Should I Panic If It’s Not Organic With Max Goldberg


Welcome to the Happier and Healthier Podcast. I’m your host Maria Marlowe, and this is a placewhere we don’t rely on good luck or good genesfor our health and happiness, but rather we create it with our thoughts and our actions each and every single day. Each week I’ll bring you a thoughtor a guest that will help youlive your happiest and healthiest life. Are you ready? Welcome back. The Happier and healthier podcast. Today, I have my friend Max Goldberg on the show,who has been called an organic sensation by The NewYork Times and named as one of the nation’s leading organic food experts by Shape magazine.He’s the founder and editor of, which is an organic food blogand Organic Insider, which is a must read weekly email newsletter with allthe latest news on everything that’s happeningin the organic food industry. So as a health conscious consumer, and especiallyif you’re a health coach or nutritionists, it’sreally important to stay up to date on this type of information. So definitely go check thatorganic insider e-mail newsletter outafter the show. Now, Max is also the hostof the Living Maxwell podcast, whichhe interviewed me for. So you can check that out. He interviews people inside and outside the organic food world. And so today we’re really goingto focus on his main expertise,which is organics and GMOs. We’re going to talk abouthydroponics and all the questionsyou have about organic food. Towards the end, we also shift and talka little bit about his experience with depressionand antidepressants and specifically getting off of antidepressants. I think it’s really awesome that Max is braveenough to be candid about his experience about thistopic, because this is a topic we tend to shove under the rug and not talk about.So I really wanted him to share a littlebit about his experience with it, because I knowso many of us go through periods of depression. I have so many people who are on antidepressants. And it’s not telling you what to do one way or the other. But I think it’s always nice to hear otherpeople’s stories and hear other people’s experiences so wecan learn and just know what our options are. Before we get to theinterview, I have one quick update andalso a huge thank you. So let’s start with the update. If you guys listened to episode 38, which was with Dr. Momo Vuyisch, which we talked about,gut health, the microbiome, and morespecifically, how understanding exactly which microorganisms are living in your gut can helpyou understand exactly which foods to consume moreof and which foods to consume less of for your unique body.I mentioned that I was goingto do the test and sharemy results with you. So my results are finally in. I’ve been following the protocol for 90 days. And so I am sharing my entireexperience and the results and all ofthat with you guys on the blog. You can find that at and youcan either just scroll down for it oryou can use a search box and just type in stool test. That will probably be the easiest way to pull up that post. Secondly, a huge thank you is an order forall of you guys listening to this podcast andeveryone who’s reviewing this podcast on iTunes or whatever platform you listen to it on.It really helps as podcastsget incredible guest and toreach more people. So I really, truly appreciate it. And I read every single review. So I wanted to share one of the reviews that caught my eye. And I’m going to continue sharingone of these reviews each weekbecause I really, really appreciate it. And I want to shout you out and say thank you. So, Bree, MW wrote Very insightful and delightful. I discovered Maria’s podcast a few weeks agoand every single one I’ve listened to about12 has been so eye opening and educational.More people need to be aware of thetoxic products available to us and the negativeeffect they have on our health and society. People wonder why there’san uprise of obesity,cancer and autoimmune diseases. We need to pay attention to what we’re putting into our body. Her podcasts have made me so motivated tocontinue to make healthy lifestyle upgrades and venturemore into trying natural products after research. Of course, being informed is yourfirst step to mental clarity, longevity, balanceand living a happier and healthier life. So, Gary, thank you again for this amazing review.And for anyone listening who wantsthe writer of you, you cando that very easily. Whatever platform you listen to this podcast on. Be sure to send me a screenshot of your review. You can send it to info at And as a thank you, I’ll send you backa free 3 day healthy eating a meal planwhich is designed specifically to help lessen your sugar cravings. If you’ve set a goal for yourselfto slim down or improve your health andyou need some help getting there.Join me for Eat Slim, my 10 week online nutrition and cooking course. It’s been repeatedly called life changing my past participants. As you finish the course,having a better understanding andappreciation for your body. You’ll learn how to tailor your dietto your unique body so that youwake up feeling energized, light and vibrant. You’ll conquer digestive issues, shed weight, get ridof sugar and junk food cravings, and learnhow to cook and order healthy foods no matter what the situation. If you’ve been struggling to finda diet that helps you feelamazing every single day. Sign up for Eat Slim at Past students have told me they got more outof this than working one on one with anutritionist, and that I should be charging double and triple what I am for this course. But I really want to keep this accessiblebecause I want as many people as possibleto be able to do this program.So I’ve capped it at less than $30 a week. So if you’re ready to gethealthy for a good head to sign up. Max, thank you so much for being here. I’m so happy to share all your tips about organics. So let’s start with the most importantquestion, which is why are you sucha huge advocate for organics? Well Maria, thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure and honor to be on with you.So organic is something that I discovered in 2001. And I went to go see this woman I was dating at the time. I went to go with her to her naturopath appointment. And, you know, this naturalpath started educating me aboutthe importance of organic. And I always thought we neededchemicals to kill all the bugsand this and that. And she was like, no, you don’t. And it was in 2001 I started researching whatorganic was and what are these chemicals that theywere spraying on our food and about GMO foods. And immediately I knew thatthese are things that I didnot want in my body.I was doing some other things that weren’t so great for my body. But I sort of the light all went off about food. And for some