On today’s show, we have Darin Olien star of Netflix’s Down to Earth with Zac Efron, Author of Super Life and now out with his latest book Fatal Conveniences.
In Fatal Conveniences, Darin has done a deep dive into all of our household goods, cosmetics, kitchenware, water, electronics, and clothing that are full of unsuspecting chemicals that we use every day. He gives us clear and directive ways that we can use different substitutes to start to offload some of our constant chemical exposures day in and day out. My hope is not that it feels overwhelming but that you are inspired by this conversation to make small changes where you really can support your health and your family’s health. I know it’s a lot, but Darin and the book give us great options for the products we’re already using and if you’re motivated ways that you can even make them at home. Most people don’t have time for this so he sends us to companies that are doing it right and websites to help us navigate the crazy chemical world that we live in. Enjoy
Key Conversation Takeaways:
– The hidden dangers of your everyday household products
– What chemicals make up your cosmetics, kitchenware, water, electronics & clothing
– Clear, actionable alternatives to minimize our constant chemical exposures
– Effective daily practices to offload toxins from our lives
– How supporting your internal ecosystem in turn supports the planet
Listen to the episode here:
- Writing Fatal Conveniences [00:04:31]
- On Personal “Care” Products [00:21:25]
- The Chemicals We Meet [00:28:50]
- Cost Difference and Health Investment [00:43:05]
- Making the Change Achievable [00:54:15]
- Fortifying the Immune System [00:59:08]
- Clean Energy [01:09:49]
- Weather Modifications [01:14:24]
- Detox [01:16:31]
- On Furniture and Bedding [01:19:51]
- Hormone Disruptors in Diapers [01:25:04]
- What We Eat [01:26:14]
- Darin’s Due Diligence [01:29:46]
- Whole Foods and Diversification [01:36:08]
- Fluoride is Forever [01:53:23]
- On Supplementation and Vitamins [01:57:46]
- Hopeful for a Better Change [01:58:47]
#201 Are Your Favorite Products Killing You? With Netflix Star Darin Olien: An Urgent Look at the Hidden Dangers in Your Cosmetics, Kitchenware & Electronics + Demystifying Chemicals, Revealing Alternatives & Nurturing Health
Welcome to the Gabby Reece Show where we break down the complex worlds of health, fitness, family, business, and relationships with the world’s leading experts. I’m here to simplify these topics and give you practical takeaways that you can start using today. We all know that living a healthy balanced life isn’t always easy. Let’s try working on managing life a little better and have some fun along the way. After all, life is one big experiment and we’re all doing our best.
“We are suffering. Whether you have chemical sensitivity or not, you are being affected. Your chemistry and biology are walking on this planet, the air, the water, the soil, it’s everywhere. What can we do? Do acute changes. It’s a matter of being aware and slowly starting to create a consciousness around it.”
My guest is Darin Olien. I’ve known Darin for over twenty years. You may know him from his TV show on Netflix, Down to Earth, with Zac Efron, his last book, Superlife, and all his contributions and conversations around superfoods and vegan and vegetarian lifestyles. His latest book is out, Fatal Conveniences. I want to start by saying that when you read something like this, it can feel overwhelming. My hope is that you enter this conversation podcast with, “I want to get informed so I can make small changes and improvements for the sake of myself, my friends, my family, and my children.”
It always is a mystery to me how we get into these normal patterns of skincare that we use, sheets that we lay on, air that we’re breathing, and diapers that we’re putting on our babies that, in the end, oftentimes are not great for our health. When you hear that diapers can be endocrine disruptors, it can be overwhelming.
Darin has done all the heavy lifting. All of this research is backed by scientific evidence and supported by extensive interviews with experts in various fields. It’s a wake-up call about all of the things in our homes, in our kitchens, and in our bathrooms that are tough on us but it is also a guide to healthier and safer alternatives.
This is where I want you to focus on this attitude because the other thing that Darin does so well in this book is he does point out the rituals and the constant chemical load that we’re in. “Here’s an alternative, here’s another product, and here’s a company doing it right.” He spells it all out. It’s not just about alarming the bells and being like, “Good luck.” It’s like, “Here’s where the problems are. Here are the ones you can be in charge of. Here are companies already doing it so you don’t have to make it at home yourself. People are busy. Here are better ways you can do it to offset that chemical load.”
Darin gets fired up and frustrated. He’s done the work. I do believe there are small little changes here and there that can make a long-term significant difference and it’s worth it. It’s worth putting in the effort to be informed and not let it overwhelm you and do the best that you can. It’s amazing how it got set up. For the things that we can’t control, we can’t always talk about our water and our air within that space between wherever we are right now. There is so much we can do to feel better and to support ourselves. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Darin Olien. The book is Fatal Conveniences.
Darin Olien, it is incredible to have you here. The book, Fatal Conveniences, let’s start with the amount of work that it took to put this together and the amount of details and information in here. These are the kind of books I always say to people, “Fine, you can listen to a book on audio but there are books that you have as a reference and a resource and this is one of those books.” You can have it and be like, “I want to learn about it.”
You could open up any page and start reading and going, “I learned something and I can apply something.” It’s big.
My hope is somehow to make this simple stupid. I want to be a bridge between you and most of our realities. That feels important because I feel like that’s how change usually happens other than something catastrophic. First of all, why did you write this book?
I was compelled to do it. As you’ve read, my dad suffered in the ‘90s. I was in college so I was studying. I was away from home life. He was still a professor and he was still a high-functioning person and then all of a sudden, he started coming up with these symptoms, like, “I’m fogged out. I can’t function.” We’re all in the family going, “What’s wrong with you?” He got some diagnosis through some doctors and there was this term, chemical sensitivity, and we’re like, “Never heard that before.” This was ’92.
You’re from Minnesota. It’s like, “Suck it up. Let’s go.”
It’s like, “What do you mean?” This is my dad. Now you’re starting to see the armor get kinked off the masculine man. You can’t put your finger on it and you can’t understand it. As he was an academic, he would put VHS tapes together and pass them out to his faculty so that they could minimize their colognes and perfumes. He’d write an essay on it and hand it out going, “This is what I have. This isn’t even good for you. I’m sensitive.” It’s picking all this together, which I get into the book.
He was probably set up a little differently than a normal person because he was playing around with atomic bombs in the Navy. He didn’t have a thyroid anymore. It’s a cool story because he was in the Cuban Missile Crisis and working on the aircraft carriers and they thought that was going to happen. Coming back, the thyroid being a major endocrine modulator of the body, he didn’t have it anymore so he had to take medication.
Medication can never equal the mastery of the body. This led him to a vulnerability. He had to force retirement. He couldn’t be around people and he wanted to be around people. He liked people. He couldn’t function, he couldn’t think, he couldn’t operate, and he was in depression. This led to this path of like, “I’m going to start drinking again.” That was a major piece of him picking up a drink after 30 years of sobriety.
This has been over 30 years of playing in the background of my life. Weirdly through the superfood world and the supplement world and seeing proprietary blends of things and realizing from natural flavoring and all of this stuff, you’re going, “Some of this stuff isn’t regulated by the FDA.” All of these things were screaming at me. To answer your question, I wrote one book but there’s this invisible, hard-to-put-your-finger-on chemical soup that we keep creating incessantly in our modern-day world in the scope of 60,000 to 80,000 chemicals every year blasting in our environment. I could not not do it at this point.
I was naive because every chapter could have been easily volumes of books. To amass hundreds and hundreds of research articles and north of twenty researchers and my own paid fact-checkers and this whole thing to manage this to try to manage all of the information made my first book look like a kindergarten.
[bctt tweet=”My hope is that people start taking these actions, add them up over time, and they will be on a different plateau. That plateau will give them other options.”]
Your life’s path is perfect. People know you from Beachbody and Shakeology. You’ve been deep into the superfoods. You’ve traveled looking for superfoods and learning about superfoods. You’re an athlete. You’re an advocate for clean eating and being a vegan. It’s all of that work and then even becoming a communicator, doing your TV show with Zac Efron, and maybe everything coming together to get you ready to take something on like this.
These are these interesting conversations where you want people to say, “I’m going to come into this knowing it feels a little overwhelming.” In situations like this, you’re the concentrated tablet that we’re all going to put in the water so we can get the hue. Maybe we’re not going to do it the way you’re able to do it at this moment but we’re going to take all of these lessons and see what we can do.
When you talk about cosmetics alone or women’s routine, you said it’s 12 products and 120 chemicals that we expose ourselves to every day. A lot of people right then are like, “No.” We’ve lost them. You’ve broken it up into categories. First of all, you talk about what are fatal conveniences and it’s everything from what is in our kitchen, cookware, and candles. Is some incense okay?
I’m about to do one on that. There are a lot of VOCs in a lot of incense too.
What about straight-lit frankincense?
It should be good.
That’s not incense.
It’s a compound that’s relatively healthy.
Even meditating incense?
There’s no regulation in it. How are they binding those to hold them together on this convenient little spiritual stick that you burn? We’re all born into this modern world.
You’re also saying babies in utero are already exposed to chemicals.
Over 200 chemicals in utero. We always thought way back in the day that babies are protected. There’s no way that that’s passing the placental barrier and that’s not true. No way that things are passing the blood-brain barrier and now we’re showing that the EMFs are opening up that gate for proteins that aren’t supposed to be there. All of these things are convenient little things that companies or products or maybe non-tested plausible deniability of people saying.
