Your Worst Day Ever: David Wolfe’s Earthing and Zapping Debunked, Part 1

David Wolfe Earthing

Earthers mistakenly believe that the Earth protects them from EMF via a mystical force field seeping into their bodies through their feet.  Somebody’s been watching too much Star Trek.

 

Part One:  Unnatural Frequencies
Have you heard the joke about the guy who plugs himself into an electrical outlet in his home for protection against disease-causing high frequency electromagnetic fields, then paradoxically zaps himself with an electrical device to kill pathogens?

Unfortunately, it’s not a joke.  This is for real.  The man’s name is David Avocado Wolfe.  And he’s not just practicing this silly electrical voodoo on himself, he’s selling products that cost hundreds of dollars to innocent, scientifically illiterate followers, with the promise of similar protection.  Sadly, it’s all a scam, and there’s the very real chance that seriously ill people are eschewing real medical treatment in favor of quack remedies like earthing and zapping.

In this multi-part series, I’ll be exposing Wolfe’s deception.  In part one, we’ll look at the myth that’s the very foundation of “earthing” nonsense: the claim that high frequency radio waves–those in the gigahertz range–are “unnatural”, dirty, or inherently dangerous.1

This can be debunked in one sentence:  there is no such thing as an unnatural radio frequency.  All radio frequencies are natural. 

There, we’re done.

Oh, you want a demonstration?  Well, fair enough.  This is a science blog, after all. Here’s some food for thought:  David Avocado is an advocate of “sun gazing”–staring at the sun to absorb mystical healing energy.2   The problem for Avocado and his earthing buddies: the sun emits the very same high frequency radio waves that he’s selling protection from.

This is easy to prove.  A simple twelve gigahertz radio receiver can be built using a discarded home satellite dish and less than $10 in parts from eBay or a local electronics store.  Twelve gigahertz and below are right in the “Wolfe Danger Zone” for consumer electronic devices.  But if we point our receiver’s dish at the sun– as natural a source as you can possibly find–we’ll quickly see how full of [expletive deleted] earthers are… we’ll pick up these very frequencies!  Here’s a quick YouTube video of me doing this demonstration.  If you don’t like video, scroll down for some captioned screen snapshots outlining the experiment.

youtubecover

[VIDEO]  The sun emits the same radio frequencies that David Wolfe calls “unnatural’.   I’ve put together a simple YouTube video demonstrating this. (Running time: Less than  3 minutes).

For those of you who prefer pictures over video, here’s a simple photos essay of what’s happening in the video above.  You can click any photo to enlarge.

cap1

Step 1:  A discarded satellite dish with a 12 gigahertz LNB can be used in a simple radio receiving system.

cap2

Step 2:  A $7 signal strength meter takes the down-converted signal from the dish.  Here, obviously, we have no signal (a reading of zero).

cap3

Step 3:  Point the antenna at the sun, which no earther can dispute is “unnatural”.

cap4

Step 4: When the antenna is pointed at the sun, we’ve got a very strong 12 gigahertz signal.  So much for unnatural high frequency radio sources.

 

The take-home message of this demonstration is that you cannot take a radio frequency out of context and label is safe or dangerous, dirty or clean, natural or unnatural.  (Well, OK, all radio frequencies are natural, so Wolfe is just completely wrong on that one.)    How strong is the electromagnetic field?  How close are you to the source?  Are we talking about ionizing radiation?  There are a lot of factors to consider.  The bottom line:  neither the radio waves from the sun received in this experiment, Wi-Fi routers, or cell phones are harmful, just because they are measured in gigahertz.  And this is David Avocado’s claim: high-frequency radio waves are unnatural and therefore bad for us.

