A Wolfe by Any Other Name is… Still a Wolf

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No doubt you’ve heard of David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe. I first came across him when my thoughtful in-laws, knowing I like smoothies, bought a Nutribullet for my use at their place. I nearly laughed myself into a coughing fit at the claims on the box, and that was even before I read the accompanying recipe book. I like the blender. David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe, not so much.

I’ve been trying to ignore David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe (let’s just call him DAW for short, shall we?) ever since. It hasn’t been easy, as people have this quaint habit of sharing his memes on social media. Having done a bit of Internet sleuthing after my initial encounter with the Nutribullet’s hyperbolic packaging, I’ve suggested once or twice that sharing DAW memes isn’t a good idea, and had the usual responses: snorts, eye rolls and dismissive hand flips. The memes are harmless, I’m told. DAW’s obviously a bit of a whacky nature-loving hippy, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It takes all sorts to make a world.

But here’s the thing: DAW is dangerous. He infiltrates our social media feeds with warm-fuzzy-inducing fluffy kitties and golden sunrises and inspiring quotes, and then sneaks in dangerous pseudoscientific nonsense, which we absorb without noticing because it looks just like the fluffy kitty memes.

So I thought I’d list just a few reasons why you shouldn’t share any of the memes created by this self-proclaimed rock star and Indiana Jones of the superfoods and longevity universe*.

  1. DAW spruiks the Nutribullet as a miracle blender that transforms your ordinary food into superfood. It doesn’t, because (a) chopping food into little bits doesn’t miraculously boost its nutrient content (although it may increase its bioavailability, which could be useful if you don’t have teeth or a working digestive system); & (b) there’s no such thing as a superfood. Basically the Nutribullet is a nifty little blender with a God complex. Its only transformative ability is that of turning solids into liquids, and it doesn’t even do that so well if the solid is particularly fibrous.
  2. DAW believes deer antler is a ‘cosmic substance’, ‘very androgenic’ and ‘levitational in nature’ – and the ‘forces of levity’, he says, make you younger. He also quotes that well-known authority on gravity, Rudolf Steiner, who proclaimed, apparently, that we ‘gradually age due to substances in our body that are seized by the earth’s gravity’, and that you ‘want to use the force of levity to drive the force of levity into your body’. Now, laughter may well be the best medicine, but this is taking it to a whole new level. Also, DAW sells deer antler.
  3. DAW believes chocolate is an ‘octave of sun energy’ and ‘lines up planetarily with the sun’. The first time I read this, I thought he was taking the mickey, or at least was indulging in a bit of playful hyperbole. After all, few people would disagree that chocolate is a good thing. So I hunted down the video in which DAW explains his chocolate-as-octave theory, and as it turns out, no, he isn’t exaggerating for comic effect. He’s serious. Passionately serious. That, or he is truly the greatest satirist ever. He explains with apparent sincerity that chocolate’s energy is a male energy that comes straight from the sun, and its octave is the same octave as serotonin, the sun, a smile and gold. If that doesn’t make any sense to you, it’s because it doesn’t. Make sense, that is. Also, DAW sells chocolate. Sacred organic vegan raw hand-blessed chocolate. Some with immuno mushrooms.
  4. DAW is a sungazer, and we are all, apparently, ‘in some sense’ heliovores (able to survive on the sun’s energy, for those who’ve never heard of heliovorism). DAW outlines the sungazing process in a video (he just loves videos, probably because they afford him an opportunity to exercise his rock star charisma), without ever quite explaining what the benefits are, except to say that you can’t get them any other way. To sun gaze effectively, you must be barefoot on stone (although snow will do at a pinch) because you need to hold the energy in your body (shoes will insulate you and cause you to be overwhelmed; grass will pull the energy out of you). The best time to sun gaze is during the first minute of the day, until the sun first clears the horizon, because that’s when it has the most juice. And also during the last five minutes of the day, when the sun is one solar distance and one diameter below itself to the horizon (I think; he lost me for a bit here). You hold out your hand so the photoreceptor on your palm is facing the sun and the energy will follow a direct channel from your hand to your heart. And then the energy enters into you through your eyes and…something.  It’s not clear what. But heliovorism is obviously supplementary to our natural omnivorism, as elsewhere DAW talks a lot about nutrition, sells a lot of edible stuff and advocates eating (in a very particular way) in his book The Sunfood Diet Success System.
  5. DAW believes that salt is the only thing that keeps our oceans anchored to the earth. Without salt, apparently, the water would ‘levitate right off the Earth’. Also, DAW sells salt. Himalayan Crystal Salt with the 84 (count ‘em) elements ‘needed’ by the body – including arsenic, mercury, lead, uranium and plutonium. Not that these are anything to worry about – the trace amounts of the elements present in the salt won’t hurt you. Neither will this salt balance your pH, lower your blood pressure, strengthen your bones or cure your migraines, allergies or insomnia. Also, it’s not from the Himalayas.
  6. DAW believes that mushrooms are extraterrestrial in origin, borne into the Earth’s atmosphere millions or billions of years ago on cosmic winds and on the backs of meteors. And not only are mushrooms extraterrestrial, they are also purposeful: their evolutionary goal is to build noble forestscapes that concentrate levitational matter for the mushrooms so they can then create spores that can be carried back into space through the Coriolis effect and fall into the Sun. Because, as DAW tells us, ‘levity on Earth basically means the inherent “desire” to fall into the Sun’. Of course, not all these genetically-upgraded, information-rich, sun-diving spores actually make it to the Sun: some are destroyed by cosmic forces, and some are hurtled into space by the slingshot effect to find another planet on which to build a new eco-system. Not convinced? DAW advises that you ‘consume your favorite mushrooms, tune into what they are telling you, and delve into the mystery yourself’. Possibly with the aid of his book Chaga: King of the Medicinal Mushrooms. And, of course, his Organic 24 Mushroom Blend powder, Wildcrafted Raw Canadian Chaga in tea cut chunks and Sacred Chocolate Immuno Mushroom.