We wake up and look at this world and the average person goes, “How could they sell us something that is harmful to us? How is that possible?” I have the same question. In this book, even digging into the research, reading over and over, I’m swearing out loud to myself. It is staring at us in the face and yet they know it and they don’t do anything about it. I find it funny this little tangent. In 1972, the Clean Water Act, they said, “Corporations need to clean up this environmental catastrophe of pollutants.” Largely, it’s not regulated.
They set up a regulating body that they now set up after the fact when in fact they already have regulation bodies that aren’t doing their job. There’s this weird matrix moment when you’re going, “Wait.” PFAS is getting a lot of attention or at least I see it as a lot of attention in the world and that’s pro-floral alkalized substances, which come from the derivatives of Teflon as we think, “Cool, non-stick.” Now they’re starting to phase out pans that have that. That’s the obvious one.
Now we are realizing that all adolescent kids today, over 96% of them have some derivative of PFAS, PFOS, and all of these things. The derivatives, there are over 8,000, close to 9,000 of these identified. These are all derivatives of this one heat-resistant and slippery super chemical that they’re using and that’s showing up in, “I love the fact that I can wear a shirt that doesn’t wrinkle.” Guess what’s in there? PFAS. “I love the fact that I can put on this mascara and it won’t come off.” That’s PFAS.
“I love the fact that I can put on this lipstick that stays on all day.” That’s PFAS. “I love the fact that I can put on this jacket that wicks water.” That’s PFAS. We are using these things in an unregulated way with the guys that they’re regulated. We have FDA. Where are they? We have a USDA. Where are they? We have the EPA. Where are they? They write articles about things. I’ve read articles on their website stating the fact that they know that these are potential or likely carcinogens or endocrine disruptors and yet they’re still in our products.
We’re playing what I call it in the book this chemical romance here that is strange, “Let’s do it and then if there’s any problem or if it’s overwhelming, we will initiate a new act.” The Toxic Substance Control Act was initiated after PFAS was growing in bad attention. I’m like, “What do you mean?” Now you’re a regulatory body on top of a regulatory body that supposedly is there to interact and control something that’s known or likely carcinogen, endocrine disruptor, connected to endometriosis, connected to lower immune system function, lower testosterone, and increased estrogen-like compounds in the body. It’s like, “What are we doing?”
By the way, there’s history. I go into a bit of history of some of this stuff, which was gnarly. An example is, in 1972, we banned DDT because we saw acute downstream issues of, “People are exposed to that. Animals are exposed to that. It causes cancer. Let’s stop that.” Little did we know it’s also a forever chemical. It’s already in the bloodstream of us right now.
You do distinguish this in the book about forever chemicals and then chemicals that might live for a while and leave and things like that and even the accumulation on the system. People have to understand not all chemicals are equal.
Parabens and phthalates have a quicker half-life. The problem is we’re always exposing ourselves to them in a variety of different ways. We’re not ever getting out of them because from a phthalate to a paraben, we’re putting on our lotion after a shower, a conditioner, and shampoo that have weird fragrances in it. We’re putting on our lotions and we’re putting on our makeup. We’re putting on our largely based petroleum clothes these days with all our stretchy form-fitting whatever. Now, it’s a soup.
This is the way I look at it. Regardless of me writing this book or not, we are being exposed every day all day to this stuff. Like relationships, I want to deal with them honestly. I use this example where if you have something going on with your partner or spouse and if you don’t deal with it, what happens? The distance happens and the connection breaks down and you’re not going to have a great relationship.
If you’re willing to go, “This is uncomfortable. We have to deal with it if we want the life and freedom that we truly desire.” The same thing with this stuff. The crazy thing is it’s huge amounts of this stuff in almost every industry. The idea is you don’t have to be perfect and I’m not perfect but you continue to make incremental choices because guaranteed, you’re going to feel better. It’s an opportunity to integrate. Wouldn’t you rather put a healthy compound in your mouth, that slippery little dental floss?
That one killed me.
We’re serious about flossing in this house. We don’t have the minty-flavored stuff. All of a sudden, I’m realizing so that it can be slippery, that makes it dangerous for us. There are other things we can do. You talk about personal care products, it’s any skincare, makeup, shampoo, and things like that. Household goods, that means all your cleaners, your pots, pans, and electronics, and then of course food, drinks, and not only that, it’s also what it’s stored in.
It’s not just that, it’s what container it’s in and things like that. I appreciate it. It’s a reference book because you do put in the back of the book specific examples of brands that are doing a good job in all of these categories, including earbuds, pods, or whatever we’re calling them, things that they’re doing better, things about even around your router.
For people reading and they go, “How do you figure this out?” You start the conversation inside the book with a lot of that. I want to start with personal care products because most of us go towards what we like, “That’s organic,” or whatever. We all know that doesn’t mean anything. I like EWG.org. They do a good job of being a great starting landing point. If you’re reading this and you don’t know about them, you can go on there and look up ingredients, chemicals, or things like that and get a sense of it.
They give good recommendations for certain products and things like that too.
Let’s talk about personal care products. Let’s not take men yet. Let’s take women and let’s take makeup. Let in your lipstick, that’s all fantastic. Have you ever seen the copy? I’m sure you haven’t bought lipstick. If it’s on a box or there is a label, by the way, the words are beyond tiny. Is it only then being directed to the brands that are doing a good job and that’s that? How do we start that education process?
My general answer to most of this stuff is if it’s not promoting an anti-phthalate or fragrance or way in which they’re creating these things, largely, it’s not great at all. There is a huge opportunity for good companies and I’ve seen them, I put a lot in the book. Even if you could read everything on there, it doesn’t tell you hardly anything because they’ve got all these loopholes in there. If they say, “This proprietary blend,” the FDA allows you to put whatever chemical concoction.
Your secret magic sauce or something.
“We want to protect our IP and whatever.” Certainly, in the fragrance world quite a bit, that is used all the time. There could be hundreds of chemicals in that proprietary blend in small amounts and those are 75%-plus or some form of endocrine disruptor or probable carcinogen. NLEDs and all of these things are loopholes. You want to be scrutinizing your products and your lipsticks. The warning shot is if you can’t wipe them off, guaranteed you have almost 99.9% of chemicals on there, and it’s probably PFAS. For sure, there are phthalates. This is no joke. This shows up in the blood of every woman these days. Now, that’s sprinting you towards hormonal changes. People say, “It’s just this and it’s just that.” We’re not out of it at all and you’re persistently doing it. A great book and a great guy, Dr. Leo Trasande, goes deep into EDCs and endocrine disruption. They now know it takes small amounts of this to make minute changes. Think about how sensitive the body is to managing its entire existence through the endocrine system. Any volatility will shift. He key coined a term, I don’t know who coined it, but there are obesogens now that are proving to slow down and halt the body’s ability to release weight.
The body is amazing because if you’re exposed to a chemical, call it a heavy metal, etc. and your body doesn’t want your internal organs to be challenged or dealing with something that could kill you acutely, it will shove it into fat tissue to keep it away from its organs that it would normally not be exposed to that stuff. When people are working out hard, you can be eating perfectly and all that stuff but there is an absolute metabolic danger that’s going on that’s contributing to you not living optimally. It’s pushing girls into early puberty. It’s creating havoc for women later in life. It’s a tricky thing. Over time, it’s the constant exposure and that’s where we find it difficult. As someone wakes up every day and goes into a shower and then you’re not filtering your water, that’s a massive exposure to chemicals and we can unpack that. You got your shampoos, conditioners, and body wash. All of a sudden, there are three more products with probably over 30 to 40 different ingredients in there, most of which are chemicals. You’re putting on your lotions and your makeup. You’re styling your hair and all of that stuff. You’re putting on your form-fitting clothes. You’re in your house and what did you clean with? What did your cleaning lady clean with? What does your furniture have? What does your carpet have?
Your laundry cleaner.
You go in your car and you maybe commute and then you go into your office. I’m not advocating to ditch cell phones and don’t exist in the world but it’s a matter of being aware and slowly starting to create consciousness around it, “I’m going to get on a plane. There are some cool EMF-blocking hoodies I can put on to minimize getting blasted all the time.” I’ve never gone through a TSA scanner. I opt-out. In the years I’ve traveled all over the place, I have never once gone through there. You can legally do that. You say, “I’m going to opt-out.” You’re not required to say why.
They don’t care. You’re not the only guy saying that.
Sometimes they give you a little hard time.
It’s okay. That’s their job.
You get a free pat down.
Both Laird and I have metal joints. No matter what, we’re going to get patted down because everything beeps. We come in and we’re like, “Hey.” The other thing is that then you people will say, “I’m about to get blasted in the airplane. This little bit that I’m getting in the scanner, who cares?” What I’m hearing is any chance to offload this constant barrage of chemicals.
Any chance to lower the stress.
Let’s talk about travel. You’ve got hoodies. What else is there?
You can start unplugging. In air travel, there are caps, clothing, and underwear that have shielding. Lambs is a good one, that’s a company. There’s a cool UK company called Conscious Spaces that’s curated a lot of this stuff. Another good company is called Tech Wellness, they got a lot of good hacks and things like that. When you’re traveling, you’re looking at your phone. When you’re walking to the gate or whatever, turn it off. You don’t need to get a phone. Keep the phone away from your body.
