Madagascar 3: It's personal.

June 22, 2012

Sigh. We just took Akira to see Madagascar 18, I mean 3. While she thoroughly enjoyed herself, Justin and I white-knuckled our way through the movie, suppressing our fantasies of lecturing the audience. The disappointment began one minute into the film when the first goal of the gaggle of main characters is to escape their free lives in the wilderness of Africa and return to the confines of the New York zoo. Ugh.

The plot tracks this gaggle's adventure on the lam from an animal control officer who wishes to add Alex the Lion's head to her taxidermy trophy wall (see, with kids we can address killing animals in the context of a villain's work, but not our own everyday habits).

In order to catch a ride "home," the crew joins an animal circus where they experience the "joys" of performing for humans—zebras love being shot from cannons (it's like flying!), lions are thrilled to jump through hoops of fire, the primitive, speechless bear rides a bike (wow, wild animals are dumb!), the hippo is a master on the tightrope, and horse-llamas (?) love to wear makeup and dance. It is even stated outright by Alex the Lion that people don't make the magic of the circus—animals do.

This film is a clear example of how children become desensitized to the use and abuse of animals. It is full of both obvious and subtle moments that normalize the idea that some animals are to be loved, celebrated, and protected, while others are literally worth no more than garbage. On a high-speed car chase, the good animals employ their "Omega Slick" escape-tactic which involves dumping a barrel of oily fish (whether they're dead or alive is unclear) onto the road behind them in order to lose the antagonists—who incidentally run over the fish and skid to a halt.

Once the main characters finally land back in their dreary New York zoo cages, they do have a change of heart—but it only marks the desire to return to the circus. Ugh, ugh.

Are the anti-animal subtleties lost on kids amidst the 95 minutes of whizzing, zooming, flashing, crashing, dancing, songs, and maximum color-saturation? Maybe in the moment. But the naive supremacy that allows us to use and abuse animals in adulthood is a miseducation that begins in childhood—on our plates, at the zoo, and in the movies.

The one modicum of truth that I enjoyed occurred when, while jumping on a bed, a penguin's pillow explodes and he laments, "Chimichanga! These pillows are filled with baby biiiirds!" Of course, the audience "awww'ed" in sympathy while they chewed on hot dogs.

If you do go see Madagascar 3, let your kids have fun, laugh, and enjoy the crazy feats of animation. But afterwards, maybe even a couple days after—please make sure to remind them that often in cartoons, animals seem to enjoy being in the zoo and circus, but in real life, they do not.

How Processed Food is Changing the Shape of the Human Head

February 6, 2012

Leonardo Da Vinci

After an enlightening conversation with a myofunctional therapist about her work, I've been doing some fascinating reading—Daniel Lieberman's Evolution of the Human Head.

According to human history, we living today have gone soft. Somewhere down the line, between 250,000 and 1.5 million years ago, we decided it was more efficient to cook our food—less chews per bite, less force per chew. Cut to today: we've gone too far.

The average person's food is mostly cooked, blended, boiled, baked, ground, or mechanically processed in some way before it's eaten; all meat and dairy animals have been bred to have soft, chewable muscle tissue (on the extreme end, think veal—kept chained and still until young slaughter); fluffy "foods" like Twinkies and Wonderbread require little chewing at all. Plus, we hurry through meals—at least relative to primates who spend half the day eating—and thus chewing.

We don't eat like we used to. Wild animal meat is tough and elasticy, hard to break through without the teeth of a true carnivore, which we do not have. Even chimps, who eat colobus monkeys from time to time, can spend up to 11 hours chewing a few kilograms of meat, with a measly return of about 300 k/cal per hour. Wild meat—what we'd be eating if we were carnivores out in nature, is nothing like the meat people eat today (no one ever mentions this when they argue that eating meat is natural to humans).

So what has been the result of going soft? The act of chewing— using force and strain ("mechanical loading"), create osteoblasts ("bone blasts") that trigger stem cell growth in the jaw and bone tissue—just like weight-bearing activity helps builds bone mass. Eating soft food, even in one person's lifetime, contributes to narrower jaws and dental arches, crowded, smaller teeth, over and underbites. Our processed diets are actually changing the shape of the human head!

Today, orthodontic devices like retainers, expanders, and braces are nearly a right of passage rather than an exception. And dentists routinely remove wisdom teeth due to impaction even just the probability of impaction. Only about 2% of of preindustrial populations had tooth impactions vs. 24% of modern humans. We actually don't chewenough to accommodate the teeth we grow! That means our change in diet is rapidly exceeding our evolution! Which makes other consequences so obvious—for example, it seems our bodies are rejecting today's average diet and chemical overload. Cancer has now become the #1 killer in America, surpassing heart disease.

Lieberman, D.

My conclusions: Obviously, lay off processed foods. You'll ACTUALLY be helping the future of the human race. And whether you're a raw foodist or cooked vegan, chew some tough food! Especially kids who are growing! Use your teeth to crush food that takes some effort—seeds, nuts, carrots, celery; shear and tear down the cellulose in those leafy greens, grind that laver seaweed! And skip meat. We never had the teeth for it, and what you get today is nowhere near what our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have been eating anyway. Happy chewing!

