"Fermentation is the oldest health science that we have as a civilization. Alcohol is the oldest drug that we have and the most celebrated, most widely understood around the world and most likely misunderstood."

Mark McTavish

Have you ever paused to consider your relationship with alcohol? Mark McTavish, co-founder of Pulp Culture and 101 Cider, joins us to turn the convention on its head by introducing the practice of mindful drinking. Mark shares his philosophy of "drink better," which invites us to approach alcohol with the same care as our diet—focusing on quality and appreciation over mindless consumption. As we navigate the often misunderstood world of alcoholic beverages, we're encouraged to cultivate a deeper understanding of fermentation, its natural role in developing rich flavors, and how it can positively shift our drinking habits.

Follow Mark @mark.mctavish

Follow Pulp Culture @pulpculturejuice

Follow 101 Cider @101cider

Follow Chase @chase_chewning


In this episode we discuss...

(00:00) Exploring How to Drink Better

(13:22) The Misleading World of Alcohol Labeling

(22:37) Alcohol in Different Cultures

(31:21) Skin Care and Alcohol Awareness

(36:58) Functional Mushroom Bioavailability and Consumer Awareness

(48:09) The Consumer's Power of Choice in Alcohol

(01:00:21) Longevity, Relationships, and Alcohol Consumption

(01:13:14) Ever Forward


Episode resources:

EFR 795: The Health Benefits of Alcohol, How Fermentation Enhances Bioavailability and How to Drink Better with Mark McTavish

Have you ever paused to consider your relationship with alcohol? Mark McTavish, co-founder of Pulp Culture and 101 Cider, joins us to turn the convention on its head by introducing the practice of mindful drinking. Mark shares his philosophy of "drink better," which invites us to approach alcohol with the same care as our diet—focusing on quality and appreciation over mindless consumption. As we navigate the often misunderstood world of alcoholic beverages, we're encouraged to cultivate a deeper understanding of fermentation, its natural role in developing rich flavors, and how it can positively shift our drinking habits.

Follow Mark @mark.mctavish

Follow Pulp Culture @pulpculturejuice

Follow 101 Cider @101cider

Follow Chase @chase_chewning


In this episode we discuss...

(00:00) Exploring How to Drink Better

(13:22) The Misleading World of Alcohol Labeling

(22:37) Alcohol in Different Cultures

(31:21) Skin Care and Alcohol Awareness

(36:58) Functional Mushroom Bioavailability and Consumer Awareness

(48:09) The Consumer's Power of Choice in Alcohol

(01:00:21) Longevity, Relationships, and Alcohol Consumption

(01:13:14) Ever Forward


Episode resources:


00:00 - Speaker 1 Drink better. What does that mean?

00:05 - Speaker 2 It means don't not drink, learn how to drink better. It means celebrating the art and skill of drinking. I've worked for years and years and years to figure out how to drink better, but if we think about it in terms of our diet, we try to eat better as an example. Why not drink better too? You know, I feel like the philosophies and understandings and the learnings that you have along the way with your diet also apply directly to the things that you drink.

00:29 Whether it contains alcohol or not, alcohol is something that shows up in nature. Mother Nature decided that it should be there. Fermentation is the oldest health science that we have as a civilization. Alcohol is the oldest drug that we have and the most celebrated, most widely understood around the world and most likely misunderstood. The problem with the drug that we call alcohol is no one teaches us how to drink it, how to consume it. So now I think it's unfortunately being pulled in this direction of non-alcoholic beverages as a category. Well, we've always had non-alcoholic beverages. This is every beverage you drank without alcohol. Give me a break. Hi, my name is Mark McTavish. I'm the co-founder of Pulp Culture. We make fermented juice in downtown Los Angeles and I'm here on Ever Forward Radio. Welcome.