For women, never put it near your breasts. I love that you mentioned the countdown in your book, which is all science, and talked about how men’s testosterone is getting hammered. We’re 30 points lower since 1970.
They keep moving the target of normal. We have to be aware of that because that’s the standard doctor telling this information, “You’re fine.” Based on what? You’re moving the target. Testosterone is plummeting and the ability for sperm to be viable and do its job. Think about that, it’s getting hammered from all of these chemicals and electromagnetic fields and we know this, it’s in study after study. I ran into Huberman.
You shocked him because he brought it up. Laird has been nagging him about the thing and he’s like, “I don’t know though. I talked to Darin and I don’t know. I’m starting to think about it.”
They started to look at it and then we started going off and then he goes, “I don’t think I’m going to put my cell phone in my pocket.” I’m like, “That’s a good idea.” It’s only getting higher and higher, these frequencies are only increasing. The rabbit hole around this topic was gnarly, Gabby. It was intense. It pulled me for months. For this whole book, I took two weekends off in two years. Because it’s Saturday and Sunday, it’s less of the other stuff. I would be cracked out on matcha.
The telecommunication business is more detrimental and is using the same playbook as Big Tobacco because they’ve known this. I don’t go deep into it. I read report after report that the telecommunications companies were doing safety studies vis-a-vis the EPA. This is in ‘93. Their guy came out and said, “I finished my study. Here’s what we have to tell the public. These things do cause some issues. Proximity is an issue. Frequency, strength, electromagnetic fields, and frequencies, all of this stuff. It’s overwhelming the kids. It’s penetrating.
They’re almost more vulnerable, aren’t they?
They are more vulnerable. It’s scary when you see the reports and the studies where the EMF of the phone is going all the way through the skull of a child. This level of research around health, they knew. I
Are you saying that over 30 years ago, they knew this?
Without a doubt.
I like how they do the studies but then they don’t use it.
This is where it went weird. Start looking this up. If anything, this book is a catalyst.
It consolidates everything.
It’s a catalyst to go, “Huh? Everything’s not how it seems in this stuff.” Let’s look at this as stress. Let’s lower our stress. I don’t need to make big things. At the end of the day, there are enough conspiracy theories out there. If this is showing up in hundreds of studies that I read and colleagues have read and it’s showing probable carcinogenic activity, gliomas showing up, and proximity to your head. Even Apple, a report came out and they confirmed, “Don’t keep a cell phone close to your body.” It’s like, “Hello.” This is a powerful device. We are electric. The body is electric.
[bctt tweet=”Get your blood work done. Get a functional medicine doctor that can understand. There’s a lot of telemedicine that’s not crazy expensive.”]
This whole telecommunication, I went far down this rabbit hole. At the beginning of turning on electricity in the United States, the telegraph, they were starting to see migratory challenges for birds back then. There are frequency and electromagnetic fields around every electric device. It’s the frequency and then the electromagnetic field. Electromagnetic fields clearly show that the exposure of those is connected to children’s leukemia. I’m talking about power systems. I’m talking about not-great grounded schoolhouses and stuff like that where the teachers have been there for twenty years. Leukemia and cancers, ridiculous amounts.
After reading the book, I’m looking at everything going, “Oh my God.” “The kids, the proximity, and the gamings. I’m not saying don’t do this but there are things that we can do. Back to your question, yes, there’s some clothing. If I can put on clothing that will minimize some of the electromagnetic fields penetrating my body, I’m wearing it. If I can minimize a SafeSleeve over my phone, I’m going to buy it. I need a phone case. Why won’t I get one that’s tested by a third party? It’s not some weird-ass sticker that some person on a rainbow and butterfly website is saying. I’ve looked deep into this stuff.
Do they come in colors?
They do come in good colors. They came out with more colors. It’s a company called SafeSleeve. I love them. I’ve had them way before I even looked into any of this stuff. Did you ever meet Dr. Mohsen? He’s an incredible buddy of mine and an incredible researcher. He gave me the term fatal convenience and he told me about electromagnet fields in cell phones over twenty years ago. It shows the DNA RNA damaging signals that are electric in nature. By the way, cells senescence gets altered with electromagnetic fields. If your body can’t get rid of cells and can’t do it effectively, that’s a Petri dish for disaster and potential carcinogenic activity.
This is also opening up the blood-brain barrier of our brain. Albumin is a protein that has no business being in the brain. That is going into the brain as a result. It’s a circulating protein that we have in our body and it’s going into the brain. We know that the free radical damage that’s happening is clear as well as immune system lowering effects. These things are stress. I’ve got the cell phone case. I’ve got the thing. Maybe put your feet on the ground once you arrive to discharge some of the heavy electromagnetic radiation. You can discharge in the earth. From that perspective, I’m still going to travel. You’re still going to do all this stuff. Get to your hotel room as an example. I unplug everything. I’m not turning on their TVs. I’m not using their clocks.
Anything that goes into the wall, you unplug.
I unplug so there’s not this electromagnetic use even when you don’t have it on. I also use this incredibly strange device, which is from a German company called Wave Guard. This is one of the coolest things. I know Blue Shield. What’s that other one?
Somavedic. I have them all around. They have little ones.
In London, I met this guy who was electromagnetically sensitive at a young age and he had to live in the woods. His dad was an engineer. He started looking at these natural toroidal fields with earth energies and different vibrational patterns of not only us. We create toroidal fields that were of energy. He looked into all this stuff and he started to put these frequencies together and he’s got these devices that you can take and throw in your backpack. That one device that you can take around is about 3 to 6 meters. It creates a natural toroidal field. I have one at home as well. What they do is they create a powerful toroidal field around you and minimize the exposure.
It’s not necessarily a shield but your body resonates with that more so it creates less of a toxic load. By the way, this may sound weird, if you go to Wave Guard, they’re doing millions of dollars of study. They did an interesting study on wound healing around EMFs. They showed a wound that was hurt and a normal healing without EMF radiation and then they showed it healed after a few weeks. They showed EMF radiation, it didn’t want to heal. It took 3, 4, or 5 times longer to even somewhat heal on a cellular level. They put the shield around it and it didn’t heal as well but it healed about 80% to 90%. It minimized it. They’re coming out with more technology where you won’t even be able to receive a signal if you’re in that field from your cell phone.
My Somavedic, I have to plug it in.
This one field, there are water and elements in there. There’s no plugin. His new one is a plugin and makes it stronger.
Maybe for your house. This other one you’re talking about, you take it with you.
You don’t even have to plug it in.
Imagine you’re the parent that sends your kid, “Tell me about it, buddy.” I’m thinking to myself, “Darin doesn’t have kids yet.” If I was you and I did all this research, I’d be like, “Maybe I’m not going to bring people into this world.” We’ll talk about that. Could you throw it in their backpack?
This is the thing too, for people, it’s like, “What could I do?” You hear all this stuff and you go, “Cool. Do I slap some underwear on my kid or her and protect some of their body parts and then maybe throw one of these in their backpack?”
You do the best you can.
The other thing that comes up and you say it in the book and I appreciate it, do you want to pay for this stuff or do you want to pay the doctor later? That’s always been true. Paul Chek used to say, “Eat your car and buy good food.” He had an office above a drive-through and he said it would blow his mind because there’d be Mercedes going through the drive-through and he’d be like, “Eat your car and pay for your food.”
I know sometimes it’s easier said than done but in a way, what is the option? With food, if I think about it, snacks, extra drinks, and all these things, that’s an extra cost that you could direct at maybe food that is a little more expensive and organic. You don’t eat animal protein. In a way, there’s a different kind of savings even right there that you can get better vegetables, fruits, and things like that. On the beauty supply part, on the personal care part, on the household parts, do we know if there’s that much of a huge difference in cost?
Typically speaking, there probably is a higher cost to some of this stuff. A lot of these things, there’s some good DIY stuff, do it your own. I’ve put a lot in the book. You can moisturize your sunscreens. There’s a lot of great stuff that you can do without the chemical side of things. Sticking to personal care. You’re making an investment. The oxymoron is most of this personal care is personal harm. It’s making that investment.
People still eat crap and ultra-processed food. 60% of Americans eat ultra-processed food. 60% of the calories come from ultra-processed food and 70% come from the children. In personal care, you want to look at it more as food. You want to look at personal care more as, “Is that as healthy as a salad or a healthy whole food?” That’s going in. These phthalates and parabens are transdermal, they’re going in.
When you look at people wanting to optimize for aging and want to be healthier and have energy, all these things are undercutting everything. It’s funny, a couple of times I’ve talked at some biohacking conferences, I’m going, “What are you guys doing?” Of course, there’s a lot of great information but when you’re electrifying yourself with all of these electronic things, you can remediate that stuff. There are a lot of great companies remediating electromagnetic fields and things like that.
It’s like, “You want to optimize testosterone but at the same time, you’re using stuff that is minimizing testosterone.” Let’s look at everything first before you start going off and spending all this money on some miracle cure that you can do a lot. If a woman took those 126 products with hundreds of chemicals in them and if you’re looking to have energy, I could almost guarantee that if you change those out for healthier products, over time, I’m not saying don’t get overwhelmed, settle down, over time and integrate that. You’re going, “That taste better. That smells better.”
