Question: Are you aware that Dr. Brian Clement, director of Hippocrates Health Institute, with whom you are speaking in Florida early next year, discontinued Rejuvelac at Hippocrates long ago because they found it was “contaminated?” What do you have to say about this?
Answer: Yes, I’m aware. In fact, Dr. Clement’s opinion, circulated in a few books and on the internet, are why I never started Rejuvelac in the first place when I read about it 20 years ago. (That, and I needed someone to show me how to do it, let me taste it. I got that at CHI and am trying to do that for my readers now, too, leveraging the Internet.)
I am speaking with Dr. Clement at two events in Florida this coming February (if you want to help us find a location for 200+ in Ft. Lauderdale or Orlando, please write firstname.lastname@example.org). Dr. Clement told me personally last week that Hippocrates tested and found “unfriendly bacteria” in Rejuvelac 30 years ago.
I think this “contamination” issue is an oft-repeated opinion that has gotten more attention than it deserved. Few surfaces, foods, and body systems will be found to be without unfriendly bacteria. They are everywhere. The idea, as Dr. Bernard Jensen used to teach, is to maintain a 10:1 good-to-bad bacteria ratio in the gut. (The vast majority of Americans he tested had 10:1 bad-to-good bacteria.)
I believe that, no different than other fermented foods (all of which could be called “contaminated”), Rejuvelac is an outstanding drink / food. All cultured foods could be said to be “contaminated”—in that they are teeming with micro-organisms. None are exactly sterile, and that is simply not a achievable goal.
If you want to eat only sterile items, you can get on board with the U.S. government’s agenda to irradiate and pasteurize virtually everything. We co-exist peacefully with the billions of tiny critters in our environment when our internal terrain is in harmony with a strong defense system, and when good bacteria in our gastrointestinal system outnumber the bad bacteria 10:1. Not when we hide away from the life all around us and wipe everything with chemical cleaning agents.
(Leaving in a clean environment is important. There’s a fine line between the reasonable and sensible habits of keeping our home clean, and washing our hands after touching a grocery cart in the winter or using a public bathroom, and the less-reasonable paranoia about microorganisms.)
Dr. Clement and I don’t necessarily line up on every issue. Hippocrates is the Cadillac of “rebuild and detox” programs, and they do so many other good things. Other Ann Wigmore institutions, though, have retained the Rejuvelac habit.
(Brian Clement also calls green smoothies a “recreational food” and doesn’t recommend them.) I am reaching out to the mainstream with habits that are radical for the average American. I’m teaching habits that an average person can adopt, with a dramatic impact. Nutrients oxidize a little bit upon blending, over time, but nutrients are also lost when greens are chewed and swallowed because the narrow modern palate doesn’t break them down. Pick your poison. I could teach people to eat a giant platter of plain greens daily–what you get in your quart of green smoothie–but no one would actually do it. Green smoothies are nutritionally superior to 99.9% of what 99.9% of Americans are eating all day.
Brian Clement is saving people on a daily basis from cancer and debilitating auto-immune diseases. He is a purist, more extreme than I, for that obvious reason. (If I believed that I could get everyone to drink wheat grass several times a day, I would teach that. I have to live both feet on the Earth, though, because I’m not dealing with inpatients trying to turn cancer around—for the most part, I’m dealing with regular people trying to prevent disease in their ultra-busy schedules.)
I don’t agree with everything that all my colleagues say, even though I’m highly supportive of their work and I align with them and honor them in their mission. For instance, Victoria Boutenko’s idea that too much of one green “poisons” us. (I believe you’d have to work pretty hard to get too much of one green, nor do I believe the scientific evidence exists.)
For example, Donna Gates aligns herself with food-combining theory, which has little if any scientific grounding, but gives a list of 19 exceptions she takes to food-combining theory. (A list of 19 falsehoods in the theory begs the question: is the theory even valid?) That said, Donna is dealing with people who often have seriously diseased gut issues. There’s value in getting very detailed, even “extreme,” with people who have not responded well enough to a live, plant-based diet. Certainly individual people have problems with specific foods in combination. And Donna has helped many people who are seriously ill, survive and thrive. (She is walking proof of the efficacy of cultured foods, as she was once terribly ill with candida.)
I think that David Wolfe’s recommending eating deer antler and deer placenta supplements, and his eating moths and ants, is going a bit afield, and I don’t plan to do it. But maybe David will be at my funeral when I’m 100 and he’s 97, and he’ll be shaking his head and saying, “If only she ate the deer placenta.”
All that said….D. Wolfe, V. Boutenko, D. Gates, and B. Clement, as examples—they’re on my team! They teach a million great things to a million people. I’m a fan of each of these, my friends and allies. Each of these examples (David eating ants, Brian saying green smoothies aren’t good enough, Donna suggesting there is merit in considering what foods we eat in combination, Victoria warning against anti-nutrients in raw foods)…..they all have a ROOT in fact. However, I prefer to focus on the larger issues, the larger good, and not overcomplicate or “sweat the small stuff” with dubious evidence at best.
I look for ways to help regular people tap exciting, time-minimal, inexpensive ways to get to profound health.
Tomorrow’s Q&A: Can I use other grains? Why does Rejuvelac smell weird? Will it be alcoholic?