Please don’t. I’ve had to rant at a few people lately who credulously post these superficially cool memes that dissolve into absolutely unworkable nonsense when you think critically about them for even a moment, and they’re all coming from this persistent self-promoter named David Avocado Wolfe. Worst of all, I’m seeing these coming from atheist and skeptic groups, people I’d expect to put a little more thought into the evaluation of claims.

This guy is a cancer quack, and is marketing New Agey supplements that are supposed to do magical things for your body. For instance, he’s selling Himalayan Crystal Salt, which he claims contains 84 natural, essential elements (note that he’s careful not to call them “chemicals”, which are all bad). In addition to sodium and chloride, like the cheap stuff you buy at the grocery store, it also contains trace elements (also like any food grade product you buy at the store), which includes arsenic and plutonium.

Wolfe is a no-talent, incompetent, dishonest fraud: the one skill he has to an extreme degree is in marketing, and the only thing he markets is himself. If you push something at me from David Wolfe, I will cut you off completely.


  1. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    84 elements!?!?!
    everything but the “Rare Earths” I suppose. I wonder how he gets the Nobles to bond. One of the few missing elements better be Hg (Mercury), biology don’t work too good with Mercury. Also a problem with Pb.
    I guess he could be claiming that all the elements we consider poison are only so due to dose; that in trace amounts are more healthy than lack thereof.

  2. quotetheunquote says

    I’m a little worried about the source of that plutonium … random fall-out from old atmospheric H-bomb tests?

  3. says

    I’m reminded of Deepak Chopra’s online schlock, like his $128 “Dosha Harmonizing Necklace”* – but as scammy and woo-ey as that stuff is, it’s not aimed directly at the pockets of people with serious disease (or at least not _openly_ so). Wow, this Wolfe guy is something else.

    *For the curious: The necklace is a “Collection of Blessed Gem Stones designed to Balance Pitta”. But we all knew that, right?

  4. birgerjohansson says

    If it was uranium salt I would be interested. If you dissolve it in water, Richard Zubrin suggests you could use it to power a nuclear rocket engine.
    But do not try that at home. NOT good for your Health.

  5. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @6:
    doesn’t eating Ur give one superpowers. Marvel doesn’t want you to try what they portray in their comics, donchanoe????

  6. says


    Wolfe believes “mushrooms are from space”, “chocolate is an octave of sun energy” and deer antler is “a cosmic substance”[7] (a product he promotes and sells). He is also a gravity denialist:[8]

    Gravity is not intrinsic to matter. That Carl Sagan idea that was sold to us on Cosmos on PBS, was sold to us deliberately to actually confuse us just so you know that. There’s people who have known that gravity is a force that can be displaced. There’s people that have known that since the 50s or even earlier than that. But by screwing up, confusing our mind about things, and giving us incorrect theories we were brain washed into a totally different belief system. That gravity is intrinsic to all matter, we’re fighting gravity, we have to push our way through gravity to launch a craft up into outer space, all this nonsense.

    Wolfe is also the co-founder of TheBestDayEver.com, an online so-called health magazine.[9]

    Most of his material is unoriginal; taken from other sources. He frequently takes alternative medicine and food woo meme pictures from other questionable sites, puts his own watermark on them, and posts them to his Facebook page.

    He holds pricey weekend getaways at substandard campsites, and has been accused of sexually harrassing at least one of the attendees.[10]

  7. Igneous Rick says

    There is a pink salt from Utah that is similar to Himalayan salt (and half the price), sold by Real Salt. It is quite tasty, and the company doesn’t make the woo nonsense claims that are usually associated with the Himalayan. I also imagine that Pakistani mining standards may not be quite as environmentally friendly as those in the states.

  8. blf says

    Wolfe believes “mushrooms are from space”…

    Mr Carnivorous Avocado didn’t get that quite right. As the mildly deranged penguin points out, whilst MUSHROOMS! do migrate through space, they very definitely originated on assorted planets. Many planets, in fact, fungus might just be one of the things the evolution sky faerie has a fondness for, besides bugs.