We all want to smell good. Use essential oil that’s gifting for your central nervous system and the parasympathetic system. It’s gifting for your body. It’s subtle energy that’s helping you but not subtle energy that’s hurting you over time. That’s the persistence of this stuff. All of this personal care, all of the beauty, and all of the clothing are persistently working against you.
It’s these habits added up over time that you’re then waking up going, “Where did my energy go?” It’s been slowly getting yanked out from under you over a long period of time. You go to your doctor and for those of us who can afford the functional medicine doctor, you go, “You have heavy metals, lead, and mercury.” It’s like, “I thought I was eating clean. I thought I was eating that fish.” They’re finding phthalates in shellfish at the bottom of the ocean, that’s crazy.
What was the number? Is it 20,000 or 200,000 of mini plastic that we breathe in every year? Is that right?
200,000. We’re exposed and we’re eating every year. They use credit cards every week. It’s not just plastic, it’s hundreds of chemicals that it took to make that plastic. These plastics, we’re wearing them. Clothing is the second largest polluter on this planet in a variety of different ways and we go, “I’m sick of that t-shirt,” and we throw it away. That form-fitting shirt is equivalent to a water bottle that’s sitting there and it’s not going to break down for 200 to 1,000 years. All those micro bits and plastics. What are micro bits? Anything that’s probably basically less than a hair length. It’s all of the stuff and all the chemicals.
There’s petroleum. It’s millions and millions of tons of oil that they’re using to create fibers and then sell them back to you. It was an interesting moment and it feels so obvious now but every one of them is like our microecology. We’re a microecology. You’re incredible microecology, everyone is. You’ve got different PHs and you’ve got different ecosystems all dialed in and trying to optimize the best that it can. We’re blasting us with all these chemicals affecting every one of these systems.
A water bottle is seemingly innocent, water, phthalates, parabens potentially, and other plasticizers that are in there are proven endocrine disrupting. You’re like, “I’m getting hydrated.” Now that endocrine disruption and microplastics, you’re ingesting. You throw that plastic water bottle away, probably a single use. There’s no recycling. That’s what I want to be clear, 5%.
The theater of recycling.
We failed at it. Think about it, people. I understand. I still separate.
I do too. Even when I’m doing it, I’m like, “You’re an idiot.”
It’s the system that’s broken. All of these are systems that don’t have our back or the environment and that’s where it was like, “We are an environment so it’s hurting us.” This is an example, every one of them is like this. How the plastic water bottle was created was detrimental to the environment already. It’s polluted waterways in the process. It neutered salamanders, frogs, and fish and killed off a lot of things in the process to get you this convenient plastic water bottle for you to stay hydrated.
When did we start that? The ‘80s? When did we start plastic water bottles?
It started taking off in the ‘80s.
I remember Don Wildman used to say to us, “If you had told me when I was 25 that they were going to have people buying water in bottles and walking around and drinking it, it would’ve blown my mind exactly.”
Every one of these fatal conveniences is that because we’ve shut off our common sense.
Is it straight, “We can make this last a long time. We can make it a little extra shiny. We can make the color a little deeper. We can make it a little cheaper. We can make a lot of money.” Is this how we got here?
What do you think?
Of course. It’s always, “Follow the money.”
It’s cheaper to make virgin plastic than it is to recycle any of it. Recycled bottle was still destructive in the beginning, it’s still destructive to discard because you can only recycle that once, and it’s still destructive to my microorganism, my system. That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. It is clear that when your food is connected and surrounded by plastic, you are consuming estrogen-mimicking compounds and petroleum, especially hot.
You mean microwaved. You talk about don’t heat up things in plastic containers.
Going out to eat and then they give you a carton to take away or the people who are still eating fast food. All that fast food wrappers, do you know how conveniently that food doesn’t stick to that stuff? That’s got PFAS on it too. Now that hot fricking burger or whatever people buy is sucking in not only how that was created, which is a whole nother rabbit hole, but now they’re wrapping it in a chemical, which is then absorbing into the food, and you’re knowingly buying this. It’s similar to what Don thought. We all know this. I don’t have to write this book. We ultimately know that instinctually, as Don said, this makes no sense whatsoever.
Let me say one thing because this is where I need you to help me. You’re not buried in the system. You’re not a 9:00 to 5:00 guy. At this moment, you don’t have three kids that are running all over the place. You’re happy that you make it into your bed each day and know everyone’s alive. People are buried in the system. How do we make this sexy? We have to make this sexy. You could do lectures with your shirt off and half the ladies in there will be like, “Yes, Darin. I love you. I’ll do whatever you say.” That’s one way. You should do that.
I probably won’t.
Whatever it takes for the good of the planet. In all seriousness, how do we make this message sexy? It feels unachievable. Also, to consider. You’ve got people, Darin. I can’t stress to you enough because I’m on the fringe already of I’m in the system but I’ve managed to finagle having some more space than most people. How do we say, “Step A.” Is it your kitchen or is it your personal care products? I know the kitchen kicks your ass.
This is my thought on that. It’s a great question. Go from in to out. What you’re exposing your mouth to and swallowing, start there. Go to that water bottle. For those people, you look at your life as a system. We’re all living in systems with big systems overriding them. Develop a new system. Get a water filter. I can talk about PFAS and clothing and personal care products and all that stuff but the biggest exposure is in the fricking water. We are microsystems. If it’s harmful here, how it was created, how I’m drinking it, and then we throw it back in the environment, it comes back to kick us in the ass again.
That plastic that’s breaking down is going down to those shellfish, into the deep ocean, into our soils, and then it’s in our water table, and then we’re freaking drinking that again. We’re in water trouble because they’re not filtering out any of those chemicals. They’re doing the very minimal of making sure chlorine is in there so we don’t die of cholera, dysentery, or typhoid. They’re not getting out of the 8,000 to 9,000 PFAS chemicals. Start from within and go out. What you’re drinking, get a good RO system, add some electrolytes back in, and that’s your water. Get a glass bottle, carry it around with you, fill it up, and that’s it.
Are there things you can have in your portable bottle that minimizes whatever water you have access to? Let’s say you’re away from your house and you want to get water. Are there things that you can throw into your bottle or some kind of in-bottle filter to help a little?
[bctt tweet=”Don’t be overwhelmed by it. Continue to develop a pattern of taking action on this stuff.”]
I think so. I haven’t dug into those. Anything that has a charcoal filter is going to get out some of that stuff. That’s definitely a good plan. It was funny because, as you know, when you film stuff, we’ve got people going around the world. we had a hundred different cases of stuff when we were filming Down to Earth. I’m like, “What’s another two?” I bought these AquaTru filters and I kept them in the box. I kept one for me in my hotel room. Every place around the freaking world, in my hotel room, I fill this. I realized this is not for everybody. The crew had their own AquaTru. You fill up any water source and you’re coming out with the RO system. When you’re traveling, it’s tough.
It’s another thing.
You go and try to find a mountain spring or whatever and you can try to filter something, for sure. Most of your life is lived at home. Filter your water, add some Himalayan salt, and other electrolytes to it, and now you have at least stripped out the water, break it down to get rid of that stuff, and then build it back up again. That’s the first thing. Of course, your food. EWG got all the dirty dozens. If you can’t afford organic, there’s conventional that’s heavily sprayed. That’s a big rabbit hole of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and all of that stuff. GMOs, atrazine, and all of this blast our food. If you can’t afford it, please wash it.
With your good water.
The ones that are exposed the most are the ones that don’t have their own skins. Strawberries, kale, romaine, spinach, pears, and those things. There’s a dirty dozen, wash the hell out of those because you never know what’s on that stuff. Look at your food. If you have to eat meat, I have good suggestions for cleaner meats in there. The biggest thing is you got to invest some time, develop these new systems, and minimize the ultra-processed foods because you’re getting not only poor quality food if there’s any food left in it but you’re getting a cacophony of synthetics that is going to cause you problems.
You’re opening another door. You were talking about your dad and where he was working, maybe that opened the door for vulnerability. How do we keep the doors that we do have, our immune systems and others, as fortified as possible?
We have thousands and thousands of gene expressions. If you put them under stress all the time, you’re turning on gene expression that you don’t want. This is an epidemiological look. There are some great researchers that I reference here and they’re showing that even low levels of this stuff that may not acutely affect you are affecting your next-generation kids. This is all connected.
On that last thing, this is an idea to not be overwhelmed, look at your personal care. Look at the things that you’re exposing yourself to the most, the deodorants, lotions, shampoos, and conditioners a little later because you’re not soaking in that, you’re washing it. You look at that stuff. Filter your water and filter your shower, and filter that too if you can. These things are a few bucks, at least getting some of the chemicals. If you can, filter your entire house.
That’s what we did. You think, “Shower water?” It’s worth it. Let’s say someone is in an apartment, I’m making it up, and they’re a singular person. Are there filters that you can slap onto the faucets? Those work, right?
Yeah. You can still get your countertop. You don’t have to get into someone else’s plumbing. A countertop unit of an RO system or a distillation unit and then you can put on at least a charcoal filter on your shower head. There are many options. This is not complicated at all. This is pretty easy. It’s a matter of stopping your normal pattern and then changing that. Over time, you’re starting to help yourself. Look at this as minimizing unnecessary stress on your body. You can continue to move out. Clothing, my underwear, look at the things proximal mostly to your body.
