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My Rebuttal to Comments Made About
a Barley Grass Juice Supplement

This is a rebuttal to Doug Graham's comments about barley grass juice powder.

Note: 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" is not 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 into?

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.

This discussion 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.

I 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."


Some comments on the Doug Graham video

"I 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 day!"

"I 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."

[From 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."


Part two of my rebuttal is here

The ethos of science is explained here

The green powder we both were referring to (I don't sell it)

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