What’s worth more? A $20 bill or a bottle of wine?
In a pinch, I’ve realized real world pleasures like wine can be worth more than cold hard cash.
With rising food inflation and obvious issues with our supply chains, it’s a good time to make sure you’re stocked up on provisions for whatever life throws at you.
Which is why, even if you don’t drink or you’re not drinking right now, having a supply of high quality biodynamic natural wines can be a worthy alternative investment. (Hey there legal eagles, this is not investment advice.)
When a friend recently turned down payment in the form of money—actually a couple of crisp $20 bills, he just would not take them—but he gladly accepted our bottle of wine.
And that just reinforced the notion that having a diversity of items available to barter and trade could come in mighty handy in the future that we’re facing.
So returning to the show today is our very good friend, Todd White.
Todd is a serial entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and founder of our all-time favorite supplier of natural biodynamic and organic wines, Dry Farm Wines.
After 15 years in the wine business, Todd’s life is dedicated to educating and helping people make better choices about food, nutrition and how they think about consuming alcohol.
We’re getting into some fun and interesting topics on today’s show, including:
- How social interaction with friends, family and the community is a nutrient that we all need
- Daily practices like gratitude, meditation and fitness at home
- How to spread love and inspire each other, especially in workplace environments
- Social media and fake news burnout
- Why it’s cool to barter with gifts from the land
- And tons more…
Let’s go hang out with Todd.
Todd White: Biodynamic Wine & Living In Service To Others
Abel: Returning to the show today is our friend, Todd White.
Todd is a serial entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and founder of our all-time favorite supplier of natural biodynamic and organic wines, Dry Farm Wines.
After fifteen years in the wine business, his life is dedicated to educating and helping people make better choices about food, nutrition, and how they think about consuming alcohol.
Thanks so much for joining us, Todd.
Hey, man, happy to be back.
Great to see you. It’s been so long, too long.
Abel: Too long.
Last time I saw you was at your house in Colorado.
Abel: Isn’t that crazy?
Yeah, and I’m so used to seeing you and people like you, a lot of our friends on the conference circuit, on the speaking circuit, mastermind circuit, and just house party circuit, and all of that.
Wow, we’re in withdrawal right now. You said that you’re normally traveling all the time, bringing boxes of wine and being the life of the party, meeting so many great people, so many hugs.
You’re a great hugger, by the way.
But I hear you haven’t traveled since February.
And at first, that was nice because it was over the top for a while and you get a break, but now, it’s been going for a while.
Yeah, so I haven’t travelled in six months with the pandemic.
And so at first, it was, “Gosh!”
I expect everybody ran this wave, this wave of the cycle that has been the pandemic, which was, at first, well, for you, living out in nature and far away from an airport, it probably wasn’t as dramatic.
But for me, I was traveling every other week somewhere. Going to Europe, where we work with small family farms all across Europe.
And I was scheduled to be in Japan this year. I was scheduled to be in South Africa this year.
All of these trips got canceled.
And at first, it was super weird just to be not only grounded, not moving around and not feeding that curiosity and that adventure to travel, not feeding that.
And so to be grounded was one thing. But then, there was all this fear and unknown about the virus, right?
And then there’s this extreme lockdown in the beginning, and so my gym closes.
So I go to the gym every day and I like to lift weights.
And so just part of my whole, everything just changed so radically.
At first, it just seemed like… then I fell a bit off of my food protocol. I couldn’t feel like I would get the right food.
And then just the whole weirdness of it all—I was just eating more, not as focused, drinking more, not as focused.
And that went on for a month or two.
And then in the beginning, I was also thinking, “I really want some purpose for this time. I don’t want this time just to be without meaning,” right?
Abel: Right, totally.
So I was thinking about that a lot, but I couldn’t get focused in the beginning.
And so the whole thing was just so weird and I was just trying to just numb out a bit.
That went on for a month or two.
And then it was like, “Okay, you know, I’ve got to get back on program and sort of be on my game.”
And well, at that point I started really experimenting, as we were talking about earlier, experimenting much more with the extended water fasting.
So in fact, today, I’m just starting out a 5-day water fast.
I did a five-day water fast 2 weeks ago, too.
And so, I guess this time really has been focused more on fasting.
And also on mental health, just really staying in a spiritually-attuned space and making sure that we’re all staying mentally healthy.
I think that’s a really important thing to focus on right now.
So anyway, that’s been my pandemic journey.
The thing I miss most at the moment is the gym, right?
Abel: Yeah, yeah.
Just have enough weights to push around.
So anyway, so that’s the thing I’m looking forward to getting back to.
But I expect it’s going to be still awhile before I’m going to be comfortable going back to the gym.
Importance of Designing Your Daily Routine
Abel: Yeah, and it’s so important to recognize that these are all cycles.
Some of them are within our control, some without our control.
And so the things out of our control at this moment limit where we can go, limit access to our gyms, limit access to outdoor spaces, in some cases.
And so assuming that they would be temporary and go away pretty soon, a lot of us just try to cope with it through escapism, with drinking too much, eating too much, playing video games, watching old sports or movies or whatever.
And then we’re like, “Oh, no, This is still going to go on for a minute.”
We need new strategies here.
What are our goals?
How do we reinvent our whole daily routine, weekly, monthly routine?
For you, from where I’m standing, you’re one of the—one of the reasons I like you and love you so much is because you work so hard and you’re not shy about it.
And you’re so generous with other people, your time, your energy, you’re on your feet.
So anyone who doesn’t know, Todd is very generous, giving away wine a lot of the time, especially when he first meets people. Letting people try it, making it a big, fun occasion.
Carrying boxes, cooking food, just running across town at all these different conferences across North America and across the world.