Luckily, there are some cool polymers, and there are some cool things that they’re doing with sugar molecules as opposed to other petroleum molecules. Things are happening. Things are starting to move in that direction. You’ll be able to have what you want. Sometimes we have to make a few little changes. Clothing and the intimate bras and underwear and then deodorants and shirts and stuff, those are the things. You start, “What’s in my space?” They say that the home is our second skin.
What light bulbs do you use?
I use no light bulbs because I’m still rebuilding my house so I have this little space.
Darin goes away to shoot the first season of Down to Earth with Zac Efron. You left and you had your suitcase. The Woolsey fire happened and your entire place was burnt to the ground.
I saw that video of Laird trying to see if anything was left and there were so many trees down, him and Jeff Sweet could fit in.
It’s not like you haven’t had your own set of challenges. You’re in the process of rebuilding.
I get a whole new reset. I get to do all this.
The building material, the paint deep, and everything. Hypothetically, let’s say you met a woman who was healthy.
Spiritual. We’re funny what will exchange for. We will even know better but you’re like, “I look cute in that.” I’m making it up.
It’s on them and it’s not on me, literally and figuratively.
Let’s say it’s someone that you’re like, “She’s got it all going for her.” You’re going to be that naggy guy, reminder boyfriend husband guy, or are you going to be like, “We have to be on the same page about everything, the house, and the shared environment.”
Give me an example. Of course, you can’t have 100%.
It’s like makeup.
It’s on them.
Are you kissing her if she’s got a face of it on? No kissing?
It’s all on the timing. My hormones are probably going to take over at that point. Minimal exposure. At the same time, the person that I’m vibing with anyway is going to have a level of awareness and openness and that typically happens. You know me, I don’t run around negging anybody. It’s not my job to convince anybody of anything. My first book, I’m plant-based. It’s not like I could care less what people do, that’s a bad way of saying it, but it’s not my job.
I put this book out and the spirit of my dad was pretty strong in this whole thing, he suffered, and that’s it. He suffered unnecessarily. I saw him fall apart over time and this book is an aspect of that. I don’t want people to suffer unnecessarily. In the face of that, I’m going, “What the hell are we doing as a society? This is crazy.” Here’s my optimism. You and I having this conversation, all the people are learning stuff they’ve never heard before. Their instincts are probably saying, “I knew that.”
We have 8 billion people. We dictate, we as people. The moms control the house. The moms are going to be buying the husbands and buying the things or buying the wives or whatever they are. They’re going to be doing that stuff. They’re going to be telling the kids what to do. They’re going to be buying their things. Mama Bears, this is for you.
By the way, things like Red No. 40 that show up in drinks like Gatorade and things like that, all of those things are connected to ADD, ADH, behavior activity, and ultra-processed food, all of that stuff. We have no idea how powerful a bunch of these small changes added up over time in our households that will have a massive effect and will make your life that much better because it will make their lives better.
We are suffering. Whether you have chemical sensitivity or not, you are being affected. Your chemistry and biology are walking on this planet, the air, the water, the soil, it’s everywhere. What can we do? Do acute changes that help you make these changes that absolutely will feel better for you. Plus, you’re voting. The 8 billion of us are voting with the money and the things that we are doing. We dictate the corporations, it’s not the other way around. You can go to the government agencies.
You can’t get caught up in that though because if you start going, “Why wouldn’t they protect?” All of a sudden, you’re distracted.
To button that up, they’re not doing their job.
They haven’t been doing their job for a pretty long time.
It’s on us. It goes back to that full circle. You and I have to have honest conversations. We as a population have to have honest conversations about what’s in our stuff and then we get to choose from there. You choose. It’s not me choosing for you and it’s not anyone choosing for you. Knowledge is fricking power. Also, populations. Imagine all of us going, “That’s not a good thing. Let’s change something else. Let’s do something else.” That’s the tsunami that we need. It’s education and then action on top of it.
I do find it fascinating that certain of these things become normalized and it’s like, “How did we get here?” We used to be in harmony with it and then slowly but surely, things happened. Let’s say I’m starting to dial in and my food is pretty dialed. People can get that almost quickest. Traveling can be a little trickier.
If I go through an airport, there’s food that exists supposedly as food, snacks, or whatever you want to call it, that I don’t even look at. To me, my brain is like, “That’s not even on the table.” People have to realize that you will move away from something and it’s not even a consideration. If we were starving and we were out of food, great, let’s go, and I’ll eat it, no problem. Give me a bag of pretzels right now. Why do pretzels have ingredients that you can’t read? It’s strange to me. It’s supposed to be a pretzel. You can unplug things in your house. You don’t have light bulbs. What do you have?
I do have light bulbs.
Do you Rick Rubin it? Do you have red stuff? Have you gone to Rick’s at night? Is that you? It’s amazing. The whole thing, including the outside lights, is red, everything is red. How do we deal with light bulbs? How do we navigate them?
In the morning, when I wake up early.
3:00 or 3:30? Where are we at now?
Probably 4:00 or 4:30.
Sleeping in. You’re getting loose.
I have my salt lamps so that creates the ambient. I have my red light therapies that I do like mats and things like that and that works. LEDs may be lower in energy consumption but the frequency generation is disturbing for our systems. I am not a big fan.
I’m with you.
LED lights are not going to solve our energy crisis at all.
Neither are electric cars but that’s okay.
A quick on that is do you know the greatest solar panel ever?
Your skin? I don’t know.
Green leaf. You can take and convert that into usable ethanol, clean fuel, with waste streams, and specific growing agriculture, and be energy-independent using ethanol with existing engines today.
Can you get the money from that?
There is money but not the systems that are currently in charge.
I like that you can’t recycle the batteries from the electric cars. What was the energy to make it in the first place? It’s insane.
It’s not energy. Energy has to be put in it.
That’s exactly right.
Going back into the electromagnetic, you’re sitting on microwave electromagnetic fields. There are great advancements. This is another tangent but there are great advancements in graphene batteries, which are carbon. I’ve been talking with my other business that no one knows about with these inventors and stuff. We’re moving fast on that.
You can’t say it but they don’t wear out because it’s carbon. This is an exciting vein and then the clean energy tech side of things. That’s a whole nother thing. That itself is also a fatal convenience. Solar panels and all of that stuff, although a step is an imperfect solution, is it wrong? I’m not saying that. It’s imperfect. Let’s be aware. Don’t just be a politician saying, “We’re going to mandate that in the state of California.” Are you insane?
Did you hear that in Hawaii, they were doing some mandates but they had no alternative? They then were using good old fashioned. People are going to go back to coal or other dirty energy. In some places, it’s three times more expensive. It’s like, “We’re going to stop that.” It’s like, “Awesome. What’s your backup?” If not LED, which light bulbs would be the best scenario right now?
Halogens. LED, no.
I’m talking about health.
From a health perspective, LEDs are not good to use, and they’re not going to save you all that much money anyway.
If someone’s reading this and they go, “Check, check, check, and check. I’ve been on this. I’m trying to figure it out. I understand now these forever chemicals. I also accept the fact that I’m going to live based on air.” Laird is always looking up in the sky and he’s like, “What’s that?” He’s making me crazy with this right now with the patterns in the sky.
[bctt tweet=”Chlorine is not clean in all aspects.”]
What’s going on up there?
They’ve been doing weather modification and cloud seeding for decades. I don’t cover this in the book but this is concerning. They always say this is contrails. No, they’re not. This is not condensation. These are chemicals, heavy metals, spraying, and modifying weather. They’ve been doing this since the ‘50s and they’re good at it. They can amplify storms and they can produce storms and it’s raining down on us.
That’s the thing. This is why I don’t want people to let that get in the way of offloading in these small ways that we can.
You can’t get distracted with this stuff.
Sometimes, I sit in the car with him and I go, “Unless I can shoot the plane out of the air right now, what do you want me to do about it? All I can do is what I can do.”
I agree. When I see this unnatural, you know that it’s not natural.
He’s like, “Look at that. Look at this.” Every day, we’ll be driving in the car. Now we are sending texts with pictures of chemtrails. You know how he is, he gets fixated on things. What I want to say to people is that yes, our water is imperfect, and our air is imperfect. Don’t let that stop you.
Don’t be overwhelmed by it. Continue to develop a pattern of taking action on this stuff. This is why we have the third of this book dedicated to solutions.
The thing I want to remind people is that in this book, there is a lot of direction specifically to electronic products, make-up products, and cleaning products that you can purchase or make yourself that makes it like, “That seems simple.” Someone is involved and they are in a good rhythm. Is there a way to say, “Could I detox a little?” What’s the direction on that?
You should get blood work, blood tests, fecal tests, and hair analysis for heavy metals. That’s the thing, it’s hard to generalize but guaranteed, the body is already trying its best to detox. Your detoxification pathways and your endocrine systems are being hijacked and it’s showing that even these PFAS chemicals are connected to kidney, testicular cancers, endometriosis, and all of this stuff.
You’re already overwhelmed. Get your blood work done. Get a functional medicine doctor that can understand. There’s a lot of telemedicine that’s not crazy expensive. You can find avenues for that to get bio-individualized. You want to know what’s going on in your own body. Heavy metal detoxification, parasitic detoxification from fish, beef, and all of that stuff, you see this all over the place. You want to open up your pathways first. You want to open up the colon. You want to open up the lymphatic system. A lot of that emphatic system with the deodorants, the heavy metals, the aluminum, and the lotions slow down that, and that’s your immune system plus your gut.