reason I just became really, really passionate about it. And I’ve been eating close to 100 percent organic since 2001. But these are things that,you know, our bodies shouldnot be in our bodies. These are cancer causing chemicals that should not be in our bodies. It’s sprayed on much of the food supply in the US. GMOs is as a one big experiment that they’re doing on humans. There are no long term studies on the safety of GMOs. They’ve never been done on humans. Basically, they’re doing them on us right now. And so for some reason I justgot really passionate about it and sawthe importance of organic food. And several years later, it becamehow I was spending my daysworking in the industry. Yeah, that’s incredible. And I mean, you’ve even went so far asto found organic insider, like you’ve really made ityour life to preach the importance of organics.So you mentioned GMO is I do want to get back to that. And I have so many questions to ask you. But first, I just want toknow, what do you think arethe biggest misconceptions about organic? You know, I think that it’s they say it’s only for people of money. And when you look at the data,it’s people of all associate socio economiccategories that are purchasing organic. It’s not just people of means. It’s it’s lower and middle income people as well. So I think that’s the biggest oneis it’s just it’s only for theupper class and it’s not true.I think everyone so I thinkprice is the biggest misconception aboutit and who the demographic is. Yeah. And, you know, it’s funny you say price. Well, obviously, of course you’re gonna say price. I feel like that’s the biggestthing that comes up with organicsis that it’s really expensive. But, you know, I just went in Florida rightnow I’m staying at my parents’ house and there’sa Publix here, which is this big like regular supermarket, huge supermarket. And I just ran in the other day to get one organic cauliflower.And I went and the organic cauliflower was two ninety nine. And the conventional cauliflower was three ninety nine. So I don’t know if there was a mix up or what. What was going on there. But it’s this regular grocery chain thathas a very decent selection of organicand it’s really not that expensive. And I feel like with. Now purchasing Whole Foodsand all of these online stores, there’s so manyways that we can save money on organics. So I’m just curious, do you have anyfavorite places that you shop for organic ortips for saving money on organic? I think what you know, if yougo to farmer’s markets, I think that’sobviously that’s a really good way. And I think the best way for people to look at it is in a few ways. First off, if you caneat an organic breakfast, whichit could be cereal. It could be fruit. It could be, you know, whatever you eat for cereal. And generally, if you’re cookingat home, it’s going tobe much less expensive.So that’s a thirty three percent or one third of your day. You’re eating organic. So, you know, that’s number one, if you can, youknow, shop at farmer’s markets, if you can buy inbulk, if you can get, you know, one or two meals that you cook at home a day oreven if you and then ultimately what it comes downto, Marie, is how you want to spend your money, because I have people I know peoplewith a lot of money and buyingorganic to them is absolutely no issue. And it doesn’t affect their lives whatsoever. And they complained to me about the price of organic. And yet they’ll take trips around the world andthey’ll go skiing and they’ll they’ll take, you know,spend tens of thousands of dollars on trips and they’ll complain about the price of organic grapes. So ultimately, what I think itcomes down to is how doyou want to spend your money? I agree. It’s all about perception. Right, and what your priorities are. And if your health is your priority, which I hopeit is, and I’m sure if you’re listening it is,then spending a little bit more on the highest quality food definitely makes sensebecause over the long run, you’regoing to feel better.Your health will be better. And so it really makes sense to make that investment. Absolutely. So that is a conversation I have all the time with people. And, you know, it ultimately comes down to their priorities. And, you know, if you have kids, I don’t havekids, but if I had kids and money was reallytight, I would feed my kids all organic and I would go conventional if I did not have the money to feed. They say the entire family. So when people need to makea decision, it’s get your kidsorganic first before the adults. If they’re literally you cannot feedthe whole family organic because thekids bodies are still developing. They should not be drinkingthe milk that’s got thebovine growth hormone. And these animals have been fed GMO.That’s the big thing. One of the big thingsin organic that people don’t realize when you’re eatingnon organic, me or dairy, these animals are eating GMO feed. And this GMO feed has been, you know, laced with chemicals. And that is really problematic. So it’s the kids are reallysusceptible to the chemicals and to,you know, this GMO food. So it’s really, you know, getting that priority straight as well. Yeah. And definitely animal products. I think animal products, it’s extremely importantto choose organic and stories and thebest quality that we can. But let’s talk about GMOs. So I think we’ve all heard of GMO. Some people might be more familiar than others. But for those who are not really sure exactly what they are.Can you explain a little bitwhat they are and why weshould really avoid them? Well, what it is, is scientists, youknow, insert DNA of bacteria or whateverit might be into another organism. And so what they’re using them usingmodern biotechnology to create these foods thatdo not exist in nature. That’s essentially what it is. And GMOs were discoveredwere invented for onereason, to sell chemicals. That’s it. If they did not. So chemicals along with. Because what happened is there’s been alot of consolidation in the industry andthe Ad companies are the chemical companies. So the companies that sellthe farmers, the seeds arealso selling them chemicals. It’s like the razor and the razor blade.The value of selling someone a razor is not the razor itself. It’s selling them the blades. Sothat person has to go buyblades every week or every month. It’s the same model with the GMO industrywhere the farmers buy seeds and they haveto buy the accompanying chemicals as well. So these are crops that have been engineeredin a laboratory that do not exist innature, and that’s the problem with it. So these scientists are essentially playing Godwith our food supply and they’re makingthese changes using modern biotechnology. And we do not know the long term effects of this food. So they present real health risks. And