So you take that away and you’re not allowed to travel, you can’t go to the gym, Todd, especially with you.
You’re a bit more advanced in age than I am and you’re always in great shape.
I’m sure a lot of that is functional fitness from lifting all those wine boxes, and you lift them with a good form because you have to, and you know what happens when you don’t.
But you’re also very consistent with gratitude, meditation, working out, and everything was dialed and working for you.
So you take all these things that are out of your control and it’s a bump in the road, and we all have to adjust in our own ways because all of our situations are so different now.
Thankfully, I do have some weights at home, and that’s what I’ve been using for a long time.
But especially people who don’t have them, never used them, trying to get them now, it’s like, “Good luck! They’re all sold out or the price is gouged.”
Getting home workout equipment is super hard now. It’s like getting toilet paper or something.
So, what I wanted to get into is the cycles. So, because you can’t work out as much, because you’re not spending so much energy, you are going in a cycle of experimenting with extended fasting.
Whereas, before, you’re doing the one meal a day protocol for a few years.
So, how does the water fast compare?
Are you taking salt? Or are you taking any supplementation, or are you just going with water?
No, it’s just with water.
I’ve stayed on my workout, so I just don’t have really heavy workouts.
I’m doing body work, I’m doing bungee cords, I have a few dumbbells, but it’s not the same as like going in a gym and pushing some really heavy weight around.
Because my former resistance training program was, I was really focused on super heavy weights and limited repetitions.
So I was doing 90% of my one rep max for typically 3 or 4 reps. So it was very effective for me.
I enjoyed it because I just didn’t really like all the movement associated with 3 sets of 12 reps.
And so, I’ve adapted a heavier regiment after talking with Mark Sisson.
And I had talked a lot about it. So, that really worked well for me, but I’ve stayed on top of my body work.
But for the fasting, so I’ve been eating one meal per day for more than three years.
And before that, for a couple of years, I was on the Leangains method of 16/8—eating 2 meals in an 8-hour window, fasting for 16 hours.
And I did that for about 2 years.
And then about 3 or so years ago, I went to one meal a day. Which for me was like a radical advancement in my wellness.
When I went to eating one meal per day, for me, that is different.
But it took about a month or 6 weeks to get acclimated to eating once per day, mainly the psychological issues associated with it.
People are like, “Oh, let’s meet for lunch.”
“Well, I don’t eat lunch.”
Or sometimes, I would still meet people and they would eat, and then people get weird about that and they’re like, “Aren’t you hungry?”
And I say, “No, I’m not hungry.”
But the psychological…
We usually eat, not because we’re hungry, we eat because we are bored, or we want a break, or entertainment. Food is entertainment.
And so, especially if you’re keto or if you experiment with fasting, you realize that you don’t generally eat just like on an airplane.
You don’t eat on an airplane because you’re hungry. You eat on an airplane because you want something new.
And not because the food’s great, but just because you’re bored.
So, I’ve been experimenting with 3 to 5 day water fasts. Sometimes, I do a 3-day. Sometimes, I do a 5-day.
I’ve been doing these at least once a month, sometimes, twice a month.
I did one two weeks ago.
My experience with it is that after 3 days, if I go the extra 2 days where I’ve done 7 days straight, but anything after three doesn’t really feel like it’s doing as much.
Abel: Interesting, yeah.
But the first 3 days, day 2 is always the hardest for me.
And then after day 3, it’s just kind of benign. It’s just, you’re just gliding. You’re not hungry.
It doesn’t feel like there’s any struggle left.
Peter Attia, he was like somebody I follow as a doctor and a scientist.
And Peter Attia says—and I believe this—but he really is the one who coined this about fasting.
He’s like, “Fasting is probably the most powerful medicinal modality that we have. The problem with it is we don’t know how to dose it.”
And so, there’s just not enough science out there about how much is needed?
Do you get most of the benefit in the first 48 hours, or the first 60 hours?
For me, it seems that most of the benefits are the first 72 hours, that’s a struggle though.
That’s when I’m feeling cellular. I’m feeling my body sort of just getting all that glycogen just dispensed, right?
Abel: Yeah, totally.
You can feel the ketones in your brain, you can feel that struggle.
So it’s not always comfortable, but somehow, I just know it makes me feel better.
Really allows me to stay dialed into my wellness.
So anyway, I guess during the pandemic the way that I can kind of stay where I need to stay during this period has been fasting.
As we were talking about before we started recording, with this weird time, the days are long, but the months are short.
And so the months just roll by, even though sometimes the days seem to just drag by. And then we’re also not seeing people.
And so this lack of connection, that is really hard. Particularly, for people like me.
In my organization, we meditate every day together, now 50 people.
And so we meditate every day. Now, we do it via Zoom.
I’m going to be recording with you, but our group meditation starts at 10am in the morning, which is like in 20 minutes Pacific time.
And so our group will meditate together via Zoom, and then have a gratitude session and other practices that last about an hour.
I have an individual meditation practice that I do individually every morning when I get up that lasts about 30 minutes.
And so my meditation practices, body work, focus on diet.
Everything’s remained pretty much the same since after the beginning of this.
In the very beginning, it was just super weird.
I was still meditating, but I didn’t feel like I was as dialed in.
I gained about 8 or 10 pounds in pandemic weight for about over a month.
And I really feel like I looked at this any different at this, but then I just shredded. I went keto again, got into longer fasts, and just shredded it off.
But yeah, the days are long and the months are short.
That’s been kind of the theme, and the lack of connectivity.
Abel: Yeah, that’s what really does it.
To see our friends and people that we work with, who we’re super connected with, seeing people, touching people, like others.