You want to start there, minimize the exposure, and then go, “What’s my gut doing? What’s happening in my microbiome?” A lot of these things, triclosan, which they then deregulated or tried to ban but it’s still showing up, that’s an antibiotic in our digestive system. This is persistence. Not to mention one round of an antibiotic in your life is clear-cutting the forest of your microbiome and that’s creating metabolites that are creating systematic necessary function or destruction in your body.
These are great kits that you can get for a couple of hundred bucks and start to look at that stuff. Stop the overwhelm. Start to look at these functions, kidney, liver, liver flushes, and kidney flushes. Colon flushes are number one, you want to make sure that stuff is moving. Start to get some blood work to start to know what’s going on but minimize exposure first. Pick something in the book and start. Go from inside to out because that’s the most vulnerable when you open up your mouth or breathe in something. That’s a couple of places to start.
You also talk about furniture bedding, sheets, and things like that. You offer suggestions there as well about your mattress. Do you sleep on a grounding mat or anything like that? Are you outside enough that it doesn’t matter?
I used to but I went back to the company and I said, “You’ve got VOCs coming off of this. Even though I’m on the ground, the VOC is coming off of your material.” They’ve since changed that. At the time, I got rid of it. That’s the problem with some of this stuff. You’re trying to do one thing but the container they’re using or whatever. A plant delivery service or a food delivery service wanted to do something with me and then they sent me all the amazing plant-based meals. I was like, “These are good.” Of course, I’m looking at it and going, “There’s no way I can do this. Even though they’re recycled plastic, there’s still plastic wrapped in my food.”
What could they do at that moment? They could get you clean ingredients, let’s say they get that part right. What could they do? Do a thing where you have glass and give it back to them and they get it back to you?
There are advancements in this space. There’s a good company I’m still an advisor on taking some different changes. This company is called Footprint. They’re working with McDonald’s, Walmart, ConAgra, and all these things. My offer to them was like, “I can hook you up and change out your packaging so it’s not plastic anymore.” They’re using plant fibers and they’re using non-PFAS stuff. It’s lazy.
I’ve talked to these scientists and they said, “You don’t have to. There are also advancements in algae-based stuff that mimics the non-stick, heat-resistant, oxygen barriers, and stuff like that. There is hope on a big scale. I’ve talked to people at Walmart, Visas, and things like that. They’re making changes. I’m not even talking about greenwashing because there’s a ton of greenwashing in the industry in every direction. Yes, there’s hope but minimize some of that stuff. They sent me all that food. Did I eat it? Damn right, I ate it.
You’re not doing it every day.
That’s my point. I’m like, “Am I going to make this a habit? No.” I’m going to talk to the owners going, “Do you want to change this out?” It may take a few months, it may take a year, I don’t know. As far as I know, they’re open to it. We work together and we solve this together. We work as corporations, as entrepreneurial people, as moms, and as dads. Shout out to everyone reading, if you know of companies that are doing great things, tell us, and leave it in the show notes. Tell me.
On the other path, I’m working on a clean marketplace because I was staring at this stuff going, “Since regulation isn’t happening, I’m going to create a certifying body to do it for products and then bring in marketplaces and support companies that are already doing it.” Bring attention to it and create so that when you come into this zone, thrive markets doing something like that but I want to take it up a few other notches. When you come in here, you know that we’ve looked at this, we’ve tested it, and it’s validated.
There’s also a big shout out to a lady that I didn’t put in the book because it was later. She was a mom. She’s got some great following. It’s called Mamavation. She’s a mom but she’s a badass. She sends stuff out like her pants. She sent all these out and she found that 25% of the Lycra around the cross-region was distributing endocrine-disrupting chemicals in your crotch. It’s a sensitive area, clearly. You’re working out, heat, and sweat.
I don’t want to be a buzz kill to this stuff but I also don’t want people to be suffering. This is insane, Gabby. Do you know how many times I swore during this book, going, “What the hell is going on?” Things like disposable diapers are full of petroleum, plastics, adhesives, and fragrances. You’re putting your sweet little baby around and on in this chemical easy-to-throw-away thing of a diaper. You go, “Buy a few dozen organic diapers and wash them.”
You’re talking about the hormone disruptors in diapers.
Baby bib is easy to wipe off. How is it easy to wipe off? It’s PFAS and Teflon. That’s on my kid.
Do you what you do when you have a little baby and they’re eating and they’re messy? You take their shirt off. It’s easy to wipe off, that’s what you do. You said in the book that from 1970 to 1990, consumption of HFCSs is up 1000% in twenty years. I want to ask you because you do live in an unusual existence. Maybe you live a more normal existence that’s become unusual.
I live in a tree.
It’s the way you eat. First of all, looking for superfoods, I’m curious. I remember when you went to Bhutan, that seemed like a place to you that was pretty magical for you. Even doing the show of Down to Earth, if there was a place that was extra unique for you.
They all have their flare, for sure. Iceland was pretty gnarly cool. The issue with production is it’s intense that you got to bang this out. They were scouting. I had one day off and I contacted this herbal pharmacy. They were closed but I found a number and I got a hold hold of the daughter of the founder that they forged incredible sea moss, unique minerals, plants, and stuff. I told them, “I’m here for a day. I love to go out.”
We went out and foraged for a day and being out. By the way, it’s not hard in Iceland to go away because there’s so much space and so little people. That place was special. Clearly, the geothermal activity on top of it, they literally don’t have to worry about other than something exploding every once in a while. That was certainly special.
The second season, Torres Straits and the Torres Strait Islanders was pretty incredible because you could throw and hit Papa New Guinea. In less than 100 years, they’re killing each other and stuff. You see how, in the middle of nowhere on an island, vulnerable they are. The culture, the people, and it’s picturesque as well. They only do what they need. We’ve gotten so far away from that.
Are you guys going to do another season? Do we know yet? I have people asking me. I have people asking me.
People ask me all the time. I haven’t publicly said anything about it but it’s not looking good. There are some scheduling problems.
The movies are getting in the way or something.
It’s challenging. There was some stuff that happened.
Can you do your own thing maybe?
Here’s the thing. I am developing. I got a whole nother thing, a new show. I can’t say the co-host yet but he’s badass. With Zac and his team, I’m forever grateful for Zac and the connection of that. They changed the whole show when I came on board with these ideas that I had. I came in late because Down to Earth wasn’t called Down to Earth but they had a deal with Netflix. Yes, I had a certain level of control of a certain idea of the episodes and stuff like that. As you learn, there’s so much to educate and get into. There was a good tension between pushing it too hard and also being entertaining. I learned a lot that way.
This is important, what you’re saying. This is important even for what you’re doing right now. How do you do your due diligence? That’s why I asked you in the beginning, how do we make this sexy for people?
It’s sexy because we’re amazing people and we can make change. Once you realize that you’re not hurting your children, your pets, and yourself, you go, “Why would I do that?” I listened from the scope of my brother who is a simple guy. I don’t mean simple in any disparaging sense. He hasn’t been on a plane. He doesn’t travel. He’s content. He doesn’t complain about it. I listened from my background and from him, “Does this make sense to him?”
The cool thing about my brother is when you tell him something that then he now knows is not good for him, his friends, his family, his dogs, his cats, his sheep, or whatever, he goes, “Why would I do that? I wouldn’t do that.” Now I know that. Why would I do that? I try to make it from a common sense perspective to let people know, “Now you know.” You can’t put it back in the box, your denial. How would you know? Is that sexy? I don’t know.
For me, it’s authentically living. I do not want to be the victim of anyone outside of myself. I don’t care if they came before me or not and they created a weird ass chemical from DuPont or whatever else. It’s wrong and it’s not right so, therefore, I’m going to live my life as powerfully as possible. I’m going to try to educate, I’m going to try to share, and I’m going to try to live healthy and happy myself. If I can educate some place and some people along the way, I’m going to do that. That’s where this comes from.
From the TV show’s perspective, I learn more and more. I’m like, “I’ve got more on the table.” Now I learn and now I understand. Don’t go Richter scale, that’s stupid. The thing is even Netflix themselves shared how powerful that was for them to see we weren’t causing doom and gloom, we were just highlighting the positive sides. By doing that, it naturally shines back on other things that aren’t working because we know.
I like to move forward with solutions. I like to move forward in that. We are going to highlight a lot of cool stuff along the way in this new show. I hope to start filming but all these things take time. In this bookcase, it’s the same thing. I want to put the information out. I’ve seen people and when they make a choice that they now know is harmful and they integrate, there is something powerful. You know this. When you integrate something like working out, breathing, ice exposure, or eliminating something that is harming you, it’s exponentially beneficial for you in ways that you can’t possibly imagine.
The body is amazing in that we do whatever we want to it and it somehow keeps going. We shovel anything we want in our mouths, we plaster on all of this stuff, and somehow this avatar of Darin, Gabby, and whoever else moves forward. It’s wild. It’s almost like we don’t acutely understand all of these things but over time, we lose the measure of it. I want to get people back to this level of if you start making now choices that are better for you, there’s going to be lights that turn on that weren’t on before. You’re going to feel better but you only know what you know at the time that you know it.
