Micro Greens

Microgreens, micro greens, baby greens, etc., cover a broad range of popular herbs and vegetables that many people grow at home; usually hydroponically.

This post is about two of the most popular and widely recommended:

  • Broccoli Sprouts
  • Wheat Grass

In short, I recommend that you grow your own broccoli sprouts – in soil, and buy a powdered wheat grass from Pines (or an equivalent source).

Our motivation for growing these greens is to get maximum amounts of clean nutrition, and that is what is behind my recommendation. Clean for us means clean for the environment too.

Broccoli sprouts should be grown in a natural soil, organically. Hydroponic gardens are not natural, not organic (but still great for people with space limitations).  Combine soil growing with composting and you have a very efficient and very healthy gardening cycle. After your initial soil purchase (assuming you don’t already have compost available), you’ll be net positive on soil. And you are not consuming any other items that would be required for hydroponics, so you have less impact on the planet. Your only recurring cost is the seeds.

Broccoli sprouts are one and done. Meaning that you grow them, pull out the entire plant and eat it all (You could leave the roots, but it is easy enough to shake them free). The soil is then dumped in your compost, where nutrients will be restored naturally.

Wheat Grass on the other hand, is not one and done. We continue to harvest the same plant, and thus managing the nutrition of the soil or water is a challenge.  And no matter how perfect and organic my efforts may be, it is highly unlikely that I can match the nutritional profile of an organic grower like Pines. I cannot reproduce their pristine natural conditions, and their powdered products are made without any chemical or mechanical processes that could damage or reduce nutrition. The powder is still completely natural, and the nutritional profile is superior to anything I could grow at home. Equally important, in this case, is that purchasing is actually more ecological than growing – as long as the product comes from a place like Pines.

I am not a fan of supplements – heavily processed, artificial nutrition (i.e. synthetic vitamins), that is often loaded with fillers and chemicals and sold as pills and powders. It is always better to get nutrition from natural food sources. And there are many great food items that look like supplements – meaning they are packaged in pills, powders, liquids, oils, etc. Pines Wheat Grass is one good example, and the Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil at Green Pasture are others.

Bad: Fish Oil & Dr. Mercola

Is fish oil good for you?
 
Dr. Mercola is a leading advocate of ‘natural health’ and nutrition. But not really. While I often find good information on his site, I cannot continue recommending it, as some articles are blatantly false, and are supporting a hidden agenda – which is to sell you his own unhealthy products. Sadly, his advocacy is no less corrupt than pharmaceutical company advertising, as he is jeopardizing people’s health for profit. And nothing illustrates that better than his stance on fish oil.
 
OK, wow, so I went a bit off the deep end in the paragraph above. I actually think Dr. Mercola is great; however, there is a very serious problem with his stance on fish oil, and the articles he has written about it. The articles are far below is own standards, and needlessly undermine his credibility. We need him to be better than that.
 
Thankfully we have some amazing gatekeepers at the Weston A. Price Foundation that help keep truth in check. Here is a great example where they address Dr. Mercola’s post directly. It is a very educational read.
 
And if you want more information, here are a couple of other great articles about Fermented Cod Liver Oil vs other fish oils:
 
 
As for me, I never recommend fish oil as a standard supplement. It does have its place, but most fish oil (and cod liver oil) is terrible stuff for several reasons:
 – loaded with mercury, PCBs, and other toxins
 – pumped with synthetic vitamins
 – heavily processed, thus damaging the oil
 – risk of vitamin imbalance
 – too much omega 3 oil can be bad
 – not a quality source of omega 3s
 
That is a long list of negative reasons, and it varies a bit, depending on the manufacturer. The ‘idea’ was good, and cod liver oil had a great reputation a hundred years ago. But current products are heavily processed fish from polluted waters, so the end product is not nearly the same. There are none I trust. Except for one…
 
Fermented Cod Liver Oil from Green Pasture (under their Blue Ice brand) is the only such product that I recommend, and the owner, Dave Wetzel has a tremendous amount of knowledge on this subject as well. He is dedicated to using and protecting the wisdom of ancient processes. Notice that it is ‘fermented’ cod liver oil. This is very important.
 
There might be other good products that I am not aware of; however, as I have scoured the globe – literally – checking all countries that I could – I found only one product recommended as a sole source over and over – Green Pasture’s Blue Ice products.
 

There is no doubt that ‘generic’ fish oil has saved people’s lives. It is a magic elixir in some situations, both historically and still now. But I do NOT recommend it for the reasons stated. It gets its glory from special cases, and is therefore not worth the risks. Use the Green Pasture products, which are the safest and most nutritious, or find other safe sources for your omega 3s, vitamin A, D, etc.

And always check your sources very carefully.