Why I'm Not A Millionaire by David Wolfe

January 14, 2012

Now THIS is a leader. Hot off the press, the essay below is a letter released today by our dear friend David Wolfe. Check it out, we wish the whole world would.

WHY I'M NOT A MILLIONAIRE by David "Avocado" Wolfe

Many people think I am a millionaire. I have certainly been responsible for millions of dollars in book sales (hundreds of thousands of copies of my books have been sold in the past 12 years). I've also put my name on products that have sold in the countless millions as well (over $30 million from one of my former companies alone). And I've helped support many independent businesses that have gone on to become multimillion dollar ventures too… but I, David “Avocado” Wolfe, am not a millionaire. You are probably wondering how this could have happened. Am I a fool? Have I allowed unscrupulous people to take advantage of me?

First off, I need to clear the air: not only am I not a millionaire now, I was never a millionaire in the past, and I certainly don't want to be a millionaire anytime in the future. Many people believe I own I don't. I was offered a large percentage of the company last year and I refused. Many people believe I own, The Longevity Now® Conference… and I don’t. I love these businesses and I support their success and they support mine, but I don't have any ownership in any of them at all. I also don't own any stock in any companies… nor do I own any companies that own companies. Many people think I own lots of property too. I don't. I operate two organic farms that are mostly owned by banks and if I ever end up owning any equity in these properties at all, I will immediately donate them to charity.

Less Is More

Let me be clear: I own very little. I have an 11 year-old Jeep, one computer, a stereo that I have had since 1986, a drum set I bought in 2000, my books, my plants, enough clothes to fill a suitcase, and a few necessities (blender, grounded flip flops, toothbrush, etc.). As you can see, I don't own much at all. Why…?

The ancient Taoist Immortals embraced the philosophy of renunciation, living with the Earth, discipline, as well as abandoning attachment to worldly pleasures, wealth, and reputation as a path to longevity and health. Throughout my whole life, ever since I first saw David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine in the television program Kung Fu, I have become more and more enamored with the ascetic life of a Taoist Immortal. In addition, I believe having nothing gives you the ultimate freedom of having nothing to lose. Because when you have a lot, you have a lot to lose. One of the owners of Sunfood Nutrition, Robert Deupree, is worth an estimated $50 million. Do you really think if Mr. Deupree has to make a choice between doing the right thing and doing anything that will put his many millions in jeopardy, he will take the higher path?  His partner in Sunfood Nutrition, E. Douglas Harbison is the son of billionaire Earle Harbison who ran Monsanto for 10 years. Do you really think Mr. Harbison has any interest in selling the best superfoods on the planet if it risks putting his father's legacy in jeopardy? I don't have answers to the questions above. I only offer them as something to consider: The more things one owns, the more one has a vested interest in protecting those things s/he has acquired. I also believe that the higher one climbs on the tree of life, the thinner the branches; it's better to be somewhere towards the middle where the branches are strong and where the people who make up our world actually live. If you know me then you know that I never speak negatively about people or their companies, however I feel the time has come to protect the natural food industry with some much needed clarification. As one of the pioneers of this industry I feel this is my responsibility.

My Favorite Place in the World…

One of my favorite places in the whole world is Costa Rica. Costa Rica has no military, guns, tanks, or soldiers, at all. Do you know why? Because they don’t have any natural resources, such as gold, oil, or precious minerals that other countries value. When you have nothing others value, you have nothing to lose. And yet because I value Costa Rica’s natural attributes, with it’s deeply healing volcanic hot springs, intricate rainforest ecosystems, beautiful mountains and beaches, and fertile farmland… Costa Rica, for me, is one of the wealthiest countries on the planet.

New Ideas About Wealth

This brings me to my next question: What constitutes real wealth, anyway? There are many multimillionaires suffering in hospital beds, eating hybridized, genetically modified processed foods, who are spiritually, emotionally, and mentally confused. There are many billionaires even, suffering from poor health and unable to experience the vast number of enjoyments they have spent their life acquiring. I have few assets, and yet I’ve never lacked for anything. I’ve never eaten anything but the best food ever… slept in the best (grounded) beds ever… traveled to the most exotic lands ever… experienced the most extraordinary health ever, shared the company of the most beautiful friends and family, and most of all, met 100,000's of fantastic, wonderful people like you who are hungry for the knowledge I share. I am, in my estimation, incredibly rich — perhaps the wealthiest person in the world. Only my wealth isn’t “mine”, it’s available to anyone who chooses to reconsider where true wealth and freedom is found. And where is true wealth found? Consider the following:

  • True wealth is a peaceful state of mind.
  • True wealth is abundant physical health.
  • True wealth is spiritual connection to source energy.
  • True wealth is emotional wellness.
  • True wealth is found in serving others.
  • True wealth is knowledge of oneself, knowledge of one’s environment… and finding and following your mission in life.

In addition:

  • True wealth cannot be hoarded, only shared.
  • True wealth is not created by what one has acquired, but by what one gives away.
  • And true wealth (or happiness in oneself) is directly proportional to the happiness one brings to others.