I could go on, but then this would be a very, very long post. Longevity zapping, earthing technology, conscious bacteria, toxic gravity, flat earth conspiracies, chemtrails, frankenfoods, Kirlian photography: the list goes on.

Much of DAW’s nonsense may seem laughable, but his influence is far from benign. His reach is wide – and insidious. Share his memes uncritically, however innocuous they appear, and you are helping to legitimize him. Amongst all the inspirational and feel-good memes lurk others promoting harmful and unfounded ideas: vaccines cause autism; cancer can be prevented and/or cured by diet; Big Pharma is conspiring to suppress the cure for cancer; Big Pharma is hiding nutritional information which would obviate the need for expensive drug therapies; ‘conventional’ medicine is killing us; there is an effective, natural self-healing option for every disease. These ideas have real life-and-death consequences: refusal of proven treatments, reliance on unproven therapies, over-expenditure on expensive products, false hope, unnecessary suffering.

Think nobody could possibly take his more outlandish assertions seriously? Think again. That food-is-medicine vein is remarkably easy to tap, particularly on social media. It runs along beneath our Facebook posts, tweets and instas about lifestyle, health and fitness, science, politics, the environment and parenthood. It’s in the traditional news media and on blogs and current affairs shows. It’s in our office gossip and cafe chatter and dinner party conversations. We are all experts: graduates of the University of Google Research.

Nonetheless, each of us has a vulnerability or two just ripe for exploitation. Vitamins to boost energy. Supplements to improve health. Superfoods to maintain wellness. Organic foods to save the environment. Non-GMO foods to combat corporate greed. Juicing to detox. Carb free for weight loss. Pro-biotics for gut health. Omega-3 fats for brain health. Want to minimize the risk that one of these will be the hook with which DAW lands you? Start by not sharing his memes.

* Yes, he actually says this. In writing. And it may well be true – in whatever universe he thinks he’s rock starring in.

NOTE: I have not included links. DAW is all over the web, social media and YouTube if you want to check out the man behind the memes for yourself.

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