If you ask everyone right now, “How are you doing?” Most people would be like, “I’m good.” There was a study that said that the majority across all forms of people, no matter what jobs or race, color, and economic status, most people will say, “I’m good. I’m about 7 or 8.” They get used to what they get used to. Is that optimal?
You’ve seen people when they’ve maybe implemented their diet or their exercise routine and all of a sudden, they’re like, “Oh my God. I’m sleeping better. I have more sex. I feel better. I have more energy.” They couldn’t have known it without the action. They didn’t have the understanding unless they took the action to do it. You don’t get to know it, through the mind, until you take action. My hope is that people start taking these actions, add them up over time, and they will be on a different plateau. That plateau will give them other options. If someone is stronger and faster and has more energy, there’s more available to them in their life. They get to live their life instead of going, “I’m all right.”
“It’s good. I’m showing up.” You’re a big and strong guy and you’re a vegan. People are curious. You share all of this online. You’re one of the few people I know that probably can dial in their food correctly. How do you get what you need? What are some of the magic ingredients that you incorporate throughout your day that help you support your level of physicality?
It’s all down to the whole foods. I get a lot into this in the Superlife book but you got to start with the no processed world, massive amounts of diversification of foods, and things like that. I was eating two meals a day for a while and now I’ve included another smoothie to see what happens. I’m playing around. Nutrient density, for sure. I eat a ton of fruit. I’m not afraid at all.
I don’t know fruit got a weird rap. It’s weird.
They got wrapped into, “It’s all sugar.” Of course, it isn’t, the research clearly shows.
It has fiber.
whole food and then nuts, seeds, and legumes. I’m not afraid of great grains and pseudo-grains and things like that. I got to plug my Barukas. That stuff, I have handfuls on every salad, every smoothie bowl every day, and they’re huge. All the complete amino acids. Probably, outside of eating incredibly clean in that way. I love Raw Living Spirulina, not powdered. Powdered is neutered.
What does Raw Living Spirulina taste like?
It’s fresh. If it is rancid, it will smell fishy because of the omegas. With Raw Living Spirulina, I get frozen tubs of that sent to me and that is in pretty much every bowl and every smoothie.
What happens is people crave it. Once you start eating something that’s good for you, your body starts to ask for it.
It’s like kimchi. It’s like probiotics, kimchi, and fermented foods. I light up and I’m like, “This is good,” every time.
You have that.
The chia seeds and stuff like that.
Are you using Maca or any of that stuff a little bit?
I go back and forth. The adaptogens, I’ve been using for over twenty years like schisandra, maca, chaga, and Rishi. I’m a cacao freak too.
In what form? In nibs? How do you do it?
I use 100% wafers usually. 100% cacao, Peruvian. I’m also playing with some chocolate formulas right now. Direct out of the Amazon, I’ve got connections. I spent a lot of time. I’ve got some Amazonian cacao so that comes in 100% brick and I shave it off. I play with some stuff. Formulations are my love. I love to tinker around with that. Cacao, I consume a lot of. Malso, matcha, and teas.
[bctt tweet=”Go from in to out. What you’re exposing your mouth to and swallowing, start there.”]
The adaptogens are constant. I’ve looked at stress, which is why I formulated a lot of adaptogens in formulas because we are getting nailed. You are realizing we’re getting nailed to stress more than you could possibly imagine. People think of stress as all psychological but it’s cellular. Stress and immune modulation are incredibly important. A lot of those adaptogens, they’re safe and effective, true adaptogens. They are not something that is going to toxify you in any way.
Are you doing that in powder mostly?
Schisandra, you can get at Ron Teeguarden. No one’s going to like them. They’re bitter, pungent, sour, and salty.
Most people are really healthy.
I’ll even throw that stuff in Chaga’s food.
What do feed your dog?
Darwin’s dog food. I’m not convinced. I’m happy to talk with anyone that can say that the dog can eat plant-based. As of now, I don’t think they can. 75% grass-fed organic meat frozen to me.
You don’t ever want to try it yourself? I’m kidding. I’m joking.
I have zero cravings.
Do you think if you were around 500 years ago, the way we used to consume meat you might have been like, “Maybe.” The fact that we’re so far with it with the farm. This is curiosity.
If you talk about a paleolithic life, you’re looking for everything.
By the way, deep biochemistry looks at the Paleolithic. They were forging infinitely more plants. It’s easy to go, “They’re killing stuff all the time.” Do you know how difficult it is to just go kill stuff all the time? That’s why, on a molecular level and on a cellular level, your body doesn’t want to get rid of proteins. Senescence of your cells happen. It breaks apart the amino acids that you then built and it will recycle those amino acids. Protein is necessary.
We had 1 to 300 different varieties of plants that we would forage around, seasonal varieties, and all of that stuff. If everything went south right now, I have enough to forage on my own property. I probably won’t have to kill anything. If it was 500 years ago, I would be the foraging man. Clearly, the kingdom of mushrooms got an incredible amount of protein in there as well.
For you, do you think the adaptogens would be the secret to supporting? You do not see vegans that usually bang iron the way you do or have the size that you’ve been able to maintain.
It certainly can happen. I don’t support the fake everything of vegan food. It’s all processed food. That’s what I’m saying. Most plant-based people go to this ultra-processed world, which is a bad choice. Stick with whole and stick with all of that stuff. Part of the curiosity was when I started eating plant-based because I started to see this senescence recycling of amino acids and I’m like, “Do we need as much? Do we need that?” You still have to break down the protein for you to then use it and it is dead flesh. There are energy consequences to that.
On top of it, if your digestion is off, then you’re going to have a harder time to even do that. In over twenty years of running around the globe, I was like, “If that animal is a bio-accumulator of nutrients to create flesh, to create amino acids, why don’t just eliminate the killing of that and find the amino acids in all of these?” That’s been my philosophy from the beginning. That’s what led me to go, “If that adaption is good, what about this one? How about I show up in the middle of the Amazon? How about I show up in the middle of the Andes? What is that Rhodiola doing?” Learning about these things directly over twenty years into this stuff.
Your family must have embraced that when you started. I’m kidding.
The funny thing is my mom still doesn’t eat well. My dad was more open. My dad wasn’t plant-based at the time. He was an athlete and he was into triathlons and all of this stuff. He didn’t have a freaking thyroid from his atomic bomb days. Not a lot of people can say that. I only found that out with the Kevin Costner movie that came out in the ‘80s or ‘90s, the Cuban Missile Crisis. My dad was upset. I was like, “What’s going on?” I didn’t even know. He told me the whole story.
I had Simon Hill on here. My thing is I’m always trying to keep the dialogue open about all food and not make it a religion and say, “If we’re going to do it these ways, what are the best ways to do it and keep doing that?” You guys do a good job of that.
Simon is strong.
That’s what I’m saying. It’s important for people to do what feels best to them but still eat whole real food. When you travel, how do you get that done or you’ve gotten used to it and you know the tricks?
Going back to coming on a plane, I put a salad in a mason jar. I have a full-on salad in a mason jar. When I’m in my seat and I have a long flight, I’m getting the cutlery from them, which is metal. I’m getting a real plate. “No, thank you. I don’t need any of your food.” I dump out a big salad and then I eat. I use it as a fast, there’s that too.
That’s what Laird does now. He says on off flights, he fast because there are some conversations around it being better when you don’t have to digest and that you’re better for everything, and that you also adjust to the next time zone much easier. Grains, quinoa, any of that?
Yeah, no problem.
Any other drinks besides water?
I don’t remember the company. It is a tasty and no-sugar apple cider vinegar with hibiscus and it’s weirdly delicious. There’s no sugar but they might have slipped some monk fruit in there or something. Those things are fine. Every morning, I’m making a cacao adaptogenic delicious concoction. Other than that, I don’t go crazy with the outside.
What time do you go to bed?
Let’s say you’re living with someone. Do they go to bed at the same time you go to bed?
If they’re staying at my place, that’s the program. That’s the thing.
That’s like my house. Laird was like, “It’s almost 8:00.” I’m like, “What the hell does that mean?” He wants to be in bed by 8:30. It’s like, as you said, “That’s the program.” Brody is like, “You guys are weird.” They all go there.
That’s a superpower. It’s what you’re doing to prepare for your next day too. On the one hand, you can make this an unsexy thing but maybe it’s the sexiest thing in the world because you’re optimizing the man in this case. Your man is optimizing himself and is not going against the entire circadian rhythm of the planet, which is you flipping on artificial lights and turning yourself into a biochemistry that’s going against nature.
If you were camping, you would get tired around that campfire so fast. It’s funny, my internet was out for three days. That’s strung out through trees and stuff and they finally fixed it after three days. I had nothing. I couldn’t text anybody. I had no phone service, I had no phone, I had no TV, and I had no Netflix, nothing. I’m sitting there with the dogs and the sun is going down. It’s 7:19. By 7:26, I’m shutting it all down, mask, and I’m out. It was the best. I was like, “There’s nothing to distract me.” I was reading a little bit. I’m like, “No.”
I want you to have children, Darin.
So you could say, “I told you so.”
No. I’m not interested in, “I told you so.” I’m interested in learning the next level of navigation. I want you to be the guy because you’ve lived long enough to put a system in place and now I want to see how people like you are able to put it in the world that we live in so we have a new model to go by. For most of us, it’s coming at us and we didn’t see it and we’re trying to put restraints around it. It’s difficult to do.