the other thing, as I justmentioned is, you know, these crops arebeing sprayed with cancer causing chemicals. Glyphosate is the most prominent one. Three hundred million pounds of glyphosateare being sprayed each year inthe US, 1.6, 5 billion globally. Now, glyphosate is the primary ingredient inMonsanto’s roundup and glyphosate is known tothe state of California to cause cancer.The World Health Organization said glyphosate isknown as they said it’s a probablehuman carcinogen, which means it probably causes cancer. This is what’s being sprayed on our food supply. This is what’s being sprayed on the playing fields at schools. This is what’s being sprayed in our parks in New York City. They’re spraying into parks. There’s there’s movements allover the country, including New York City, tohave them stop spraying it on our parks. So it’s absolutely everywhere. And people wonder why cancerrates are nearly 50 percentin this country. So GMOs are a real problem, but it’sI would say even more so is arethe chemicals that come along with the GMOs. Yeah. You know, it’s incredible. So back when I was in school, actually dida paper on GMOs for my biology class andmy professor hated it, hated my conclusion and my hypothesis. But basically I dug into theresearch, into USDA research, government research, andthe sort of sentiment around GMO. Is that the reason they were created it? I’m sure it is to sell more chemicals.But what they say is it’sbecause they want to increase cropyields and feed more people. Right. And so what I found by digginginto the actual government data of output ofthese GMO fields is that not only do GMO farmland, does it produce less crops thanthe just regular ones that don’t have GMOis they actually end up spraying more agricultural chemicals because what ends up happeningis those pests become resistant and sothey become stronger and stronger, whether it’s weeds or bugs or whatever it is.So they have to just keep spraying more and more chemicals. So these GMO farms, like you mentioned, theyend up using more chemicals on them thanjust like a regular even conventional farm. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, this narrative that weneed GM most to feed theworld is 100 percent propaganda. The reason people in Venezuela are starving right nowhas nothing to do with not being able tofeed them and not enough food in the world. That’s a political issue. So this narrative that these politicianshave been fed by lobbyists isjust complete and utter nonsense. But they’re not being told the otherside because are the organic, you know,on our side, the lobbyists and whatnot. We haven’t done a good job of educating the politicians. They just have so much more money to spendon lobbying and have been so aggressive with itfor so many years that the politicians believe that.So from a political stand lobbyingstandpoint, we just don’t have the musclethat the Ag chemical industry does. And also, as you do, we’re talking about superweeds with about I think it’s about 50 millionacres of super weeds in this country where these crops become resistant to allthe chemicals and the weeds actuallygrow stronger and more resistant. And so what the chemical industryhas convinced the EPA and is,well, we need stronger chemicals.So one of the things that they’re usingnow is two 4-D and 2 4-D wasused in Vietnam for Agent Orange. So actually spraying 2 4-D on our crop. Well, they have been for a whileand they’re going to spray be sprayinga lot more of it going forward. So we’re in the pesticide treadmill. And, you know, it’s that’s one of the reasons why. You know, Maria, when I firstgot into organic food, it wasa very selfish reason. It was I don’t want to put this in my body. But as time went on, I realized that this is much bigger than just me. This is about, you know, what’s better for the environment. And also what very fewpeople think about is what’sbetter for these farm workers. You know, these farm workers, they get reallysick because they’re outside having to pick allthe crops in these fields that are sprayed with pesticides and have minimal to no protection.A lot of these farm workers are here illegally. You know, their rights get abused. And, you know, so when we buy organic,it’s really a political statement saying, I don’twant these chemicals poisoning my land, my water, and I want to protect farmworkers and make sure that they’renot exposed to these chemicals. So organic, in my view, you know, once Igot into the industry and start writing about itin 2010, my perspective on all this shifted from just about what was good for meand understanding the role that organic playsan even larger role in society. I mean, that’s a great reminder. Right. Because when we’re standing in the grocerystore deciding between the organic apple and theconventional apple, it’s not just us and our health that we’re making a choice for.Right. We are choosing for those farm workers. Right. Because the moreorganic that we purchase,the more organic farmland. We’re gonna need less of the conventional. Right. And I remember this was so long ago. I mean, this has got to be over five years ago. I remember reading an article in The Timesabout the tomato farmers in Florida, actually, andthey were having children with three like. Or, you know, three arms andare missing a limb and allof this like crazy, crazy stuff. And it was believed to befrom all of the agricultural chemicalsthat they were spraying. So, yes, our choices affect the farm workers,our own choices affect the environment because thosechemicals are blowing in the wind. So they’re in our air and being deposited all over our neighborhoods. They’re running into our water, which we we are then drinking right? So there’s just so many repercussions of that one choice.Right. That can be tracedback to what are wechoosing in the grocery stores? That’s a great reminder. Yeah, absolutely. And it’s and it’s hard for alot of people to go to the grocery storeand think about the farmer because they never see the farmer. They have no contact with. It’s hard. But ultimately, this isa choice that’s much larger thanwhat’s good for me. It’s really you know, this is about what’s best for society. