritional content, and it came up short relative to what celery
is supposed to have, who is going to care? Will the celery grower
lose business? No. But if the barley grass juice powder was found
to be devoid of the nutritional content its label claims to have,
that company would be out of business... and believe me, these assays
have been done (at great expense). So we're talking about two different
products for two different markets, therefore Graham's comparison
is not mangoes-to-mangoes. So Graham saying, "If farmers don't
know how to make healthy soil, why should supplement salesmen know
how to make healthy soil?" is a ridiculous thing to say and hints
at his bias. And saying about the barley grass growers: "shame
on them for keeping that secret" implying that they should share
their information on how to grow in healthy soil with the agri-industry
farmers is also a ridiculous thing to say; Graham is either unaware
of the difference in soils, or he is merely trying to support his
position by saying things that he hopes no one will give any rational,
critical thought to.
5. Citing T.
Colin Cambell as saying that fruits and vegetables are the best thing
to eat, implying that Dr. Campbell did not say to eat fruits and vegetables
and a green powder product, is misrepresenting Dr. Campbell. Dr. Campbell
relies on published studies, so because there are no peer-reviewed
studies in the literature comparing a diet not augmented with a barley
grass juice powder with a diet that was augmented with
it, he understandably will have nothing to say on the subject (and
BTW, Dr. Campbell saying that "80-10-10 is the best way to eat"
referring to Doug Graham's 80/10/10 program; he's referring to
the caloro-nutrient ratios discovered by the Pritikin Longevity Center
research, which predates Graham's program).
6. Drying plant
matter is a way of preserving it, and as long as the drying process
isn't higher than a certain temperature, the nutrients are evidently
intact. And I say "evidently" because this supplement does
confer nutritional benefit. It should be noted that seeds found in
a bone-dry arid climate from thousands of years ago are still viable
and can still germinate and grow into a plant, but those same seeds,
if they had been in a moist environment, would have decomposed a long
time ago. So when green plant matter is dried and powdered and bottled
with a moisture absorbing packet in an airtight glass container, the
bulk of the nutrition is intact.
7. Graham said,
"They wouldn't keep coming out with new supplements if the old
ones were working ... If they're always coming out with something
new, this is telling you that the old stuff didn't work." Seriously?!
This shows a total lack of understanding of how the supplement industry
operates. Doug Graham is an intelligent person, and therefore someone
who can't honestly believe this. So what reason could he have for
saying this? Is he simply looking for anything that would discredit
the use of nutritional supplements that he thinks people would buy
8. Graham says,
"In today's world, deficiency is not the problem...95% of all
nutritional problems are problems of excess, not problems of deficiency."
There are certainly health issues caused by too much fat, too much
protein, too much "empty calorie" foods, and too much processed
sugar, but to state as if it were established fact that health issues
are mostly not caused by dietary nutritional deficiencies demonstrates
a lack of understanding of the issue, and that's putting it mildly.
First of all, the issue of the proportion of what causes ill health
is too complex to assign it a percentage with any degree of accuracy
(but that doesn't stop some people and organizations from doing this).
I should also mention that Graham teaches the notion that, "Once
you start eating enough fruits and vegetables you don't have to worry
about nutrition", yet this has been shown to be false. I'll admit,
it is a lovely notion, and I'd love to believe it, but I can't, because
it isn't true, and I prefer to deal with things that square with reality.
And although I agree with Graham when he says, "let's get real
here", it appears that my understanding of what is real is very
different from his.