When I say that, I say that genuinely. I never tell people, “I told you so.” Remember, I have kids. Also, you’re going to be in a long relationship where you don’t hate each other. Saying, “I told you so,” doesn’t work. You can do it. They’ll figure it out. It’s the same with kids, you sit there and be like, “Mm-hmm.” I’m interested because I want to understand how this is all going to show up in the world that we’re in. It’s a dance.
They’ll be in the woods. They’ll be not in a city. I created my life like that where I’m outside. I’m every day with the dogs, eight times a day on the mountain bike, hiking around, jumping in the stream, and doing all these things. This is the life that I wanted for me so I’ve surrounded myself. They’re getting dirty. They’re rolling in the dirt. They’re already in organic diapers, microbiome exposed in that way. The mama bear, whoever that may be, you got to have that conversation about how you’re going to handle this situation. I was impressed with having a conversation with Ben Greenfield. He does interesting and cool things with his kids.
Ben makes me laugh.
Ben’s such a character. Shout out to you, Ben. He loves our Barukas, by the way. He makes all these recipes, “Send me some Barukas. Can I get some Barukas?”
Sometimes I think he’s been in the forest a little too long though. I’m like, “Ben, bring it back.”
People say that about me all the time too.
That’s okay. We need all types. Is there an alternative to dry cleaning or is it a no-go? I know it’s super toxic.
I haven’t found it. There’s some cool standup steamer. That is convenient. You don’t have to lay it down. It stands up, it steams, and it bangs it out. That’s the best. They put tags of eco of this and eco that. I haven’t seen it yet.
I’m thinking about attorneys going, “I don’t want to try this but I have to wear this suit.”
There are some dry cleaners trying to do it better so they could minimize some of the stuff and maybe poke them a little bit going, “Is there a way that you could wash this with no chemicals, just the heat?”
A lot of times people are doing it more for the wrinkles than somehow needs to be cleaner. Finally, fluoride. It’s in the water and toothpaste. If you maybe don’t eat it or drink it, it hasn’t been shown to be that bad. Maybe it is good for kids’ teeth but not adults’ teeth. Can we get some understanding about fluoride?
I was conservative in my conclusions.
Stay there. You can be conservative, it’s okay.
That was a book. This is such a big answer but there was a little town in the United States from the Dust Bowl. We had all this topsoil that would blow off from our Monocropping. This was the early 1900s. There was a certain small town that accumulated a lot of this for whatever reason geologically and they come to realize everyone in the town had great teeth and they measured it. Somewhere along the line, they said, “It’s the Florine. It’s the natural element.” They did some studies along the way and somehow they conclude that it’s fluoride. This is a rabbit hole so I’m trying to condense it down.
Here’s the thing, I can understand putting chlorine in the water because that changed the world not dying acutely. There are problems with chlorine too, which people can read about it. There are some problems. There’s some chloral methane organic exposure that comes by way of chlorine coming all the way to your pipe and those are carcinogenic. Chlorine is not clean in all aspects. Put a bookmark in that. The Florine, however, that is used is not natural that came from this topsoil accumulation. Even though overgrowing and crop monocropping weren’t natural, the accumulation was natural. The fluoride that they’re using today is a byproduct of the pesticide and aluminum manufacturing process.
You got to sell that stuff. You get another chance to get a crack at making some money on it.
The research is weird around this because, on the one hand, they show that it’s good for the teeth. On the other hand, it’s clear that it’s lowering the IQ of children and creating toxicity and neurotoxicity. The fact that fluoride is in the water today is insane. The fact that it’s in toothpaste is insane to me that toothpaste is toxic, look on the label. You naturally swallow a bit of toxic. Tell me kids aren’t swallowing toothpaste. There’s no upside. That’s mostly going to come from what they’re eating anyway. Ultra-processed sugary food is going to kill their teeth and there’s not amount of fluoride that’s going to protect it. Science is weird.
Big shout-out to Paul Hawken. He’s become an incredible friend of mine. He was like, “You might want to dig into this.” It was so deep and so interesting. I want to do a movie, it’s not that I’m going to. I would want to see a movie about the advent of fluoride. To get it from natural occurring Florine, along with all the other minerals, by the way, in the societal area that was contributing to their teeth, they made this jump where it’s a derivative and a waste byproduct of pest chemical pesticides and aluminum manufacturing. Now we’re going to put it in the water and no one is in jail.
Isn’t it the same with Roundup? It was a byproduct of making gunpowder or something. They’re like, “Cool. We need to do something with this.” There seems to be a lot of that. This is a final personal question, do you take any vitamins or supplements?
I don’t take a vitamin per se. I’ll take a DHEA supplement. I’ll take magnesium. That’s one of the ones we’re all low in. Even our whole food today, the minerals and things like that, that’s why it’s important to do testing. Iron and magnesium are low in most people in the United States. I always go to a huge amount of iron in spirulina as well. There’s B12 in spirulina. It’s things like that. I might take a B12 every once in a while. Vitamin D and vitamin K are a must, for sure. Maybe some other ones along the way.
Given all that you’ve researched and you know, do you feel hopeful?
1000000%. Every week I’m in conversation from an environmental perspective or a change perspective or a group perspective that they are moving on changes in a variety of different ways. The catalyzation that’s happened and the crazy world that we live in today from the pandemic to all of the, “You can’t say this and you can’t say that,” there’s a mobilization of great people doing great things. I’m working tirelessly on water, power, food, and shelter.
I’ll leave you with this. Grow our own food. Everyone reading, find any bit of your land or a window sill and grow food right now. Do it today. Get seeds and put them on the ground. We have 47 million acres of lawn that we’re watering today in the United States. If just took half of that, we would have how much food Insecurity? None. We have systems that are helping us and we have systems that are failing us. Grow food and grow it like crazy.
The thing about food is you plant one pomegranate with one seed, you have 70 pomegranates on the tree, and 700 seeds in the pomegranate. That is abundance. That is nature and that is working with her. That’s what we have to get back to. All of these fatal conveniences are divorcing this incredible life that we have that she will provide for us 1000000%. I am ridiculously hopeful. The fact is, are we going to suffer more along the way?
Are people going to look at this book and go, “I’m not going to change anything.” That’s on you and that’s the life that you’re creating for yourself. That’s okay. We’re going to spit ourselves out. We’re going to create some changes or we’re going to create more problems for ourselves until we create changes. This is how we do it. You get pressure, we innovate, and we create. That’s America. That’s the human spirit. I have so much faith in the human spirit.
I don’t listen to mainstream media. I don’t listen to this crap. I listen to the people that are doing ridiculously amazing things that can change energy production, water production, and regeneration production. You don’t even know that some of the biggest companies on the planet today will be going to regenerative practices.
They have to. If they can figure out how to monetize it, amazing. We’re in the game because that’s what it is.
Paul wrote Drawdown, his first book which is that big book on planetary stuff. He proved that if you invest in it and do it, with nature, you will have so much money in your pocket. You will have so much abundance of life. You have so much regulation and connection with people instead of cutting this off in order to get mine. We’ve got to get out of this space. That’s what I’m hopeful for. It’s not my business of people that don’t want it. It’s none of my business.
It’s an invitation. People do what they need and can do. Justin, you get a question.
I got nothing.
This might be the first time.
I thought it was going to be far more doom and gloom but I know what I need to do. There’s some research.
The book is easy to get through. It’s a good and well-organized read. You might go back and read some of the names of some of the chemicals. The book is Fatal Conveniences. Darin Olien, I am excited to see what you’re going to do next. I appreciate all of this work. I know, in different ways, I wouldn’t say it’s a burden but it can be. Sometimes it’s unpopular and the messenger, at times, will get a little bit of a buck and get bucked. I know you can handle it and I know that Howard would be proud. The impetus, your dad going through that, it’s all not for naught. Also, your passion shows. Thank you for doing it.
His legacy is infused in this whole thing. Sometimes we don’t see it. He laid a foundation that’s expressing itself even today. Thank you.
Thank you so much for reading this episode. If you have any questions for my guest or even myself, please send them to @GabbyReece on Instagram. If you feel inspired, please hit the follow button, and leave a rating and a comment. It not only helps me, it helps the show grow and reach new readers.
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About Darin Olien
Darin Olien is co-host of the Emmy™ Award Winning, #1 Netflix docu-series, Down to Earth with Zac Efron. Spending nearly 20 years exploring the planet discovering new and underutilized exotic foods and medicinal plants as a Superfood hunter Darin developed, Shakeology – grossing over $4 Billion in sales since 2008 for Beachbody. He also created a plant-based Ultimate Reset 21-day detoxification program for the company. From his years of experience within the health space, he wrote his New York Times best-selling book, “SuperLife: The five fixes that will keep you healthy, fit and eternally awesome”. As host of the widely popular podcast The Darin Olien Show, Darin curiously explores people, solutions, and health as well as life’s Fatal Conveniences™ – a segment of the show uncovering modern-day flaws and challenges that may be undermining our health and our environment. Darin the founder of Barukas™, the most nutrient-dense nut in the world coming from the Savannah “Cerrado” of Brazil. Through sustainable business practices, the company is committed to supporting this important biome by planting 20 million Baruzeita trees while getting out the most delicious nut on the planet. Darin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Physiology/Nutrition and a Masters in Psychology.