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, to be honest, I neverreally think about the farmers when I’m shopping, butthat is like a really great reminder. Speaking of which, I’d love for you tospeak a little bit about the difference betweenthese large organic like huge, huge organic farms that we see in every grocery store. You know, we see the brand names inevery grocery store across the country, verses youmentioned shopping at farmer’s markets in these smaller organic farms, maybe local farms. Is there a difference between the organicthat we’re getting from that huge agriculturalfarm versus the small one? Yeah, there is a big difference.And that’s one of the major issues in organic right now. Organic has become very, very big business. It’s I think, the latest numbers that came out. Fifty two billion in the US. So it’s big business when you go tothe organic food trade shows, particularly Natural ProductsExpo West each year in March. It’s I don’t know, thisyear was eighty five ninetythousand people in it. It’s chaos. You can you can barely walk the aisles on the first day. So it’s become really big business. So a lot of these major agricultural producers want to get in. And so when you look. And so basically what’s happened is a lotof these dairies, particularly those in Texas andArizona, they have these dairies with fifteen twenty thousand animals thatare not getting adequateaccess to pasture. And The Washington Post did a biginvestigation on a company called Aurora Dairy,where they took satellite photos, took visits. And what they showed was it appearedthat they were major, major violations inhow these dairies were operating. And so that’s one of the big problems wehave in the industry, is that, for example, withmilk, not all organic milk is the same.And this is it. This isone of the problems that we’refacing with right now. You go into the supermarket and you buyorganic milk, any you know, I’m not goingto single out brands you can go to. Anyone is curious and go to the corner. Cornucopia Institute, I think it’ and they have anorganic dairy scorecard. And they’ve ranked all the brands from the worst to the best. And you can see how they’ve rated it.But not all organic milk is the same. And generally, it’s the smallerones that are following therules to the T. We’ve got larger ones that are skirting therules because the USDA has done an absolutelyhorrible job of cracking down on certifiers and creating a level playing field. And that is one of the reasons why, youknow, if you read, even though dairy consumption isgoing down and more people are switching to plant based alternatives, there’s a glut inthe organic milk market because you’ve gotthese massive essentially organic factory farms producing milk and the USDA is not cracking down. And The Washington Post did a huge investigation about this. And it’s putting a small organic dairy farmers out of business. And they not only they’vegot these major issues withthe rules as well. I don’t want to get into it. It’s pretty technical. But essentially they have notclarified the rules and theyare not enforcing the rules.So that’s one of the reasons whyI became so involved politically, Maria, wasbecause I was seeing what’s going on. It’s like, how can I just sit back and not say anything? And that’s really guided, you know, what I do in my writing. So to answer your question, we’re in specific regards to dairy. People should go to theircornucopia or check out theirorganic dairy scorecard. And if you can buy from a farmer atyour farmer’s market that’s certified organic, or if thatperson, a farmer, is farming organically and you know, and they can tell,you know, where we’re not usinga pest management where everything’s clean. No hormones. You know, I think it’s greatif you can buy from your farmer andyou can look your farmer in the eye.He or she can tell you how the food is produced. So, I mean, that’s fantastic. We can do that. But that’s that’s not something that everyone can do. Well, yeah. In a lot of places there, it might be harder. To find farmer’s markets and a lotof these major cities like New York,even they have great farmer’s markets. You don’t get everythingthere because not everythinggrows in that region. But, you know, we do have great farmer’s markets. You can talk to them. For anyone who wants to find afarmer’s market, by them, they can head,to Well, there’s two places. So one place that’s great is called And you can look up by yourstate any sort of organic producers ofboth animal products and vegetable products. You can see what’s local to you and you could sometimes even order. So you don’t have to actually go anywhere. And there is another Web site called And that will tell you allof the farmer’s markets in yourneighborhood or in your state.So those are two great resources. So you mentioned earlier the importanceof organic standards, not just infood, but in other areas. Right. So you mentioned like,for example, parks are beingsprayed with pesticides. And I remember again a few years ago, I love Central Park. I love sitting and laying on the grass. And I remember one day walking into the great lawn or whatever it’scalled, and passing a gate. And there is a sign attached tothe gate that basically said they werespraying glyphosate on on the grass. And I was like, oh, my God, this is terrible. So, yeah. So where else are we coming in contact with these chemicals? And we don’t even realize it.Well, it’s certainly and cleaning supplies. So when you go into the bathroom andthey’ve got the air fresheners that definitely thatthey’re putting these chemicals in garbage bags. Now, to counter the smell ofany food or whatever odors peoplehave in their garbage. So those are definite things in cleaning supplies. Are the big ones trying to think what else besides parks? What about textiles like cotton? Definitely. And that’s why organic mattresses havebecome so popular because of the offgassing and organic textiles, really the next frontier, because, again, you know,these people who are growingcotton, it’s all GMO.It’s predominantly GMO cotton. And they’re spraying with allthese pesticides and it’s clothesthat you wear every day. It’s whether it’s socks or underwear, shirts, whatever you’re wearing. I mean, do you want that stuff touching your body? Right. It’s the same as with beauty products. And then the lotions that we’re slatheringon our skin that’s basically being absorbedinto your bloodstream and very high amounts. So it’s something with their clothes. Exactly. And I think organic clothing is really the next frontier. And, you know, as pricescome down as and peopledon’t want to sacrifice style. And one of my good friends, Marcy Zariff, isprobably the preeminent organic clothing and textiles person inthe country and one of the top in the world. And she always talks about,you know, no compromise, no compromise for styleand no compromise for the environment. And that, I believe, is the next frontier, which is organic clothing.So right now, it’s notthat it’s not that easyto find organic clothing. Yes, you can find it online. But, Maria, how often you go shoppingand you see organic clothing is asidefrom when you’re in Whole Foods. All right. And I don’t reallywant to wear anything from aWhole Foods, to be honest. Like, no. Believe me, I know. Like I know for years. I mean, I used