1930: CHARLES F. SCHNABEL
The consumption of wheatgrass in the Western world began in the 1930s as a result of experiments by agricultural chemist, Charles F. Schnabel. Schnabel conducted his first experiments with young grasses in 1930 after experimenting with various mixture of feeds that would increase chicken health and egg production during winter months. After trying various mixtures of vegetables, grains, etc., in his chicken feed, he found no differences in chicken health or egg production and nearly gave up. Noticing that hens searched out the young nutritious cereal grasses when available, he included dehydrated wheatgrass and oat grass with their feed. Schnabel was amazed to find the cereal grass mixture boosted the chicken's health significantly. He stated in his research, "even a child can see the bloom of health in the grass-fed hens." Additionally, the grasses increased egg production by150% per hen.
Schnabel was so fascinated with his discovery that he fed his family with dehydrated grass. That was the beginning of the human consumption of grass. His family consumed grass for eleven years and he reported that none of his children suffered from serious illness, not even with tooth decay.
Schnabel started promoting his discovery to feed mills, chemists and the food industry. "Two large corporations, Quaker Oats and American Diaries Inc., invested millions of dollars in further research, development, and production of products for animals and humans. By 1940, cans of Schnabel's powdered grass were on sale in major drug stores throughout the United States and Canada."
Charles Schnabel is the person who coined the statement "15 lbs. of wheatgrass is equal in overall nutritional value to over 350 lbs. of ordinary vegetables." In the 1940's, wheatgrass and other cereal grass tablets were the best selling "multiple vitamin" and mineral supplements in the nation.
1940: ANN WIGMORE
In the beginning of 1940's, Ann Wigmore continued to contribute to the popularization of wheatgrass. When Wigmore was a child, she watched and learned the power of natural healing from her grandmother, who helped heal the wounds of World War I soldiers with grasses, herbs, and plants.
In the 1960's Ann Wigmore "re-discovered" wheatgrass and was able to cure her own 'untreatable' colitis through her consumption of wheatgrass, raw greens, blended seeds, and grains. Within a year, she was cancer-free and began researching the healing properties of grasses, and began to focus on the healing properties of wheatgrass. Wigmore claimed that her wheatgrass diet could cure diseases. She shared wheatgrass with several sick friends and each recovered from their sickness. She went on to found the 'Hippocrates Health Institute' based on the principle "Let Food be your medicine," and treated countless people with serious health conditions. Wigmore died in 1993, but her Creative Health Institute is still an active institute.
In the 1940's, a man by the name of Charles Kettering (former Chairman of the Board of General Motors) donated money for the study of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll was studied intensively by medical doctors using FDA required standards i.e. double blind studies, etc. (There are currently over 40 articles written up in medical journals about the healing effects of chlorophyll.) These medical doctors found that chlorophyll was a great healer and used it as such for quite some time.