So let’s consider that our previous notions of “wealth” and “resources” are possibly outdated and irrelevant. Let’s also consider that making money for its own sake is a meaningless and never-ending, never-fulfilling endeavor.


The last time I owned a company was in 2009 when I was the CEO (and 50% owner) of Sunfood Nutrition. When I was an “owner” of the company, I not only found myself surrounded by greedy sharks looking to use my name to sell more stuff to more people (and not caring about the quality or source of the products)… but I also found myself working harder and harder for less and less.  In fact, Sunfood Nutrition is a good, but tragic, example of what happens when the power of greed and control overtakes the power of doing some good in the world (I will share my epic battle - in exquisite detail- against the crooks at Sunfood in the future, and it is quite a story). Since July 2009 (when I was defrauded out of the company assets) I have had nothing to do with that company and I am continuously shocked at the criminality and unconscious behavior displayed by the people who run it.

A Mission-Driven Life
So you might be wondering why I continually recommend the products I love without getting rich in the process? Because it’s my mission in this life to search for the most time-tested, scientifically-researched, healthiest, most valuable (even magical) raw foods, superfoods, superherbs, and longevity technologies and share my discoveries with as many people as possible. All the money that I could have put in my pocket has been consistently reinvested back into expanding our choices and broadening all of our horizons.It is my mission to give a voice to the healthiest choices ever — especially those that have yet to see their day in the Sun. It’s not about making tons of money. It never has been. It is about the mission and the message. I have found this to be true of nearly every great achiever I have ever met — their mission and message in life comes first. And the one thing I really want is a planet that is filled with: the best foods, the best herbs, the most extraordinary organic farms, massive wild tracts of land, and the healthiest humans possible.
  • A planet where we are all supported in implementing the best solutions ever to overcome our health challenges.
  • A planet that works for 100% of humanity and supports the spiritual health of all living things.
  • A planet that has put the LOVE back into every project and endeavor.
The more I share the knowledge I have been gifted… the closer, I believe, this dream to be. There have been BIG changes for the better in the global health scene and in our world in general over the last 20 years. We are making progress.

The Proper Role of Money

So where does the role of money fit into all of this?
We must appreciate the power of money and understand its important role in making things happen in the world. Money is not the root of evil; it is a very powerful—but also limited—force. Without money, there is no way we can ship thousands of kilos of organic, non-GMO, non-CCN-51 hybrid cacao from the jungles of Ecuador to a store shelf in the United States. We cannot package and distribute cacao just because we want to, we require money to make that happen. At the same time, I cannot use money to improve my spiritual practice or to achieve a peaceful heart; to do that I require discipline, hard work, and concentration. Again, money is not the root of evil… but it’s not the root of everlasting happiness either. We need a balanced approach in our understanding of what money can and cannot do for us. Which brings me to my last point:

If I don’t want to own anything, why don’t I do everything for free?
My answers are simple: I have put out hundreds of high-quality education videos out on the Internet for free—more, I believe, than any other health activist in the world. I have also spoken at countless events for free in my career, but have I found that whenever I give too much away for free—it is less valued, easily discarded, or not appreciated. Too many free events attract takers and drainers (or “drainbows”) and those who feel entitled. In addition, I believe in a fair energy-exchange. The information I produce and products I recommend create jobs and income for thousands of hard-working people. I have always felt the obligation to support my contractors, suppliers, and farmers, even at great personal sacrifice to myself. The products I create and distribute are good for the majority of people in every area: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual and are based on my 20+ years of research. Not everything is for everybody, but by working with probabilities, I know most people will discover something unique and special in what I have to offer. And in quality the stuff I bring to the market is unsurpassed in the health food and natural products industry because my field experience has given me the connections no one else has.

Ignoring the "Whiners"

My experience has been that the people who whine and complain about money (or anything for that matter), are the people who daily do what they hate and who are the most disconnected from their mission. These types of people often fall into the “drainbow” category — they take or attack but rarely give or appreciate. As a consequence, these types of people don’t want to do too much, but they expect a lot in return. They often believe that anyone who makes it in the world did so through fraud and deceit, instead of through hard work and integrity. I work very hard, seventeen, eighteen hours most days. I am a firm believer that hard work combined with solid motivation (wanting little for oneself) and integrity along with a powerful life-mission (wanting a lot for others) creates an effortless, almost imperative desire to continually do the right thing. I am not saying I have always done the right thing. Mistakes happen and are part of life. Nor am I doing the only right thing; I am doing what I perceive is right for me. What is right for you? I don’t know. That is for you to consider. My hope is that we can work together to spiritually put money in its correct and appropriate role until such time as humanity has moved past the need for money. The true wealth of friendships, deeper connections to source energy, spiritual peace, health, and tranquility of mind will be our reward.

Written by: David “Avocado” Wolfe, January 2012 Founder of the non-profit Fruit Tree Planting Foundation ( Author of: The Sunfood Diet Success System Eating For Beauty Naked Chocolate Amazing Grace Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future Chaga: King of the Medicinal Mushrooms The LongevityNOW Program Host of over 2500 health events worldwide.