Barley Grass Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/03/22 •  7 min read
barley grass benefits and side effects

Health

Barley grass health benefits may include:

Barley grass is…

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Environment

Water footprint: low, it takes 1,423 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of barley / 171 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of barley

Carbon footprint: likely low

Destruction: low, barley grass production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Barley grass is…

Animals

Kills: none, barley grass production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, barley grass production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from barley grass production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Barley grass is…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Barley grass is…

Where does most barley grass come from?

Russia is the world’s leading barley producer followed by Germany, France and Ukraine.

France is the top barley exporter followed by Russia, Australia and Argentina.

Is barley grass nutritious?

Yes! Barley grass is a great source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

barley grass is gluten free.

Is barley grass gluten free?

Yes, barley grass is gluten free. Grasses do not contain gluten, as gluten is only found in the seed kernels of mature plants.

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

barley grass is not a common food allergen.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is barley grass a common food allergen?

No, barley grass is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to barley grass but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

barley grass likely has a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does barley grass have a high or low water footprint?

Barley grass likely has a relatively low water footprint.

What is the water footprint of barley grass?

It takes 1,423 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of barley / 171 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of barley.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

barley grass is sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is barley grass eco friendly? Is barley grass sustainable?

Barley grass production is sustainable. There is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

barley grass is vegan.

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Is barley grass vegan?

Yes, barley grass is vegan. Barley grass is the young grass of a cereal grain and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

barley grass may have labor issues and human rights concerns.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is barley grass a product with labor concerns?

At this time there are no major concerns with barley production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Conclusion

Barley grass pros include:

Barley grass cons include:

Sources:

Preventive and Therapeutic Role of Functional … – NCBI

Barley grass | Agriculture and Food

Adriane Marie

As an educator, author and conscious consumer advocate, I study and organize ethical info for you to quickly see how our purchases impact animals, people and the planet. I hope you find this HEALabel knowledge useful and can apply it to your life for personal and societal improvement and empowerment.