to buy organic underwear. I’m going to be honest. I don’t really buy it anymore. Just because first of all,it’s very expensive and it’sharder to find.You can’t get all the styles and stuff. But yeah, I mean, there’s not a huge amount of organic clothing. I mean, one thing that I’ve been really cognizantof lately, but I don’t really have a greatalternative is all of this workout clothes that is made from all these synthetic materials. And even, you know, there’s a lot of thesegreat brands coming up that have these beautiful stylesand they’re trying to be sustainable and eco and they’re made out of plastic water bottles.And I’m like, I really do notwant to be wearing a plastic waterbottle while I’m hot and sweaty and. Yeah. So we definitely need more options, notjust in organic cotton and organic materials, butalso that are fashionable because I do not want to look like a canvas bag or something. So, yeah, I agree with you. I think it’s definitely the next frontier. Yeah. And I think it’s coming, you know, more and more. There are numerous organic, you know,jeans companies where maybe in thepast you would never buy them. And now I think they’re you know, it’s coming.It’s coming.They’re more entrepreneurs getting into space. So the options, it’s youknow, obviously I don’t usethem, but say organic tampons. They’re they’re numerous direct to consumer. Organic tampon companies on the market now. And maybe two or threeyears ago, there were probably,you know, maybe one. Or you could buy them at Whole Foods. But there were there were not a lotof options a few years ago, and nowthere’s numerous companies that are doing that. And I think the same thing’s gonna happen withclothing as well, because, you know, when you eatorganic food, it doesn’t just stop like, OK, I’m going to eat organic food and that’s it. You want, you know, Eco-Friendly cleaningsupplies, you want sheets, you wanttowels, you want clothing. It becomes a lifestyle becauseyou don’t want chemicals inany area of your life. Right. You just kind of go down that rabbithole and you realize how many toxins were comingin to contact with in our daily life. And I always say wherever we have control,wherever we can make those changes and makethose choices, that’s where we should.And, you know, it’s that way when we’re outin the world where there’s pollution and that we’reat restaurants and, you know, we don’t really have control over those things. You know, that’s OK as longas we’re making the best choicesthat we can at home. Yeah. And one of the things that I’m reallytalking a lot more about now is air qualityand ultra-fine particles, because these are things that we cannot see, butthey are linked to stroke,cardiovascular disease, lung cancer. Air pollution is a real, real issue. So that’s something I’ve been talking a lot more as of late as well. A quick break from thisepisode to share with youan amazing opportunity. Are you interested in turning your passion forhealth and wellness into a career that helpshundreds, thousands or even millions of people live healthier? If so, consider becominga holistic health coach through theInstitute for Integrative Nutrition.The original and top healthcoach certification program I studiedthere in 2012. And it completely changed my career path and life. I went from an uninspiring job infinance to an exciting, fulfilling and rewardingcareer as a full time health coach. The program is offered as a one yearor accelerated six month course, and it teachesyou a mix of nutrition, coaching and business. They have some of the top teachers, including Dr. Walter Willett, who is thechair of Harvard’s Nutrition Departmentfor 26 years. Dr. Marion Nestle, a professor atNYU and author of one ofmy favorite books, Food Politics. Dr. Mark Hyman, who is themedical director at the Cleveland ClinicCenter for Functional Medicine. Dr. Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, Gaby Bernstein. And so many more millionsof people are suffering fromdiet related illnesses. And I truly believe the world needs more health coaches. That’s why I’ve teamed up withand to offer an incredible opportunityto make studying there even easier. You’ll get fifteen hundred dollarsoff tuition plus one onone mentoring with me.Plus, you’ll be added to my private Facebookmentorship group where you can connect with otherstudents and grads and also practice with them. To get yourthree bonuses, simply emailme at That’s m a r i a m ar l o w e dot com withthe subject IIN and I’ll personally send you back to email thatwill allow you to get allof these amazing bonuses. If you feel called toexplore or start a careerin health and wellness. Definitely reach out. Yeah. So I’d love to actually dive into thata little deeper because I’m very interested in thisand I’m very interested in air quality, especially like traveling. You know, sometimes differentcountries have very differentair quality standards. And I used to think that L.A. was really polluted. But then you goto some other places and you’re like,oh, my God, I can’t even breathe. It’s so like the air is so heavy. It’s so polluted. And I have seen, again,warnings on different government websites, like when theair quality is so bad, they say, especially for people with heart conditions.And certain conditions really should not beoutside breathing that air because it cancause more issues for them. So what is there a filter you recommend or howdo you recommend we keep our air clean or anyany tips for just being cognizant of our air quality? Well, the air purifier that I use is called the Intellipure here. And if anyone wantsmore information, they goto And what I’ve done there, Maria. This is a company. I’ve been using their products. I don’t know for probably fifteen years now. Well, before I start writing about the organic foodindustry and what I what I did on mywebsite, Maria is, I took a particle counter. This is a class one medical device. So I measure the air quality inmy apartment with the intel up hereversus two really popular machines. One is the Dyson and the other is the molecule. And so I said, all right,let me test this out andsee how they compare. My machine removed 100 percent of the ultra-fineparticles and viruses and bacteria and the otherones only remove, you know, roughly 60, 70, 80 percent of them.So not all of these air machines are created the same. And the other thing, these people who do theintel up here, they’re involved with another company calledPure ROOM dot com, and they have about 5000 hotel rooms. I’m not sure if it’s international. Definitely in the US hotels throughout the countrywhere they have these air purifiers in theirhotel rooms and they have hypo allergenic bedding. And when they first convertthe hotel room over, they completelysanitize the