On a somewhat related note, I have noticed that pearled barley does not seem to qualify as a whole grain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_barley
Also, here is a list of whole grain products that may also be worth considering: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_grain
Jeff, would you agree that pearled barley should not be considered a whole grain? If so, do you believe less refined barley options may be better choices for health?
I also came across a recent article by the CSPI that believes bran should be placed in the same health-promoting category as whole grains. Here is an older article from 1997 that makes the same point (http://www.cspinet.org/nah/wwheat.html
"Think of bran cereals as whole grain. Technically, they're not (since the germ and endosperm are missing). But they are a concentrated source of the bran that's missing from the refined grains that most of us eat. Think of wheat germ as whole grain, too. It may be only part of the whole grain ... but it's a good part that we seldom eat."
Based on our emphasis on whole grains, I would think that whole grains would always be a better choice. I would love to hear Jeff's feedback, though. I do not believe that the newer version of the CSPI article kept the point about wheat germ being in the same category as whole grains, so they may be moving in a less refined direction over time.
Thank you very much for your consideration and support. I hope that you and the rest of the board community have a wonderful day.