Just that lack of connection with other people, I think is probably something that’s worth thinking about.
The Nutrient of Social Interaction
Abel: It’s a nutrient.
Socializing, community dinners, getting together with friends, bring your own food, just transferring energy, giving and taking with each other, supporting each other, learning, fighting.
Getting into impassioned fights sometimes is very entertaining and lovely. And when you rip away the in-person connection…
One thing that I hate to see is a lot of these people who normally we’re getting together with and laughing with, are fighting on social media and driving stakes through their relationships, when this never, never, ever would have happened if we had been able to get together and talk through whatever the disagreements may have been.
You and I have one particular friend that we share in common who’s just been this thing on social media that they’ve been embroiled in.
It’s just like, “Oh my god, who has the time or the energy?”
I just, I don’t even comment to any of that one way or the other. I just can’t be involved in that.
Abel: Well, and it’s how it’s designed, right?
And that’s one of the things that is just becoming more and more obvious, I think.
That social media—and the way that people have been connecting with each other, virtually online—has been co-opted to really divide us.
And you can see it playing out all around where these platforms are meant to get you into this aroused state where you’re usually overly anxious, kind of annoyed, reading things that just set you off.
And then you’re typing as fast as you can, and before you can think through it, before you even think about if you really mean it, you hit enter and it posts. And then you’re on the hook forever.
And that’s just not how humans are meant to interact with each other.
Yeah. Personally, I just don’t get engaged in it, irrespective of my belief system. I just can’t get engaged.
It’s just like a no-win battle. So fortunately, we’re very active, we’re very active on social media.
Millions and millions of people see our messaging, but all of our messaging is inspirational.
Abel: Not fear-based, not making you feel like you’re missing out and a terrible person if you don’t have our product, which is how most of that is working now.
Yeah, our most popular posts on social media are always inspirational quotes.
They’re the ones that get the most amount of engagement, they’re the ones that get the most shares and the most likes.
And even though we produce beautiful media, the thing that gets the most engagement are the series of daily inspirational quotes that we do sometimes are about wine, sometimes they’re about life, sometimes they’re just funny.
We do like 20 posts a day on all our social channels. And the inspirational quotes are always the ones that get the highest engagement.
And so for us, it’s just better to spread love. I don’t need to spread anything but love.
I don’t need to spread anything political for myself, I don’t.
That environment is so toxic, especially now.
So, we just think that if we just spread love and inspire people to live a higher and better life.
And to help them think about living an inspired life, that’s our contribution to social media.
Our contribution to social media is not to get involved in politics or spewing disagreements with people.
Clearly because we spread love, clearly we believe everyone should be free, everybody should have justice and liberty.
We publish a magazine and in the front of it, I write kind of a founder letter.
And it was so weird this week we, the subject of the letter is impermanence and how it relates to our current time and how this too shall pass.
And that for thousands of years impermanence has cycled in these ways, and humanity has been through terrible consequences for thousands of years.
And we have come back stronger, better, smarter, more innovative than ever, and this will happen again.
We will reach new heights that we’ve never dreamed we could have reached before, on a human level as well as on an innovation level on things we’ll get back.
There will be another surge of hope and opportunity that will happen. It has always happened, it will happen again this time. This will pass.
The point I’m telling you about this letter was that at the end, I wrote that we should be using this time to celebrate our ability to choose our own way.
As Victor Frankl said, to adapt and to choose our own way.
And I went on to say that we hope everyone chooses freedom and we encourage liberty, and use these words, liberty and freedom.
And during the editing process, some of my colleagues came back and said, “These words sound too political.”
I was like, “When did freedom and liberty become political? It’s the foundation of our country.”
It’s like, “Well, they’ve been co-opted by certain political figures now, and it sounds like you’re being political when you use words like freedom and liberty.”
And I was like, “Well, that’s crazy.”
But so anyway, we end up taking them out and just saying, “Hey,” and we replace them largely with our favorite topic, which is around encouraging people to love one another more, to bask in the service of each other.
So recently, a young lad asked me, “What’s the purpose of life?”
And I said, “Well, my thinking is, the purpose of life is to be in the service of others.”
And that that’s our most noble act is to be in the service of others, like you do.
Your whole life has been based on serving others and helping their quest for better health or to lose weight or to reach a higher plateau or a higher place.
So, to live a life in the service of others.
But I was just taken aback a bit when these young colleagues of mine came and said, “That really sounds like certain political-speak to talk about liberty and freedom.”
And I was like, “That’s so American,” right?
And we did, the only thing that we got involved in this year on social media—because we felt it was right was—we did do a couple posts about freedom and that in our deep belief that none of us are free until we’re all free.
And so we did, but we didn’t engage. And we didn’t get any negative pushback on it either.
It was during this time when Black Lives Matter and all of this kind of the protests, man, have been crazy.
Social Media & Fake News Burnout
Abel: Yeah, yeah, there’s a whole lot going on that’s clearly out of hand and the co-opting is on every side.
It’s everywhere, and the propaganda is everywhere.
It’s inescapable. And anyone who’s talking about science or they say that they have the solution or they have the answer or they have all the data are deluding themselves.
This is a giant mess. It’s kind of chaos and it does seem like it’s on purpose to some degree, so we do have to adapt.
There are many things that are out of our control, but others that are within it.
And one of the things that I think is important is to highlight the fact that freedom and liberty are words that are too political.
I’ve had similar criticisms, where I’m talking about food and they’re just like, “That’s political.”
And I’m like, “Well, everything’s political now then, because this is ridiculous.”
We need to be able to use words.
We need to be clear, too, on what those words mean.
And one of the problems is people now have different definitions and connotations for the very same words.
Yeah, and a lot of this is by design with social media.