  9. blf says

    Mr Carnivorous Avocado’s entry in The Encyclopedia of American Loons is, as usual, entertaining:

    Youtube is a blessing for snakeoil salesmen, conspiracy theorists and loons. I don’t know how successful David Wolfe’s products have been in particular, but at least youtube has enabled him to spread the word about his revolutionary insights into the field of medicine, things that no one else has noticed or your doctor don’t want to tell you, and a range of remarkable products you can buy to help you deal with his nefarious, entirely made-up woes and ills. Indeed, he has “over 16 years of dedicated experience and understanding of the inner workings of the human body,” which seems to mean that he has peddled nonsense for the better part of two decades. […]

    Did you, for instance, know that dirty electricity is all around you? Well, at least Wolfe is ready to tell you about the dangers of iPads, Kindles, or merely sitting in a room full of electronics. Without proper grounding you will be exposing yourself to harmful radiation (the science behind the claims is, shall we say, a little woolly). Fortunately, Wolfe has the solution — you can buy his [… stuff …], and magically clear yourself of this dark side of electricity.

    [… A]ccording to himself Wolfe is “the rock star of the superfoods and longevity world, America’s TOP CEOs, Global Ambassadors, Hollywood celebrities, busy professionals, […] all look to David for expert advice in health, beauty, herbalism, nutrition and chocolate!” […]

    Diagnosis: Plenty to pick from, but Wolfe’s product line must count as one of the more ridiculous ones even on the Internet. […]

  10. microraptor says

    Caine @10:

    Well, we all know that the trick to flying is to throw yourself at the ground and miss, after all.

  11. unclefrogy says

    funny I never heard of Himalayan Crystal Salt before today but was reading an instrustables page on how to make a perfect cup of coffee which used pink salt and eggshells, sorry but I am not going to add salt to my coffee though there are a few things that do enhance coffee.
    a magic cure for everything ? he should use his cures to cure himself and then I “may listen” maybe a little bit (not!)
    uncle frogy

  12. anbheal says

    @3 quotetheunquote — that may have been a PZ typo. Spectrometer analysis of Himalayan salt (which is from one of the world’s bigger salt mines in Pakistan) shows uranium and POLONIUM, not plutonium. And Giliel is right, it confers a rather nice sea-salt-plus-something snap to the Maillard browning effect on chicken and pork and beef. Not bad for dry-brining either,

  13. rrhain says

    Two things:

    I am reminded of a juice bar that had advertisements for a product, “ionic colloidal minerals.” It, too, listed nearly the entire periodic table, claiming that you needed everything. The ones they knew would freak people out (mercury, uranium, plutonium) were not listed. But, on a lark, I decided to check out what the various biological effects of the elements are and, as I found out, most are toxic and/or have pretty nasty side effects (such as really nasty body odor).

    Oh, and arsenic was one of the ones listed.

    @10, Caine: Well, to be fair, there is a difference between inertial mass (F = ma) and gravitational mass (F = Gm1m2/r^2). They aren’t the same thing (if there were no such thing as gravity, you’d still be able to measure mass) and they don’t have to give identical results. It just so happens that as closely as we can measure, they do. It’s because they are the same that all objects fall at the same rate under gravity (ignoring resistance).

    But let’s not pretend that he’s smart enough to know this and is trying to obfuscate the disconnect between inertia and gravity. Gravity is intrinsic to matter. It’s one of the defining properties.

  14. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Spectrometer analysis of Himalayan salt (which is from one of the world’s bigger salt mines in Pakistan) shows uranium and POLONIUM, not plutonium.

    That makes sense. You should be able to see all the decay products from uranium to lead if you look hard enough, which includes polonium.

  15. Rey Fox says

    chocolate is an octave of sun energy

    Ye gods, that sounds like a Beck lyric. Overfed electric comatose, riding in the air, invisible socks.

  16. says

    Wolfe is a dangerous quack in wolf’s clothing. But, PZ, I hope you don’t mean it when you say “If you push something at me from David Wolfe, I will cut you off completely.” The point of the #DontCryWolfe campaign isn’t to cut people off, but to take the time to start a dialogue, to explain why sharing Wolfe posts/graphics is harmful. There are plenty of well-meaning people who simply don’t know any better.