hotel room. They’ve got filters on the shower-heads. So, you know, this is the way the world is moving. So when you’re traveling, you want to look for the. That’s Jrome dot com and you want to lookfor these types of things when you’re traveling andmake sure that you know or hotel that’s got more and more hotels areusing organic bedding or somehave organic mattresses.So these are the types of things that you want to look for. And definitely you want to bring your ownorganic soaps and, you know, eco friendly soapsand shampoo and when you’re traveling. So these are these are thethings that you’ve got to lookfor when you’re traveling. And fortunately, the world’s changing. So there are more and more of these options out there. Right. That’s awesome. I actually did not know of that website. I will definitely be using that going forward. That’s a great tip. Well, I used it at Expo West this year in Anaheim. And I mean, it really made a difference. And the other thing that you want to do is youwant to try and this is much harder to find isyou want to try to find a hotel room where they open the windows. There’s so many hotels now.I think they do it for liability purposes. They don’t want anyone fallingout of the window orjumping out the window. So they seal the window. You can’t even open a lot of these windows. So if you’re going to book a hotelroom, I would also try to find ahotel room where the windows do open. Right. Because a lot of timesthe indoor air quality is actuallyworse than the outdoor air. Right? Well, the EPA says it’s indoorair quality is two to fivetimes worse indoors than outdoors. And imagine if you’re staying in a hotel wherethey’ll tell you, yeah, we have air filters andwe’re pulling air, you know, in and we’re filtering it in.But, you know, come on. Well, as last time they clean the air filters, you know. And so imagine you’re in a hotel roomwhere that hotel room for years and yearsand years has never gotten any fresh air. Imagine what that’s actually so gross. And again, that good point that I know youdon’t really think about, but it’s true, most hotelrooms are sealed and we should really, shouldn’t really be having some fresh air. So even at home, I’m about to after Igot off of the let’s call it, I’m aboutto open my window and fresh air in here. Exactly. Now, one more question I want to askyou just on the food front, before we moveon and change directions a little bit, can you talk a little bit about hydroponics? Because I know there’s a littlebit of controversy about them, especiallyas it relates to organics.So can you tell us justexplain what hydroponics are and whatyour thoughts are on them? Hydroponics are essentially your growing vegetables andwater are fruits and vegetables and water,and that’s what it is. And when organic standardsare written, it’s veryclearly in the statutes. I’ve read them. I mean, if you look at6 sections 6513 and the Organic Foods Production Actof 1990, it says farmers have to have a management plan that fosters soil fertility. So a lot of these very,very big companies are growing berriesand they’re growing tomatoes.I would say people that I trust toour organic tomato farmers that are legit, doinga legitimate and growing it in the soil. Tell me about it. They thinkabout 90 percent of the nationallysold tomatoes or all hydroponics. So some people may be saying, well, what’s wrong with hydroponic? There’s nothing inherently wrongwith hydroponic except it’snot organic. Organic is about the soil. So getting the nutrients fromthe soil soil has energy that can not be.And all these microbes that can not be replicated in a bucket of water. So not onlyis it a violation of the Organic Foods ProductionAct of 1990, but it’s putting these small organic farmers out of business. So if there’s a lot of these farmerswho are growing, say tomatoes in the soilcannot compete with these big hydroponic operators because of efficiency, and it’s just not a level playing field.And the USDA is allowing this andthere’s legal action against the USDA forthem just sort of basically allowing it. I interviewed Sonny Perdue, thesecretary of the USDA, andasked them about it. And his response was, well, our job is to feed the world. That’s the response we’re getting. So there’s legal action being taken. So when people out there are eating , they mightsay, well, how do I know if minor hydroponic thebig shell game in the industry is a lot of these big companies will say we’re not growing hydroponic.We’re doing container growing systems. And it essentially is the same thing. A few minor technical differences. But you need to askthem, are you growing thisin the ground with soil? That’s the question. When people are buying theirberries or, you know, tomatoes, strawberries, whatever itmay be, you know, you’ll notice a difference when you’re eatinga hydroponic strawberry versus astrawberry grown in the ground. You notice a difference. Sohydroponic is a very, veryserious issue in the industry. Putting organic farm, small, organic familyfarmers out of business because theycannot compete on price efficiency. And it’s a nutritionally an inferior product because theyjust you can not replicate the nutrition in abucket of water than you can in the soil, even if some of the macronutrients, if you know somebody is hydroponicpeople’s, you know, we wait. It’s exactly the same. We’ve tested it. You can’t duplicate theenergy you get from soil and allthe microbes you get from soil.We don’t even know what these tests are becauseit’s we don’t really know what’s in the soil,but we know that soil is energy and it’s life. And you just cannot replicate that in a bucket of water. And that is just not what organic is all about. Yeah, I feel like sometimes we should stop messingwith Mother Nature, just let her do her joband, you know, let her do her own thing. And we don’t need to try and recreate things in a lab or whatever. I mean, I understand in certain places in theworld, for example, in the Middle East, it’s sohot there for at least six months of the year. You literally can’t grow pretty much anythingexcept like dates, you know, uncertain, certain fruit,certain a few things that you can’t really grow, that greens and vegetables and all this stuff.So a lot of times I’ll turn to hydroponics. So maybe in that situationI make sense because theyliterally cannot grow anything else. But in places where we do have access tofresh fruit and we can grow them in thesoil, I feel like that’s always superior. And even, you know, I was making atomato tart the other day, so I hadto buy two pounds of tomatoes. So I bought a mix of heirloom tomatoes, which I absolutely love. They’re so flavorful and they’re so beautiful. And it’s funny because the girl at the checkoutcounter was like, oh, you know, I