It’s just crazy. I don’t know, it’s just so out of control.
I’m not sure where it goes from here. And now you’ve got these armed militias that are showing up at protests and people are getting shot.
It’s just like, I don’t live in any of that. You don’t either.
Because I live in the country and I live in a tiny, tiny town where there’s not even a single case of Coronavirus in my town.
It’s like, I live in the middle of Napa Valley, but it’s very remote.
Because of the zoning laws here, there’s a lack of development. There’s a lack of density because it’s mainly farmland.
And so, even though it’s an hour and a half from San Francisco, the further you get from an airport, from a major airport, then the more isolated you’re going to be.
You live 4 hours from an international airport.
So the further you live from the airport, the more likely you are to be removed from many of these kinds of problems, right?
Abel: Yeah, yeah.
So it’s like air quality in Denver that we were talking about, the further you get away from these things, then the healthier your life is going to be, although you may end up being isolated.
Abel: Right. That’s the trade-off.
It requires more effort to go somewhere. It’s a trade-off.
But I don’t know what’s coming. It’s hard to imagine what’s next.
Abel: It is, yeah.
It’s just so bizarre.
I mean at some point you have to believe, or I believe, at some point this will result in a higher connected consciousness.
I mean at some point people will burnout on this, start looking for other sources of connectivity.
Now social media is a big part of your business and mine in reaching customers and educating people.
We use it for education. But at some point, all these people who are sort of engaging in it with all this fake news, at some point this will stop.
They just won’t have any more of it.
They’ll just burnout from it.
Abel: Yeah, I think some people are getting frighteningly close to that already.
They’re going to need to seek higher consciousness.
They’re going to need to find a higher spiritual path or a connection to the universal source, which you can easily tap into through meditation or other spiritual practices.
Abel: But not through a computer.
No, not in front of a screen. I believe that there will be a breaking point.
I don’t know when that’s going to be, the breaking point. I mean with individuals where they have to seek something other than this output of this stream of anxiety.
Abel: Yes, yeah. You can’t just live in that state forever. You have to shake it off.
You have to find a way or life will find a way for you.
But I have to tell you a story, Todd.
Bartering With Gifts From The Land
Abel: Thinking just about the repercussions of everything that’s going down and the increasing instability and just the feeling that the rug is being pulled out from a lot of our feet.
I’ve been thinking about the financial system, monetary system and the amount of money printing that’s going on and how the value of people’s savings have been just decimated. And that will continue to be a giant problem.
But anyway this is a couple of months ago, our truck broke down and we’re in, like you said, 4 hours away from an airport.
We’re in the high desert at 8,000 feet.
It gets real up here when you break down.
And we just needed a new battery for our truck, no big deal.
But we called up one of our new friends here in Colorado, and he was kind enough to come out after not too long and help us jump it.
And we’re just like, “Man, we really appreciate it, you really helped us out. Can we give you $20 or $40 bucks?
And he’s like, “Nah, nah, nah.”
We’re like, “Please, you really did help us.”
And he’s just like, “No, forget about it.”
And then Alyson ran inside and grabbed a bottle of Dry Farm Wines and was just like, “How about a bottle of wine?”
And he says like, “Oh, I can’t turn that down. Thank you. Yeah, absolutely, I’ll take that.”
And it made it clear to me that these little paper dollars that we have, when it gets real out there, they don’t have that much value.
But a bottle of wine, real life things that you can store, that have value to each other, that have kind of like a cultural meaning behind them, that’s going to be more important than ever.
And I would so much rather barter a wheel of cheese or a bottle of wine, than be trading these dollars around.
So that was just a really nice reframing of wine for me.
Because there’s so much history, there’s so much to fall in love with.
So maybe we can just rant about that for a little bit.
Well, wine is a gift of love.
And wine is the only alcohol—not the only, but of the generally commercially available alcohol beverages—wine is the only one that, in the case of our wines, like in natural wines and small family farms where the same person who planted the vine or attended to the vine and harvested the grape also fermented the juice and made the wines.
It’s all this kind of communication from the place where it’s grown to the person who grew it and fermented—it’s all one person, one family.
Right, so it’s sort of their gift of land. And their gift of place is in the bottle.
That’s not true for beer, where the hops are grown by somebody or spirits where the potatoes in vodka or corn or hops, those are all grown by somebody else and somebody else makes the alcohol.
But on a small family farm, with wine, when it comes to you in the bottle, it’s coming with the spirit of that farm and that farmer.
And so it’s a really special communication, and wine is love.
I don’t drink during the daytime. But I do drink wine every night, except when I’m on a water fast.
And usually that’s sharing wine with other people, and wine is just like sharing love. And it’s just elevating.
And so in addition, our wines are lower in alcohol, so you can actually drink more of it and you’re still staying in this cognitive connected space,
People are super surprised when they hear the wine guy say that alcohol is a very dangerous neurotoxin.
It ruins millions of people’s lives every year.
And so we have to be thoughtful about it, and we want to stay in a cognitively connected space.
So, drinking lower alcohol means that we can drink more, or as much, without the same negative effects.
And to really introduce that idea and concept to people and then have them experience it. And if they’re regular wine drinkers and they try to go back and drink these commercial wines, you can’t drink them, right?
Fortunately for our business, people are still drinking during the pandemic, and fortunately in California, we’re an essential business.
And so we’ve been able to continue to help people live a healthier life drinking lower alcohol, better quality organic or biodynamic wines that are pure.
But yeah, sharing. There’s something about sharing when you give somebody a bottle of wine, there’s a certain warmth that you can feel.
It’s not like giving someone money. It’s not giving them, actually, many things.