Yes, there is harmful electromagnetic radiation (gamma rays come to mind), but Wolfe doesn’t begin to approach the subject honestly.  The World Health Organization has a wonderful online resource on this subject.  If you’d like research from experts who have studied this, you can get started here.3

What I’m here to shoot down is Wolfe’s claim that frequencies of billions of hertz–gigahertz–are unnatural and, by extension, somehow inherently dangerous to us.  As you can see in the graph below, the sun does output more energy in the visible part of the spectrum than the radio, but it the radio waves are there, and they’re certainly natural.

solar spectrum (smoothed)

The sun emits electromagnetic energy across a broad spectrum, including the entire range of radio waves that earthers like David Wolfe try to avoid.  There is no such thing as “unnatural” radio frequencies.  Image courtesy the Window to the Universe Project/NCAR/Comet Program/High Altitude Observatory.  Used with permission.  (click/enlarge)

 

Why Are Wolfe et al Frightening People?
So, their apparent lack of understanding of basic physics aside, why would David Wolfe and other earthers want to frighten you away from frequencies above 1Ghz?  Let’s take a peek at the offerings from Wolfe’s online store, Longevity Warehouse, and see if we can divine an answer:

David Wolfe earthing products

Earthing products don’t come cheap from David Wolfe’s online store.  And they don’t offer a single proven health benefit either. (click/enlarge)

Wake the kids and phone the neighbors!

  • “Grounded” pillow cases for $129.98.
  • Matching wired sheets for $179.99.
  • Step out of your grounded bed every morning and exercise on a $99 earthing yoga mat.

I think I’m seeing a pattern here.  Do you, dear reader?

Ladies and and gentlemen, David Wolfe and his bank account thank you.

 

Conclusion
In the next installment of this series, we’ll show just how confused earthers are about electrical potential and the flow of electricity, batteries, and we’ll even delve into pH woo.  In subsequent episodes, we’ll ask why these folks fret about voltages developing on their skin due to EMF, yet they outlay hundreds of dollars on devices that shock themselves (when the same devices can be built for pennies on the dollar).

From there, we’ll move on to the strange practice of plugging your body into the ground outlet of your home’s electrical socket, and how this might actually kill you.

If you think the world is a strange place, stay tuned.  Pardon my poor grammar, but you ain’t seen nothing yet.

#DontCryWolfe

David Wolfe sun gazing

In his sun-gazing video, David Wolfe spends four minutes staring at a broad spectrum high frequency radio source (which he says is dangerous), and never realizes it. #Irony #DontCryWolfe

Image Credits
David Wolfe screen, product, and video captures used under Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Smoothed Solar Spectral Irradiance graph used with the kind permission of the Window to the Universe Project, derived from the NCAR Comet Program/High Altitude Observatory project.  Use of the image does not imply that these organizations endorse or agree with the viewpoints presented in this article.

References
(1) Mind Blowing Experiment With David Wolfe
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idXzSZBHf1g

(2) David Wolfe Sungazing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwzfyIf-9Tg

(3) World Health Organization: What is EMF?
http://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/WhatisEMF/en/

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Food Babe: Still Selling GMOs While Trying To Avoid Them

Vani Hari's GMO corn

 

I laughed so hard I cried after reading Food Babe’s latest post on avoiding GMOs. It’s hard to avoid something when you’re selling it in your own store.  Yes Vani Hari, I’m looking at you.

As I pointed out in an earlier article,2  Hari sells a hand sanitizer derived from GMO corn. The sanitizer’s manufacturer freely admits this fact.  If you break down the source code of Vani’s shopping web site, you can see she’s been hawking this product for over four years.  So much for Food Babe’s “investigative skills”:

vani hari page source

Vani Hari uploaded this GMO-based product to her online store in November, 2011.

To be clear, there’s absolutely nothing to fear from genetically modified corn–or any other such organism.  GMOs have been in our food supply for decades, with no ill effect.  Thousands of studies support their safety.  But one could derive a drinking game from Food Babe’s anti-technology posts, taking a swig every time we encounter the word “GMO”.  For example, you could empty a bottle of good vodka poring over a Food Babe narrative on enchiladas:

food babe gmo post

If Food Babe is trying to avoid GMOs, she should stop selling them in her own online store.  (click/enlarge)

Vani Hari doesn’t get off the hook just because she’s writing about GMOs in food and the GMO product she’s selling is intended for use on the skin.  She’s written multiple articles preaching the dangers of using “toxic” chemicals on skin, 3,4 claiming the poisons will be absorbed into the body.   And she’s diametrically opposed to the production of genetically modified crops:5,6

 “I want the pollution of our earth to stop”–Vani Hari on GMO crop production

So you have to stop and wonder why Food Babe has been selling an item made from GMO corn for four years.