01:21 - Speaker 1 Welcome back to Ever Forward Radio everybody. Thank you so much for tuning in with me here today. I sit down with longtime friend Mark McTavish. He is a co-founder of Polk Culture and 101 Cider right here in Los Angeles. What if I asked you, do you think drinking is good for you? Is it possible to drink better?

01:40 When I say drink, I'm talking about alcohol. But if you are old enough to drink, and should you choose to consume alcohol, this is a very powerful question. I personally feel, and I see, that alcohol is being demonized, at least in the world that I live in. I look at so many wellness accounts, social media, podcasts, doctors, influencers, and I feel like alcohol is going through this demonized phase right now. Now, yes, can the argument be made? And I feel like alcohol is going through this demonized phase right now. Now, yes, can the argument be made that overconsumption is bad for your health? There are definitely people that suffer with addiction. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about just the sake of having a drink, enjoying an adult beverage, can we in fact get joy out of it? Can we in fact, despite the physiological, biochemical effects that alcohol has on the body, can we improve that experience? Mark seems to think so, and he's going to explain exactly why. He shares his insights on approaching alcohol consumption with the same care we give to our diet, emphasizing the importance of learning to drink better rather than abstaining entirely.

02:47 In this episode, you're going to discover the natural role of fermentation in producing rich flavors and alcohol, and how a deeper understanding and appreciation for this process can, in fact, transform our relationship with beverages. We're diving into the curious and even misleading world of alcohol label approvals, discussing the challenges of introducing probiotic fermented beverages in a market burdened by strict regulations and, straight up, just a lack of transparency. Mark and I dive into the benefits of adding healthful ingredients to alcoholic beverages and examine the cultural practices in blue zones, where moderate consumption is actually part of a healthy lifestyle. These people are living long, healthy lives, well beyond 100. Mark is going to be emphasizing as well the significance of informed consumerism, personal responsibility and the ongoing pursuit of knowledge in the craft of fermentation. If you enjoy cracking a cold one, but maybe you want to learn how to do so, that actually is going to add health benefits, and do so even more responsibly. And just change your relationship, change your perception, change your mood, change your stress, your cortisol, your entire experience.

03:59 This episode is for you. Subscribing on YouTube or Apple or Spotify or wherever you're listening or watching, it really, really does help. The show helps us grow, helps us reach more people, helps us level up in terms of guests and production. So one little thing you can do that would mean the world to me and I thank you for it in advance is subscribe or follow on your platform of choice, thank you. So your shirt and my first note is all about drink better. What does that mean?

04:27 - Speaker 2 it means don't not drink. Learn how to drink better means celebrating the art and skill of drinking. I've worked for years and years and years to figure out how to drink better, and I feel like a lot of people don't think about that and don't try to do better. But if we think about it in terms of our diet, we try to eat better as an example. Why not drink better too? You know, I feel like the philosophies and understandings and the learnings that you have along the way with your diet also apply directly to the things that you drink, whether it contains alcohol or not, and I think that alcohol is bastardized most of the time and we're led to believe that this drinking problem that we have is directly linked to alcohol being the culprit. My firm opinion is that behavior is the culprit, right? Alcohol is something that shows up in nature. Mother nature decided that it should be there. Fermentation can't happen without the formation of alcohol. It's meant should be there. Fermentation can't happen without the formation of alcohol. It's meant to be there. Fermentation is the oldest health science that we have as a civilization. Alcohol is the oldest drug that we have and the most celebrated and most widely understood around the world and most likely misunderstood here in the Western world, so specifically in North America.

05:48 I'm Canadian. I think Canadians and Americans think of alcohol as just a way to get messed up and drink away your problems. But for a social environment, what better than having a drink, than to meet up with friends and enjoy On a Friday night, to kick back with your partner at home and drink away your stress and unwind. You know there's a commonly understood basis for the consumption of alcohol. It's to kill stress, it's to boost mood. Right, that alone is enough to drink alcohol and think it's a great drug. The problem with the drug that we call alcohol is no one teaches us how to drink it, how to consume it.