There’s just something about a bottle of wine that people just find it’s just a very warm communication, so I appreciate you sharing that with your neighbors also.
Abel: Yeah, well, of course. It really was a good example to me of just like, yeah, look at it from his perspective.
You give someone $20 or $40 bucks. What does that feel like compared to you sharing one of your favorite wines with them?
It’s a completely different exchange, and one that will be permitted with people you love, with your friends.
Whereas to some degree, money is designed to be transactional and dehumanizing, to sever that connection between us, and take away the meaning of what we’re even exchanging.
Yeah, that was really powerful for me.
And because you want to think of like, “Alright, when the grid goes down, what do you have of value that you could trade?”
And wine is one of the biggest things that we have.
And it’s a thing that you can feel good about sharing with anyone who doesn’t have problems with alcohol, obviously.
Natural Biodynamic Wines VS. Commercial Wines
Abel: But another thing I want to talk about there is giving him a bottle of commercial wine would have been a completely different feeling for me and experience for him.
So let’s talk about the differences there because like you said, I have not gone back to commercial wines.
I’ve tried a couple of times. Have a sip of this, if we’re at a bar or whatever. And you want to spit it out.
You almost get a headache immediately.
You’re like, “This is not real wine.”
So let’s talk about the low standards for a minute compared to what wine actually should be.
Well, here’s the problem with commercial wines, commercial wines are everything that is not natural.
Natural wines are a very, very tiny category in wine.
Less than one-tenth of 1% of all the wines in the world are natural.
There are only about 1200 natural wine farms in the world, and we work with about 800 or 900 small family farms that grow these natural wines.
Because the only thing that’s in a natural wine is fermented grapes.
That’s not true of commercial wines.
All the wines that you see in the grocery store, or all those hundreds of thousands of bottles in shelf after shelf after shelf, most of those wines are made by just a handful of companies.
Because what’s happened in the wine industry is the same thing that’s happened in our food supply.
It’s been massive corporate consolidation, really focused on money and greed.
And so they’re not trying to make wine better or healthier, they’re trying to make it cheaper and faster.
And so to do that, you use additives and chemicals. There are 76 additives approved by the FDA for the use in wine making.
Now, consumers don’t know that, they don’t know about these 76 additives.
And some of them are natural, but some of them are quite toxic.
And so they don’t know about the these 76 additives, because the wine industry has spent millions of dollars in lobby money to keep contents labeling off of wine.
So wine is really the only major food product without its contents on the label.
Because they don’t really want you to know what’s in it. Right?
Abel: It’s so grim.
Yeah, there could be, it could have been treated with the most toxic chemical that is dimethyl dicarbonate which is a legally approved additive.
If you look up dimethyl dicarbonate on Wikipedia, you’ll see “Main hazards: Toxic”
And so we believe, like you believe, in transparency.
So, we believe there should be a contents label and a nutritional label on a bottle of wine.
If you choose to drink dimethyl dicarbonate that’s your decision and I don’t have any feelings about that one way or the other, but personally I don’t want to drink it.
And I think you should have that choice to know what’s in it.
And so this lack of labeling, this lack of transparency and these practices of using these chemicals in wine-making is universal.
Because here’s the problem with natural wine, there’s not a lot of money in it.
You can’t make natural wine in very large quantities, which is why we have to work with so many farmers.
You can only make it in small quantities, primarily because it’s additive-free and because it’s fermented with wild indigenous native yeast.
And native yeast which is present on the skin of every grape at the time of harvest.
Commercial wines use lab grown cultured yeast because they modify it to be stronger and easier to work with, and you can make wine in large quantities.
When you use a native yeast, it’s temperamental. This wild yeast that’s present in the vineyard, is very temperamental and you can’t make wine in great volume with it.
But that’s one of the fundamentals of a natural wine is this wild native yeast fermentation and what’s called spontaneous fermentation.
Because the yeast is already present in the juice because it was on skin of the grape, you have a spontaneous fermentation.
What commercial wine makers do is pour sulfur dioxide into the juice to kill the wild native yeast and then they inoculate it with these modified lab grown yeast.
And you can even get these yeast in flavor profiles.
So if you grow an industrial grape in Central California, but you want to taste like it’s from Italy, they have the yeast for that.
So it imparts different flavor profiles.
Plus our wines are sugar free and most wines contain residual sugar in them.
So our wines are sugar-free, they’re lower in alcohol and they’re organically bio-dynamically farmed and fermented with wild native yeast.
So there’s nothing in it but fermented grape juice which if it’s allowed to fully ferment, meaning the yeast eats all the available sugar and then it becomes sugar-free.
Here’s the problem, we don’t really know what’s wrong with commercial wines.
We don’t know if it’s the additives, we don’t know if it’s sugar, we don’t know if it’s a commercial yeast, we don’t know.
Abel: Glyphosate even, right?
Yeah. Glyphosate, we don’t know what’s wrong with it.
Here’s what we do know, when you drink a natural wine, you just feel better.
And you don’t have all the nasty side effects. And part of this is because our wines are lower in alcohol.
So if alcohol is going to dehydrate you, alcohol is going to create hangover.
So if you drink lower alcohol, you’re going to have less negative impacts from the alcohol itself.
But anyway, I love wine. I don’t love alcohol, which is the reason we sell and drink lower alcohol.
Most of the wines I drink are between 9% and 11% alcohol, that’s both the taste I like, and I just don’t love the effects of alcohol beyond a certain point.
And so for me, I love wine, I’m not going to stop drinking.
I don’t suggest that people start drinking just to drink my wine.
But if you’re a wine lover and you like to drink wine or share wine with your friends, then we think you should be drinking a natural wine, whether you buy it from us or not.