In a future article, we’ll look at possible answers to this question, along with an interesting, mysterious puzzle: Vani Hari has been quietly pulling products from her online shop with no explanation, despite a very public announcement in January 2015 that she’d be transparent about her mistakes and errors.  What’s really going on behind the scenes a FoodBabe.com?

 

Image Credits
Food Babe screen snapshots and Clean Well hand sanitizer product images are used in strict compliance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

References
(1) Food Babe GMO Post (Facebook)
https://www.facebook.com/thefoodbabe/posts/1133334413367935:0

(2) Food Babe Is Selling GMOs
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/food-babe-is-selling-gmos/

(3) Be A Drug Store Beauty Dropout
http://foodbabe.com/2011/07/31/how-to-find-safe-beauty-products/

(4) Throw This Out Of Your Bathroom Cabinet Immediately
http://foodbabe.com/2013/04/10/throw-this-out-of-your-bathroom-cabinet-immediately/

(5) Confirmed: Lab Tests Show… (Food Babe)
http://foodbabe.com/2014/10/10/confirmed-lab-tests-show-over-30-popular-food-products-contain-gmos-are-you-eating-them/

(6)  Difference Between Organic and Non GMO Labels (Food Babe)
http://foodbabe.com/2015/02/26/difference-between-organic-non-gmo-labels/#more-20384

David Wolfe’s Salty Product: “Bro! Mine Is Toxic!”

david wolfe on bromine

According to his product literature, David Wolfe’s Himalayan salt contains the same “toxic” element he avoids in seawater.

#DontCryWolfe
David Avocado Wolfe has once again stuck foot firmly in mouth in a YouTube video,1 encouraging a spellbound crowd at a nature retreat to avoid drinking bromine-laced seawater, urging instead the imbibing of a solution of Himalayan Pink Salt that contains–you guessed it–bromine.  And who sells this Himalayan salt?  None other than Avocado Wolfe himself.  Bromine is listed as one of the 84 elements in the salt sold by his internet store, Longevity Warehouse.2,3

As with all snake oil products, somehow, magically, David Avocado’s bromine is safer than the same bromine he says will poison you. Wolfe can’t take the “trace elements” dodge on his salt, claiming levels are too low to be harmful, as he clearly claims in his video that trace amounts of the element from sea water will build up to toxic levels over time.  By his own logic, eat enough of his salt, and you’re in the same (sinking) boat.

The YouTube salt video was recently posted by the Facebook woo-fighting page “NFBR But…”, and is a comic gold mine.  In one hilarious segment,  Wolfe tells the bald-faced lie that all of the earth’s water would levitate off the face of the planet if not for the salt in the earth’s oceans.  You’d think the crowd would realize they’re being snowed at this point and move on to something more interesting, like seagulls attempting oral sex with a manatee, but they continue listening to the con man.  I won’t waste the time of those of you who’ve studied third grade science by debunking the levitation claptrap. Instead, let’s concentrate on the consumer fraud Wolfe perpetrates on his unsuspecting followers.

The deception comes early in the video:  when questioned on the risks/benefits of consuming Himalayan salt  vs. the salt in ocean water, Avocado recommends Himalayan salt because, according to him, it doesn’t contain the element bromine.

Oops.

Wolfe’s company, Longevity Warehouse, sells Pink Himalayan salt, and they’re happy to provide a list of the “essential elements” it contains.  All you have to do is write and ask them what’s in their product.  I know, because I did.  Their reply:2

“The vendor has confirmed that the statement is referencing the book Water & Salt, The Essence of Life by Dr. Barbara Hendel MD and Peter Ferreira, which states that Himalayan salt can contain as many as 84 trace minerals. […] Attached is the list of minerals from the book for your reference.” — Longevity Warehouse  Support  Case #166810: Himalayan salt ingredients“

And from that attached list of minerals (actually, they’re elements), ladies and gentlemen, I give you… bromine:

bromine david wolfe

Bromine is one of the listed elements in David Wolfe’s Himalayan Salt.

Yes, bromine.  Hypocrisy, thy name is Avocado.

It gets worse. Exhibiting balls the size of Texas, Wolfe goes on to claim he’s tested up to ten salts in his “lab” and found that none contain bromine, except for Morton’s– a competing salt company.

One has to wonder which salts Avocado tested in order to disparage a competitor over a “toxic” element and miss the same in his own product.