06:30 And I say drink it because there is no other delivery system. Cannabis has edibles. These are things that I personally really enjoy. But I also enjoy what fermentation creates, because alcohol is one part of fermentation. As an outcome, there are many outcomes by way of fermentation. So fermentation gives you a range of organic acids, phenolic compounds, things that taste great and taste incredible and unique and different to your palate. You can't enjoy them otherwise. So fermentation gives you these esters that taste like watermelon and banana and cat pee and horse blanket if you're drinking wine. Or my favorite one, black permanent marker. Oh yeah, when did anyone say ever truly?

07:11 hey, chase what's your favorite soda to drink? What's the flavor? Oh, I really like the black permanent marker one.

07:16 - Speaker 1 Yeah, give me another can of that sharpie, yeah it's not gonna happen.

07:20 - Speaker 2 But through fermentation we get these esters and these are the things that taste and smell a certain way on our palate, that make us stop for a second and say, huh, what is that? It's interesting, it's fun. Our human palate wants to explore, right. So now I think it's unfortunately being pulled in this direction of non-alcoholic beverages as a category Well, we've always had non-alcoholic beverages as a category. Well, we've always had non-alcoholic beverages. This is every beverage you drank without alcohol. Give me a break.

07:49 What they're meaning to say is these are adult beverages that don't contain alcohol. So for me I'm like okay, cool, so that's the same as you telling a kid they should eat their kale when they're not ready even for butter lettuce. Most kids don't like their veggies, right, so we assume. But if you talk to parents that feed their kids kale from the age of one or two, well, yeah, their kids eat kale. Haven't you ever met a parent before that said, oh, my kids love broccoli? Well, because they fed them broccoli, right. If we grow up like I did, eating Froot Loops, frozen seafood and beef and potatoes five different ways, five days a week, then you learn to like those things. You learn to like what's put in front of you, right? When it comes to alcohol, as an example, same thing In this country.

08:34 We've been given an assortment, so we have choice of sterile beverages that contain alcohol. They're all dead, they're devoid of any nutrition. In fact, if they contained any nutrition that was of value wouldn't know anyways, because the nutrition facts aren't on it, right. So you can't systematically create an environment that lacks education for a drug and then not say later that when we have a problem with the drug, that behavior is the problem. Of course the behavior is the problem because we never taught anyone how to enjoy it or how to not just enjoy the drug but use the drug. When we think of drugs, we think of human beings as using them. We use a drug for a net benefit of some kind, right? The benefit of alcohol is it kills stress. The number one killer on this planet that is linked to almost all ailments is what Cortisol.

09:29 - Speaker 1 Stress.

09:30 - Speaker 2 In some shape or form. Stress. The best killer of stress, in the most widely accepted format, is to have a drink of alcohol or a drink of a beverage that contains alcohol. Okay, so one would think that alcohol matters. One would think then that if 97% of the opportunity for adult beverages is those containing alcohol and 3% even if it does really well in the next few years 3% is adult beverages that don't contain alcohol. We hear all this media and all this talk and all this attention going to the idea of alcohol being, you know, the bad thing, the thing we should never consume. It's, it's the reason for all the world's problems, and we're trying to convince everyone to stop drinking. But even if you do a good job of that, you're only reaching three out of a hundred people.

10:20 I want to speak to 97 of them and say hey, don't stop drinking because I know you're not going to anyways. Just learn how to drink better. Like my shirt says, let me teach you. Let's decide for ourselves that it's perfectly okay and rational to think that there are three questions you should ask yourself anytime you're going to consume the drug of alcohol.

10:38 - Speaker 1 What are?

10:39 - Speaker 2 they. What am I drinking? Why am I drinking and how much should I drink? So think about any other drug. Think about a prescription drug from your doctor. Why do I need the drug Right? What problem am I trying to?