It’s hard to find. You won’t find it in your grocery store, or even if it says organic, that doesn’t mean it’s natural.
So all natural wines are organic, but not all organic wines are natural.
So typically, if you go to a place like a Whole Foods or a place where there’s a focus on organic, you’ll see organic wines.
But typically speaking, if a winery produces enough volume to supply someone like Whole Foods, then it’s just not natural.
Abel: Due to scale, right?
Because of the scale. I mean Whole Foods can’t buy tiny bits of wine from this family or that family, they’ve got a scale where they can ship product across their store platform.
Let me mention, we should have mentioned this earlier on, but the term “natural wine” is confusing to many people who don’t know what it is because they’re like, “Well, aren’t all wines natural?”
Well, no, they’re not for the reasons I’ve already described to you.
But natural winemaking is a specific category within the wine industry, and it’s become increasingly more popular as we’ve helped bring a lot of attention to it through podcasts and blogs and social media, because it’s better for you.
And we’re really, health influence, I tell people, “I’m in the health food business. I just happen to sell wine.”
And so, of course we also sell lab-tested olive oil, not a lot but a little bit primarily because we like to eat a lot of olive oil and so we get it from families in Europe that we’re getting wine from. And from time to time we sell a little bit of it.
But primarily we sell this natural wine.
France just announced about six weeks ago, which is really encouraging, France just announced that they’re going to be the first country to certify natural wines.
So there’ll be a certification for natural wines in France.
We hope that these certifications will spread across the globe.
As you probably know, Dry Farm Wines has a certification that we’ve had for, virtually from the beginning, where we certified that every single wine meet each of these criteria.
So it’s lower in alcohol, it’s sugar free, it’s organic or biodynamically grown.
And biodynamic farming is an advanced prescriptive form of organic farming that was invented in the 1920s.
And about the same time that chemical farming became fairly commonplace between 1920 and 1940 when we at the same time adapted monocultural farming practices, where large farms were converted to a single crop.
Because biodiversity is a very important part of a healthy living farm.
So when we strip out biodiversity, that’s when all the chemicals come, that’s when we must use chemicals in farming.
And it’s really important. Most of the farms where our wines are grown they also have livestock, they have orchards, they have bees.
Abel: It’s an ecosystem.
It’s an ecosystem. And so that ecosystem over thousands of years, hundreds of thousands of years, has been designed to be connected and everything is connected in nature.
So nature’s worked it all out to where it’s functional.
But when we strip away the biodiversity and we look to monocultural farming practices, that’s when we must start introducing industrial chemicals to farming because this isn’t going to work anymore because things have been broken apart and disconnected.
Abel: Which oddly are toxic to us, toxic to the animals, toxic to us and result in our poor health, even though it’s supposed to be our food and our drink.
Right. The same thing is happening right now. We have an epidemic loss of bee life across the globe because things are just disconnected.
And so nature didn’t intend for things to be disconnected.
So this really started in the 1920s, in the early part of the 1920s, and really by the 1940s chemical farming had become ubiquitous as it remains today.
That’s something we can control.
When we started early on talking about the things that we can or can’t control, we can control how we treat the earth.
We can control how we decide to respond to something.
And so the contribution we’re trying to make and particularly in supporting—one of the things that we’re most proud of is that our support of these small family farms, hundreds of them, who we’re able to pay more to because we’re now the largest direct importer of natural wines in the world.
So, we’re able to cut out everybody who was in the supply chain between the farmer and the drinker.
So, now we’re able to pay the farmer more than they were getting paid before and pay them quicker, which is really important to a small family farm.
So, for us to be able to have this impact in the world on small family farms that care about the earth, that care about multi-generational farming, who care about their impact in the world, who care about making a natural product.
So, to be able to provide the financial support to them enables us to even invite more people to live this way of life and to be able to support most of these family farms.
Normally, we travel most of the year. We have a wine team, and they’d be vetting and visiting these farms around the world.
And so for most of these families, everybody in the family works on the farm. Nobody usually works outside of the farm.
And most of these people eat only what they grow on the farm or what their neighbors grow.
And so they barter, if you will, they trade food sources back and forth.
They trade wine, they trade cheese, they trade beef or chicken.
It’s really fascinating, and I’m really lucky to have a job where I get to spend time with these people who have this fanatical dedication to living this natural way of life.
Abel: It’s so real, it’s such a community, international community.
Right. When the borders come down… unfortunately we don’t sell any domestic wine. We don’t sell any domestic wines because there’s no wines made in the United States that meet all of our stringent criteria.
There are natural winemakers in the United States, not many, but there’s a handful, but they just don’t make wines that meet our criteria.
Because our certification and criteria is above just being natural.
And one of those is lower alcohol, and there’s virtually no wines produced in the United States that are lower than 12.5%. Because Americans like drinking high fueled big wine.
Abel: Or they think they do because they haven’t been exposed to the joys of less of that.
Well, the other thing is, here’s the thing, as you know, when you eat like we do, then your palate changes, and you don’t any longer want this big, bold, rich taste.
You want lighter, fresher, cleaner. It’s what our wines taste like.
And so for most Americans, they don’t eat like we do.
They eat a processed food diet, their palate is dead. And so they need bigger, bolder, richer in order to just taste something.
And then they think, “Oh, these wines taste watered down.”
No, no, they taste like what real wine tastes like.
What you’re drinking is not real wine. It’s been all manipulated, it probably has color agents or other additives to make it bolder, richer, it’s higher in alcohol.
When you remove alcohol from wine, you remove density from wine, and so it just communicates differently. It tastes fresher.
But that’s the reason that, we were talking earlier, and I thought this is a really interesting conversation.
