David Wolfe (raw food advocate)
David "Avocado" Wolfe (born August 6, 1970) is an American author and product spokesman. He promotes a variety of pseudoscientific ideas such as raw foodism, alternative medicine, and vaccine denialism.
Wolfe grew up in San Diego, California, graduated from University of California Santa Barbara, where he studied mechanical and environmental engineering and political science, then earned a law degree at the University of San Diego. According to Wolfe, he became intolerant of dairy when he was 18 and stopped consuming it, which led him to explore various diets and by the time he was 24 he was on an organic, raw food diet. He introduced the diet to Thor Bazler (then known as Stephen Arlin), who had attended the same high school as Wolfe, and this led to the founding of their company “Nature's First Law”.
Thor Bazler and Wolfe co-founded the company, "Nature's First Law" in 1995. The company sold organic food and products related to raw foodism. Wolfe and Bazler started the company selling products out of their car trunks; by 2005 the company had 23 employees and around $6 million in revenue, and had profits of $1.2 million in 2004. The company grew in part by endorsements from celebrities like Steve Jobs, Woody Harrelson, Alicia Silverstone, and Angela Bassett. By 2005 Wolfe had become an evangelist for raw foods, travelling and speaking, while Bazler stayed in San Diego and tended to the Nature's First Law business. In 2007 Nature's First Law changed its name to "Sunfood Nutrition". The relationship between Wolfe and Sunfood ended at least by 2011, and there was litigation involving personality rights. In 2012 Sunfood claimed Wolfe was defaming it.
While affiliated with Sunfood Nutrition, Wolfe also co-founded the company "Sacred Chocolate" in 2006 with Steve Adler, which sells specialized raw chocolate products.
New Horizon Health, Inc. was founded in 2009 and runs websites and businesses for which Wolfe is the "celebrity spokesperson": the e-commerce site, "Longevity Warehouse", and the subscription-based longevity web magazine, "The Best Day Ever" that Wolfe says he co-founded. New Horizon Health had $7.6M in revenue in 2013.
Wolfe has been the spokesman for NutriBullet since its inception in 2012, and has appeared in several infomercials promoting the product. Wolfe has authored and co-authored several books promoting foods and offering diet advice.
In 2004, Wolfe starred on the reality TV show Mad Mad House regularly as the naturist "alt", alternative lifestyle practitioners who served as hosts and judges for the contestant "guests". In 2004 Wolfe was part of a rock band called "The Healing Waters" that travelled the country in a vegetable-oil powered bus and performed songs including "Raw Food Girl" and "Bye Bye Burger World".
Wolfe has made statements about medical treatments that are not in keeping with the scientific and medical literature. In particular, Wolfe has stated that vaccines cause autism or otherwise harm or kill people and may not work. This claim has been discredited. Wolfe's anti-vaccination stance led to protests during a speaking tour of Australia in 2017, which had been funded in part by anti-vaccination groups. This led to the cancellation of a scheduled event after the withdrawal of a sponsor, and at least one more after a venue cancelled the booking. Wolfe also advocates that people with cancer treat it with dietary supplements and according to science writer Kavin Senapathy, he "demonizes life-saving vaccines and cancer treatments".
Wolfe promotes a diet based on unprocessed foods, stating that this has a "detoxification" effect. Detoxification has been found to be unscientific and lacking in evidence. Furthermore, he has advertised deer antler spray as being "levitational" and an "androgenic force." He also believes that gravity is toxic.
Outside of medicine, Wolfe claims that chemtrails exist, that the Earth is flat, and that the salt in the oceans prevent them from levitating away. He once posted a meme stating that solar panels drain the sun's power - although he later stated that this was not meant to be taken literally.
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- Shoebridge, Joanne; Turnbull, Samantha. (March 25, 2017). "Pro-vaccination campaigners concerned about David 'Avocado' Wolfe's sell-out event", ABC. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Hansen, Jane. (March 5, 2017). "David Wolfe: Aussie anti-vaxxers funded flat earther’s tour", The Daily Telegraph, News limited, Sydney, Australia. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
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- Engber, Daniel (10 August 2015). "That *#^% Sugar Film". Slate.
- Kasprack, Alex. (December 19, 2018). "Did David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe Post a Meme About Solar Panels Draining Light from the Sun?", Snopes.com. Retrieved December 22, 2018.