10:56 - Speaker 1 fix. What's my ailment, what's my diagnosis Right? What's my injury?

11:01 - Speaker 2 Yeah, and then, okay, that's the drug the doctor says to take. Well, what's in that drug, right? What is in?

11:06 - Speaker 1 Ozempic. I want to know, which I'm sure everyone asks every time. When the doctor writes a script, here you go. They're always questioning the ingredient profile.

11:15 - Speaker 2 Not once did they ever.

11:16 - Speaker 1 You know what I mean Most people.

11:17 - Speaker 2 Yeah, they don't know. They just take the word word from somebody else that that well doctor says I should take it, so I'm going to okay. And then the third thing is how much to take. Well, it says it right on the label. If it's prescribed right, we don't know for alcohol how much to consume. No one tells us right. People don't really have an understanding of when I drink, do I actually know what I'm putting in my body? Because when it says alcohol on the label, a lot of people just think well, now I don't need to know, because it's alcohol, it's already bad, I've already given up. So sure, just give me the alcohol Right, yeah, yeah.

11:54 There are a lot of people, and I'm sure many that will even listen to this podcast. I'm Canadian. Where I come from, we sort of do as we're told only under the guise of we all share in whatever predicament we're in as a people. So during COVID, as an example, that country north of this country, canada, where I'm from, said we can only get you AstraZeneca. It's well documented, it might mess you up, there's a bit of an issue with that, but it's the only thing we can get you. And Canadians are like well, that sucks, I don't really want to take that, but if my brother's taken it, my mom takes it, my hockey coach took it. Yeah, you know what, guys, even if it's bad for me, I'm in for the team, I'll do it for the team.

12:36 - Speaker 1 They all can't be wrong. These people that I know love trust not everyone can be making the wrong decision, so then I feel left out.

12:42 - Speaker 2 This is funny. It's like Canadians, I find, don't even think in that way that you just described. They don't need it to be right. What they need to know is that everyone else is doing it and they're in together. So if it's going to mess you up, I'm there with you, man, I'm with you.

12:55 - Speaker 1 If the ship's going down, we're all going down together. Right, exactly Okay.

12:59 - Speaker 2 So the interesting thing about Americans, I find, is that you have this yearning. So many people anyways, not everybody. I see a lot of people, though, that have this yearning to, like you just said, know what the right answer is. They want to be right. Their opinion is right, the other one is wrong.

13:15 - Speaker 1 I think that's why a lot of people are tuning in here today and that's, I mean, a big reason why I leaned into podcasts years ago. I still look at this platform and people that speak on it and to social media in general is because I'm trying to find the right way. I'm trying to make sure, or I'm trying to even get some validation as to how I'm living my life or improving my life is the right way.

13:34 - Speaker 2 Right, right or what are the right ways. And that's why I brought up COVID, because it's like I have all these people that I look at during COVID. We're saying there's no way I'm getting the vaccine, can't even really call it a vaccine, I guess.

13:45 - Speaker 1 I said the V word. Now I'm going to get banned on YouTube, damn. All right, this one's a goner.

13:49 - Speaker 2 But they would quickly drink down a couple bottles a night of red wine and have no clue what's in it. And I know that for a fact because if I said to you Chase, hey, do you like wine? And you would say love it, Love it, Cool. What if I told you very fit 39 year old man who loves 38, 38, sorry I got a few more months.

14:11 You take care of yourself. You care about what you put in your body. What if I told you that you've never consumed a bottle of wine ever that contained any grapes? Would you believe?

14:17 - Speaker 1 me. I don't know if I would believe you. I would be very intrigued as to why you're saying that.

14:23 - Speaker 2 And then what if I said what if it's about not you believing me, but me believing you? So all I need from you is to prove to me that you have consumed a bottle of wine that has grapes in it. Prove it to me.

14:32 - Speaker 1 How would you? You're throwing some rhetoric on me here, right.

14:35 - Speaker 2 Well, how would you?