This isn’t the first time the hypocrisy of Wolfe’s Himalayan salt has been laid bare for all the world to see.  In an earlier article, I pointed out that according to his own customer service reps, Wolfe’s product contains the same “toxic” heavy metals he warns the world to avoid.  At this point, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that Avocado has a full range of detoxifying books and products available for purchase, just to cure you from the very toxins he’s feeding you.

david wolfe longevity warehouse salt

Himalayan salt from Wolfe’s Longevity Warehouse.  According to his own literature, David Wolfe’s Himalayan salt contains bromine.  But he warns followers to avoid bromine!

The scariest thing about David Wolfe isn’t that he’s fleecing innocent people out of their paychecks.  It’s that he goes on to dissuade them from taking advantage of real, potentially-life saving medicine and instead dabble in nonsensical, mystical woo that could literally cost them their lives when it comes to serious medical conditions like cancer.  Please, for your sake, and the sake of loved ones, don’t share articles or memes from this man, no matter how cute or appealing they might be at first glance.

When someone tells you “X” is dangerous and then sells you a product containing “X” in the same breath, that should be your first clue that something is wrong.  Do you and your loved ones a favor this year.  #DontCryWolfe

 

Image Credits
David Wolfe/Longevity Warehouse web site screen and product snapshots are used in strict compliance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Google web site screen snapshot used in compliance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

References
(1) David Wolfe–The Importance of Salt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XJCnanT4ac

(2) Longevity Warehouse Customer Support  Case #166810: Himalayan salt ingredients
(Email response, references Hendel/Ferreira book.  See Reference 3)

(3) Water & Salt, The Essence of Life
Dr. Barbara Hendel MD and Peter Ferreira
ISBN 978-0974451510

McDonald’s Food Myth Debunked–Again

mcdonald's happy meal debunked

Please God, not again

We shouldn’t be here–again.

Making an encore appearance across countless Facebook feeds is YET another claim that McDonald’s food, left untouched for years, has gone unspoiled, ostensibly because of disgusting, harmful chemicals.

News stories trending on social media1,2 claim that a six-year-old Happy Meal looks as good (bad?) as the day it came out of the hoppers at Mickey D’s.  Says Jennifer Lovdahl, the owner of the meal:

“We did this experiment to show our patients how unhealthy this ‘food’ is.  Especially our growing children! There are so many chemicals in this food!  Choose real food!  Apples, bananas, carrots, celery…”  1

Well of course there are chemicals in the food.  Everything is made up of chemicals, including the apples, bananas, and carrots that Ms. Lovdahl adores.  But the Happy Meal not spoiling?  We already know the secret behind that.  It’s called desiccation.  In plain English, the food has dried out, leaving behind a poor environment for mold to grow.

If you’ve done even a little bit of cooking, you know that the process drives a lot of water out of the food.  All you need to do to reverse this and spoil a meal is place it in a moist environment, such as a plastic bag.

Don’t take my word for it.  Try an easy experiment at home with some McDonald’s food.  My Fear Babe co-authors and I did this recently for our book.  The results are visible in the photo below.  On the left is a McDonald’s burger left in a plastic bag for approximately two weeks.  On the right, a burger left to dry in the open air.

mcdonald's burger

McDonald’s hamburgers DO spoil. They just need moisture. (click/enlarge)

The plastic bag retained enough moisture to allow mold to grow on the burger inside.  The sandwich left outside didn’t spoil.  Our results have nothing to do with chemicals.  In fact, you can repeat this exercise with “healthy” chemical-free bread from your local organic store, and you’ll get the same results.

Why oh why are we still debunking this nonsense in 2016?

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”–Mark Twain

 

Image Credits
McDonald’s spoiled/unspoiled hamburgers by Marc Draco, from The Fear Babe.  Copyright 2015 Senapath Press.  All rights reserved.

McDonald’s happy meal news image from Lovdahl/The Independent, used under Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

References
(1) There’s Something Freakishly Disgusting About This McDonald’s Happy Meal (The Independent)
http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/theres-something-freakishly-disgusting-about-this-mcdonalds-happy-meal–bk0AyF82pe

(2) Mom shares photo of 6-year-old Happy Meal that still hasn’t spoiled (Miami Herald)
http://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article59297773.html