We talked earlier about, in the pursuit of health, people are buying products that mimic the standard American diet, the SAD diet.
And so that could be some kind of a bar or something, some kind of a candy or something that mimics.
I don’t eat those things. I don’t eat things that mimic the standard American diet.
Just because they don’t contain sugar or gluten, I don’t eat them because they just don’t appeal to me.
The taste doesn’t appeal to me, the density of the food doesn’t appeal to me. Because what appeals to me is real raw fresh food.
In my case, that’s primarily plant with some moderate clean proteins.
And so, that’s just how I eat everyday.
Last night, I roasted a chicken, an organic chicken, and then so I had chicken and I made some coleslaw with avocado mayonnaise and then some tomatoes with roasted red peppers and Kalamata olive oil and little red wine vinegar and then some sauteed broccolini greens.
And that’s it. That’s what I eat.
After that, I ate some fermented coconut yogurt. And so that’s it.
And that’s just a fresh, that’s just real food.
Abel: And you’re checking a lot of boxes when you do that, you’re getting tons of different colors.
You’re getting a whole variety of tastes that entertain your palate, that keep your palate trained.
You’ve got tangy. You’ve got a little bit of sweet, I would imagine, in some of those flavors.
But it’s just a glorious experience when you eat that rainbow, when you get that diversity of food, especially if you’re doing one meal a day.
And the trick to that, I think, is making it very enjoyable, very, very diverse, a lot of variety on your plate and cycling things in and out seasonally, just like you do.
Yeah. And then I took the carcass of the chicken, I pull the bones and the meat off of it, took the carcass, and now it started last night with a bone broth that I’ll cook down 12 hours today and then freeze that.
So, I always keep like fresh bone broth in the freezer. I use it for all kinds of things.
That’s just a cycle of the way that I choose to live and a life that I promote for others, and I think they should choose it, as well.
But I don’t eat Standard American Diet mimicking foods.
And we talked about that, and I really haven’t talked about that.
I thought too much about it—they don’t appeal to me.
Abel: Yeah, and it’s important because now, there’s been enough time in the paleo, keto, vegan, vegetarian, all those different spaces, to slap those labels on whatever product you want, whether it really aligns with that way of eating or thinking or that paradigm at all.
So, you have to be really careful.
And if you’re making it at home, if you’re using real ingredients that are nutrient dense, you’re going to be winning.
It’s going to work, you’re playing the long game, it’s going to work.
If you’re chasing things that mimic cereals, candy bars, ice creams and all the rest of it, you could find things with the label, but it might not work so well long-term.
So, anyway, we could talk all day, Todd.
I always appreciate catching up with you, but what’s the best place to find your work as well as Dry Farm Wines?
Where To Find Todd White
But I also have a special offer for your audience.
If they go to dryfarmwines.com/wild, they can get a bottle of wine for a penny.
If you’re on social media, you’ve probably already seen us.
But yeah, hey, thanks for having me on today.
It was a wide-ranging conversation of not much about wine, but we talked about life and life in the pandemic age.
So anyway, thanks for having me on today.
Abel: Yeah, Todd. It’s always so great to catch up with you.
I really look forward to our next hug.
Yeah, and I need to get out and visit you guys when I can fly again.
Tell Alyson, I love her, I love you. Thanks and spread a lot more love in the world.
Abel: Oh, Alyson told me to tell you that she loves you too, and I love you too, Todd. It’s been too long. It’s going to be a glorious reunion when it happens.
I’m looking forward to it. Thanks again, man.
Abel: Thank you. We’ll be in touch, Todd.
Before You Go
But before we get there, here’s a note and a question from Rebecca. She says…
Hello there! I think it’s neat you want to hear from people, so thanks for that!
I have tons of family members who love your method and I jumped on board in 2018. Felt amazing and looked amazing too!
Then I gave up during the holidays and stopped trying to eat healthy.
Now, even though I’ve been following The Wild Diet for a month, I’m not seeing any results yet.
So I figured I’d look into more resources and figure out what I need to tweak to make this work again.
Thank you for all you do! Keep up the great work!
Rebecca, thank you so much for the note and for the question.
You’re not the first one to ask this, “Hey, I’m doing everything right, I’m doing everything that I used to do and I did The Wild Diet or The Wild Diet challenge years ago and I got great results, but I’m not getting great results right now, what’s going on?”
Well, let’s start here. If you’re just maintaining during these “cliched times” using air quotes, then you’re doing better than most people who may be facing challenges with their lifestyle, with addiction—whether it’s to food or substances or behaviors.
People out there are having a really rough time.
We coach people all over the world and it doesn’t really matter where you are, there’s no escape. It’s a rough time right now.
And these lifestyle factors affect us more than we might realize.
So if you’re stressed, then your sleep might not be on point.
And if your sleep isn’t on-point, then the weight doesn’t come off, the fat doesn’t come off.
If you’re nice, if you’re kicking back, life is good, then doing things like intermittent fasting or really hard workouts can work great because it’s adding a bit of good stress to your life, stress that you can adapt to and recover from.
Yet, if we are under-slept, if we’re over-stressed, as almost all of us are right now, some of these things that used to work—like the hard workouts or a certain dietary plan or a nutritional strategy—it doesn’t work quite the same because we have different cravings when we’re stressed.
We go to the wrong foods.
And we in fact overeat during times of uncertainty, and this is definitely a time of uncertainty.
And I think a deep psychological and subconscious factor is that a lot of us feel like, especially if our financial health has been suffering, and ours has, as well.
Sometimes your physical health can start to suffer as a result of that, in the sense that you’re eating more foods than you otherwise would.
Because there’s this fear that in the future you might not be able to afford these things, have these things around you, afford your lifestyle and that sort of thing.