Where our food
comes from today is not where it came from many millennia ago. And
if you believe that the nutritional quality is the same today as it's
always been, the hallmark study done at the University of Texas, Austin,
would disagree. They examined nutritional data from both 1950 and
2000 for 43 different vegetables and fruits, and confirmed "reliable
declines" over the past half century in the amount of protein,
calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (B2), and vitamin C to name
a few. Researchers attribute this declining nutritional content to
the agriculture industry's efforts to grow fruits and vegetables for
yield, appearance, size, pest-resistance, shelf-life, growth-rate,
and sugar-content, but not for nutritional content. Why do they grow
this way? They're in business to make profit, and they are under no
mandate to provide the public with food that provides enough
of all the nutrients we need for optimal
health (and there's no consumer demand for appropriately nutritious
produce). So they only add back to their soils potassium and phosphorus
(and nitrogen). Why only those? Because if they didn't add those back,
they couldn't grow crop after crop after crop in the same soil year
after year. But since they don't need to add back the dozens of other
nutrients that we need enough of, they don't.
would not be complete without trying to get some kind of understanding
of why Doug Graham would make these contentions with what is currently
known about the subject. If Graham was the type of educator who would
peer-to-peer with his colleagues for the benefit of those he teaches
and counsels, for the purpose of sharing information in an effort
to discover what works the best, you likely wouldn't be reading this
page. But sadly, this is not the case.
And what could
be a possible reason why Graham doesn't, on his own, adopt changes
to what he teaches based on "new information"? When someone
has been teaching something, and teaching it for a very long time
especially a very important issue like nutritional sufficiency
it can be difficult for some health educators to do what would
amount to a "180" on an issue for fear of losing credibility.
Realizing they've painted themselves into a corner, they dig in their
heels and take a "that's my story and I'm sticking to it"
attitude. While this approach may be good for business, it is not
good for those they teach and counsel. And if these educators were
merely teaching pottery-making, it wouldn't be a big deal. But your
health is arguably the most valuable commodity you have. So this is
why I advocate taking a multi-source approach to health education,
so that you will encounter conflicting information, and therefore
be in possession of the truth. Figuring out which information is the
truth is where adhering to the ethos of science comes in handy:
open questioning, no authorities, no biases or personal preferences,
honesty, transparency, and reliance on evidence. This way of thinking
can make the world a better place by burying myth and dogma, and two
of the requisites for this way of looking at an issue are: respect
for rational and honest discussion, and an intolerance of distortion
and misrepresentation... two things I wish Graham would adhere to.
think it's about time that we support health educators who deal with
reality (I'm not the only one), and let go of the ones who do not and
who refuse to, choosing instead to come up with spurious arguments to
support what they've always taught and continue to teach, even though
some of what they are teaching has been found to be incorrect. And it
doesn't matter if, like Graham, the vast majority of what they teach
is accurate. No one health educator has all the answers, but all the
answers a health educator does have should be correct.
So, I admire health educators who can peer-to-peer for the benefit of
those they teach and counsel, and who can admit when they're wrong,
but unfortunately some do not adhere to, "First, do no harm."
comments on the Doug Graham video
have followed Doug Graham for years (attending a 3 day seminar of his,
reading his books, and watching his videos), and have followed Don Bennett
for a couple of years (read everything I can find of his, and watch most
if not all of his videos). Don Bennett addresses issues that are never
addressed by DG, and Don Bennett takes into consideration that we do not
live in a perfect world. If we could all live in the perfect world, what
DG teaches would probably be sufficient information. However, Don Bennett
addresses issues that can arise living in the real world with less than
perfect produce, air, water ....environment in general. I will take the
realistic approach to health achievement over an idealized approach any
got recently turned on to trying the barley grass juice powder again by
reading some excellent articles from Don Bennett. The stuff makes me feel
incredibly nourished and calm and strong and vital. I guess everybody
should try things for themselves...as always. I really have eliminated
all supplements recently after reading many critical articles from experts
and watching Youtube videos on the topic...but I will happily spend money
on Barley Grass Juice Powder since it has such a profound effect on my
well-being...at least at this point of my life, coming from years of abusing
my body with a less than perfect diet."
a raw foodist client of mine who benefited from the use of a high quality
barley grass juice powder] "Thank you for making a difference in
my life with regards to my teeth. They are no longer see-through when
I am in the sun viewing them in a mirror, but rather starting to become
milky white again, definitely with more substance to them."
ethos of science is explained here
green powder we both were referring to (I don't sell it)
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