always thinkthat heirloom tomatoes are so ugly because they’re not perfectly round. They’re all like misshapen and likethere’s lines and stuff in themand they’re beautiful colors. And when you cut them open, they look so different. And I actually bought regular tomatoes. I thought I was buying organic. They were actually conventional, just regular round red tomatoes. And then I bought the organic heirloom tomatoesand I cut them up, sliced them, andI put them on two different traits.And just looking at them, you could seethe stark difference because the conventional tomatoes andI don’t know if they were hothouse grown or not, they were completely waterlogged. There was like a ring of like they werejust such a pale red color and there waslike a ring of white almost inside. And they just look like bloated, basically. And then the heirloom tomatoes aresuch a vibrant, rich color andthey were not like overly. Overly hydrated at all, like just lookingat them, you could see the difference,tasting them, you can see the difference.And definitely nutrition wise, when you’rebloating a food with water, you’reessentially diluting the nutrients in there. And also the flavor. And taste is a really good indicator of nutrition. So if you’re biting into a strawberry, evenan organic strawberry and it’s happened me theother day and like, what a tasty thing. There’s no flavor. It gives you a good idea of how it was grown. So taste and color are very good indications of nutrition. I mean, I agree with you. It’s something people that they really need to lookout for, because if you’re gonna spend the moneyfor organic, you want to make sure you’re getting really flavorful, really nutritious food. Yeah. I always tell people you haven’t tasteda strawberry until you’ve actually tasted one froma farmer’s market because they taste like night and day. The ones thatyou’ve got in the grocery store,again, are typically huge.They’re like bloated, they’re whiteinside and they’re just reallynot that tasty. Like they don’t really taste like anything. And then you taste oneof those little tiny strawberriesfrom the farmer’s market. It’s like the explosion of flavor in your mouth. Even my mom, she’s in Pennsylvania recently andshe can’t stop talking about the strawberries thatshe had when she was in like Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It’s a huge, huge difference. It’s kind of like peaches when you getan organic peach and it doesn’t stay longbecause if it goes bad pretty quickly. But when you time it right, Imean, there’s nothing like it or amango when you take it. You have an organic mango and you’ve got it just at the right time.There are very few things that that tastes like that. And that’s when, you know, you getthat, then that’s really how food shouldbe and how it used to be. Right. And how it should taste be full of flavor. So I want to shift gears abit and talk a little bit aboutthe subject of your next book. I know that your first bookI know that you’re working onand your your journey with depression. So I feel this is something that Imean, we’re starting to talk a little bitmore about now, especially with Mental Health Awareness Month. And I find that it’s something that affectsso many of us, like so many people, especiallyyoung people, are dealing with issues of depression are and are on antidepressants. So can you share a little bitof your story and why you decidedto write your book on this. In 1990 when I was in college.I was having trouble getting through the day. And, you know, it was, you know,the struggles had been going on theyears before and it got really worse. And my parents came to visit me and said,you know, we we’ve been noticing you’re really struggling,really concerned, and we want you to go on antidepressants. You know, one thing led toanother and then pretty I wentto go see a doctor. Next thing you know. Yeah. You seem like you’re depressed. That could help. So I took them. I always did what my parents told me to do. And I went on them. And in the beginning, it did help me get better. I did feel better. But over time, it started to numb me. They started to numb me emotionally. And I drank a lot. And whenI moved to New York City, Iwas working on Wall Street. They really numbed me emotionally. And the only time that I felt free and alive was when I was drunk. And that’s why I drank so much. And so numerous years later in 2001, I realizedthat this is not how I wanted to experiencelife and that what I vividly remember, I woke up one day and there was awhole series of things that happened thatmade me go off them.But I remember that I woke up one day and Isaid that it was a miracle that I was born, thatanyone is born not just me, but it’s a miracle that we’re born.And I said the only way thatI can get through life is through a pillmade in some industrial park off the highway. I said, this is crazy. This makes no sense. And soI decided to go off the meds and it tookme three and half years to recover. I was suicidal, but I and I eventually turned the corner.But I just knew that I. And that wasright around the time that I started eating organic food. I just knew that this was not howI wanted to experience life. And it didn’t make senseto me that the only way I could get through life was through these meds. And so, yeah. Depression is something that afflicted mefor many, many years, was brutallydifficult to get off of them. And I didn’t know what I was doing and had to figure it out on my own.And over time, I had todevelop all these tools and strategiesto deal with the depression. And there’s just so much information I didn’t haveback then, you know, that I have now toyou know, it’s for me, it’s not something that ever goes away. It’s always something I have tomonitor and I have to dothings to keep it in check. And then, you know, later this year, I have a book coming out. It’s a memoir aboutmy experience before, duringand after the antidepressants. And my position is Idon’t, I’m not saying everyoneshould go off of them. That’s not my position. It’s, The book is really just about me and my journey. So I believe in individual choice that peoplepeople should do whatever they think is bestfor them and whatever they do, they should consult a doctor. But so that’s been my experience with antidepressantsand organic food actually played a very bigrole because in 2001 when I found organic food, I knew that I was never going to not eat organic food again.I just just like I just don’t seemyself ever quitting or organic food and goingback to the chemicals in the GMO foods. And here I am in New YorkCity, running around, running around, looking forfood that doesn’t have chemicals. And yet I was popping a chemical into my mouth each morning. I said, this doesn’t make any sense. So, you