So if you’re doing the same thing but not getting results, look at those psychological and lifestyle factors.
It’s more important than ever, as we talked about in today’s show.
To prioritize the little things like journaling or free writing, getting all of those busy and anxious thoughts out of your head, developing that daily practice of gratitude, meditation.
Things like that can really help so much more than might be immediately obvious to people.
And then, also, if you felt and looked amazing the last time that you were eating Wild, Rebecca, then it couldn’t hurt to keep going.
And there are always little tweaks that we can find.
If your main goal is to get the fat off or weight off, then there are different things that we can do to kind of adjust.
But for a lot of people, kicking out obviously, the industrial vegetable oils, kicking out forms of sugar, starches, processed carbs—limit them as much as possible.
And then also, make sure that you’re filling up on a quality source of protein, that you are getting enough fats to feel like you’re not hungry anymore and really get away from anything that’s in a box.
But one thing that is an easy win for a lot of people is just turn down the dairy or kick out dairy for a while.
There are a lot of foods that might work perfectly well when everything is great out there and you’re getting the results you want.
And cheese, heavy cream, cream cheese, milk and dairy in general kind of falls into that category, where if you’re not getting results, try kicking out dairy for a while.
Just try it for a few weeks, maybe a month.
Try kicking out alcohol for a while. That can be really helpful, too.
And you’ll appreciate it more when you invite it back into your life, if you choose to do so.
And that might sound weird for a show, talking to a guy who runs a wine company, a friend of ours, but Todd and a lot of the other people out there are very much into conscious consumption and staying away from things if you feel like it’s taking up too much space in your life or is even bordering on addiction.
If you’re looking for some other quick tweaks to try to make the weight loss speed up and the fat loss speed up, and you’re willing to put a little bit more intention into it, make sure you’re eating clean wild foods like we were talking about before.
Controlling caloric intake during meals can be very useful. Where you’re eating until you’re 80% full, pushing the plate away and being very intentional about your goal.
Well, it’s not good to waste food, and I do not encourage you to do any of that.
Sometimes we need to play tricks on ourselves for our own behavior, pushing the plate away, stopping eating before you’re full, because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register what you just ate—if it’s real food anyway, and you’re not being hijacked by the super addictive foods—that’s how it’s supposed to work.
So eating clean, making sure that you’re perhaps undereating a little bit or undereating on some days can be helpful.
I’m a big fan, as you all know, of intermittent fasting, and at the beginning I did 16/8 fasts for the first couple of years, and then 20-4 fasts or kind of like one meal a day type thing.
So if you have an eating window that you’d like to use, that can be really useful.
Make sure you’re getting your bone broth and plenty of nose-to-tail nutrients, collagen, things like that.
And then just physical activity, don’t underestimate getting a daily walk.
You don’t have to punish yourself.
It should be something that’s enjoyable, and that can help with sleep and make sure you’re getting some sun as close to sunrise as you can.
Make sure it hits your skin for a few minutes, if at all possible.
That can help with sleep and with stress, as can walking.
And then also, if you’re looking to tweak even more, this is a super low-cost option that I would encourage everyone to do at some point in your life, just track the foods that you’re eating.
Write them down, and chances are you’ll be able to scribble a few things out that are the offenders that might be stalling your progress.
Also remember to be patient with yourself.
It’s a rough time for everyone. So if you’re just maintaining, that’s good for now and try to stay on point.
You can dial things in a little bit more as time goes on, but be patient with yourself. Be good to yourself.
If you have a question or a feedback on this show, please don’t forget to subscribe, leave a review, click thumbs up. Click the alert button and all those things.
And also you can just leave a review or send me an email by signing up for our newsletter.
I’ll send you all sorts of free goodies, free meal plans, cookie recipes, discount codes, and much more, and you can just reply to any of the emails I send your way. I always appreciate hearing from you.
And then if you’d like to support this show (and you’re in the U.S. – hopefully, we’ll be expanding soon), you can go check out WildSuperfoods.com. We’re always running deals and specials, so be sure to check that out.
Wild Superfoods is our family company and we carry our all-time favorite supplements that we’ve been taking for years, and we’re really happy to be able to share these with you.
If you’re looking to boost your gut health, you can check out Probiotic Spheres.
All of our supplements are gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and we even have some vegetarian products over there.
So you can check all of that out over at wildsuperfoods.com.
And then finally, we don’t normally do this on the show, I try to be very intentional and careful about separating the content from generating revenue and income.
But we’re partnering with a very small handful of companies who we trust, our friends who also run small companies who are complementary, and we think could serve you folks who are followers, listeners and part of our community.
And so Dry Farm Wines fit into that.
A lot of you who have been long time customers know that Dry Farm Wines has been our favorite supplier of clean, natural biodynamic and organic wines for years.
Probably more than 90% – 95% of the wines that I’ve consumed in the past five years or so have been from Todd and Dry Farm Wines.
I really do love what they do. I love the people there. We have lots of friends over there.
Anyway, if you’d like to stock up on all natural biodynamic wines from small sustainable family farms that are lab-tested to be low sugar—less than one gram per litre—low in sulfites and low in alcohol, right now you can grab a bottle for just one penny with your purchase from Dry Farm Wines.
When you purchase from that link, it helps keep this show coming to you and keep the lights on, we appreciate it more than you know.
You can also find me over on Patreon under Abel James. And if you’d like to sign up for just $3 bucks a month, I’ll also throw in a free copy of my new international best-selling audio book and e-book in humor called Designer Babies Still Get Scabies.
So you can find me over there on Patreon, if you’d like to claim those freebies.
Thanks for listening! Drop a comment below to share your thoughts on today’s conversation with Todd White.