know, organic food did play a role in my my going off of them. And is there any other things thatyou found really helpful and sort ofhelping you feel back to normal? There were several things. It’s you know, one of the things thatI talk about is to have a todo list and a not to do list. So it’s in there to do list. What are the things that you have to do to make your life function? So whether that’s yoga or meditation or not, eatingsugar or sugar was a really big one forme in my sort of recovery from depression because I eat these cookiesand you know, these areall natural organic cookies.And I fall into a massive depression for a week. I mean, I literally would take me a weekto get out of this funk and then I’dget out of it and eat these cookies again. And all of a sudden sort of likebutting heads in 2002, the light bulb wentoff, oh, my God, it’s these cookies. And I realized that it was the refined sugar. So I. Except for maybe some trade show. I mean, I practically no refined sugar.If I do, it’s coconut sugaror a palm sugar or orhoney or something like that. So it’s having this to do list and having a not to do list. And, you know, they’re opposites. So it’s making sure that at the end of the day, Maria you know what? We’re our own coach at every single moment. And so we may have ourown health coach or life coachor whatever it may be.But ultimately, we have to be our own coach. We have to coach ourselves at all times. So we have to developthese habits and tools thatcan make us move forward. So for me, it’s, you know, getting sunlightand vitamin D, is really important, not havingthe sugar, being with people is really important. You know, even though I was meditating whenI was in, you know, after I went offthe meds in 2001, meditation is incredibly important. So it’s really finding the things thatmake your life go well and being reallyhonest with yourself about what doesn’t make your life go well and acknowledging,you know, when you aregravitating to doing those things. I love that. I love the idea that’s to do and not to do list.And I think those are all really great tips. And I really want to thank you for sharingthese things and writing this book, because like Isaid before, and not a lot of people talk about this, and I think a lot ofpeople can feel very alone and like they’rethe only one going through this. But the reality is, so many of us are going through this. So I really appreciate your time and effortto shed some light on this subject andhelp people find alternatives to boost their brain health and to boost their moodin some organic ways, in waysthat do not include pharmaceuticals. So that’s awesome. Thank you. And it’s not a how to book. It’s a memoir. But this is really the book that I wish. I mean, I would have loved to havea how to as well, but I wasn’teven open to that back then.I just thought everything was gonna go go to normal when I went off. But it’s really the book that I wanted to have back. And I wanted to say, OK,this person, you know what happenswhen you go off these meds? Now, there’s a lot more awareness now than therewas back in 2001, but it’s really the bookthat I wish I had the time. Right. And what is it called and when will it be released? Well, the working title right nowis called Unprepared – Breaking Freefrom a decade of Anti-depressants. And it will be out later this year. That’s awesome. And one lastquestion that I love toask all of my guests.OK. If you can share just one tipor one piece of advice to live ahappier and healthier life, what would that be? I think out of all the timeand hours and energy and money I’vespent on personal development, I think the number one thing area to becognizant of is your subconscious, is gettinga firm understanding of what your subconscious is telling you. And because I think happiness starts with tamingthat monster and making sure that you arein control and that your subconscious is not ruling you because our negative chatter starts with our subconscious. By the time we’re thirty five,about ninety five percent of ourthoughts are driven by our subconscious. I think happiness really the core of itis starts with, you know, becoming aware ofwhat’s going on in your subconscious mind. I love that. Yeah, that’s atopic that actually comes up everyonce in again on the podcast.And, you know, sometimes it’s also hard totell like what’s your inner voice and intuitionor what’s your, you know, sort of negative self-talk. Right. And this negative chatter. So it’s really important to like get a handle ofthat and really work on those things that are notserving you and try and get rid of those thoughts that are not serving you and makingsure that you’re only feeding your brain andyour thoughts and your subconscious with thoughts that are empowering you and gonna help youmove forward and be happy versus keep youin a darker, more negative place.Exactly. And the first step to getting controlover your subconscious is literally I mean, it’sa it’s meditation and just becoming aware of your thoughts. And it’s thatawareness of what OK, I’vehad all these thoughts today. Wow. I didn’t even realize that, you know, I’m on autopilot all day. It’s literally it’s that becomingaware of how you arethinking, acting and feeling. It’s that awareness is the first step to getting control over it. And, you know, breaking free from its grip on your life. And for anyone listening who wants to try meditation,I do have a recent episode with Emily fromZiva Meditation, who is one of the world’s nation’s top meditation expert.So definitely check that out. I’ve been doing her meditation style. I read her book and it’s definitely life changing. I mean, it’s easy to do. So definitely check it out. Anyhoo, Max, thank you so much for being here. Thank you for sharing all of your insights. And for anyone listening, if you wantto learn more about organics, definitely checkout Max’s site called And he has this great newsletter you can sign up for. That’s going to send you allthe latest news and the mostimportant news about organic food. You can also check out his Websitecalled, which has a wealth ofinformation about healthy living and your organic lifestyle. And check out that air purifier site that he mentioned. That’s what livingmaxwell/air Very good. Great memory. Yeah, that’s it. It’s called the intel up here. And it’s important that people get educated aboutair quality because it’s sort of like, youknow, the organic clothing, it’s coming.It’s sort of it’s the next frontier. Not everyone’s aware of it, but because it’s hard, you can’t see it. But. Yeah. But, Maria, thank you so much for having me on your show. I love what you’re doing and I really appreciate the opportunity. Thanks, Max..


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