14:35 - Speaker 1 do that I can't, or without maybe going to a previous bottle that I've had and show me what and look at the label, or four on the label, you'd expect to find oh wow, ingredients grapes.

14:48 - Speaker 2 There's no ingredient, there's no ingredients listed on the label and there's no nutrition facts panel. Okay, if there are no nutrition facts and no ingredients on a label, how do you possibly know what's in it? When it came from up to 5?

14:59 - Speaker 1 000 miles away, assumptions and blind trust well, you don't know anything.

15:03 - Speaker 2 It is an assumption. There's no lie and there can't really be trust because you don't know the people that made it. It's an assumption. Oh, I assume that it's Graves, because it's wine. Right? The trust mechanism there is not the person who made it, but the governing system that protects you as a consumer, right? In this country we have the TTB, the Tobacco Trade Bureau, which covers alcohol and firearms, because those are the same.

15:27 The problem with a messed up system, an incorrect system, is it starts here and trickles down. Systems are not recreated from within. They are created at the top and then they go down, they trickle down. So if you want to affect change in a system, you have to work all the way to the top. If you want to affect change in a system, you have to work with all the all the way to the top.

15:46 So for me, when I talked to the TTB, when I initially started my company, and I said you know, I'd like to make a product that is probiotic, it's living, it's raw, it's loaded with all these bacteria and organisms and organic acids and things that make you feel great, oh, okay, well, yeah, but we can't allow you to do that. I mean you can't put probiotics in an alcoholic beverage. No, I didn't say I'm going to put probiotics in the alcoholic beverage. I'm going to allow the beverage that's already fermented in probiotic to be probiotic, so I'm just allowing it to be what it already is. Oh, okay, well, but you can't put any claims on your label.

16:23 Claim like what? Oh, probiotic? Well, that's not a claim, that's a scientific fact. I test in a lab, just the way the yogurt company does. It's the exact same thing. Oh, I see what the issue is. You person behind the desk that's giving out these approvals for labels or approvals for anything that's done with alcohol. You don't understand the science of fermentation. So here's what I might have to do, and maybe this has never been done before. I'm going to have to jump above you and talk to your manager.

16:52 - Speaker 1 One of the things I actually bring up in the conversation with Mark here is how, over the years, I have really looked to the quantified self and key biometrics that have really helped mold my choice of alcohol consumption. And am I going to have a drink or not? Does it really affect my sleep, does it affect my recovery? And I used to only run off of a feeling you know the feeling, man, I can feel like I had a drink or two last night, or maybe you're just straight up hungover, or maybe it takes away from your motivation or performance in the gym or just your daily performance of just living, your work, your family. Well, ever since I started using Whoop, the physical activity tracker pushing five years ago now, when I choose to have a drink, man, it has really helped me see how much impact on my sleep and my recovery even just one to two drinks the night before can have on me personally. Whoop is so sleek, it's so easy to use and it gives you incredible 24 seven data. That is your data, that is you, your heart rate, respiratory rate, heart rate variability and lets you know how hard you're pushing it in your workouts and lets you know when to kind of let off the gas a little bit and take it easy and focus on recovery. Personally, recovery and sleep are the two biggest things I get out of it and I absolutely love it and I use them as guidances in my choices every day.

18:09 If you would like to get a Whoop 4.0 activity tracker for free, and even get the first month free, I got you. You can get the band, the 4.0 activity tracker, on the house, as well as join for $0 now exclusively Exclusively to Ever Forward Radio listeners. Simply head to joinwoopcom slash everforward. Woop analyzes your key metrics, like HRV and resting heart rate, to determine a daily recovery score and shows you how a specific lifestyle like drinking alcohol and training behaviors, affect recovery. You're gonna be able to sleep better because Woop monitors your sleep cycles, debt performance and quality to help you know how much sleep you need every night. Link for you, as always in the show notes under episode resources. But again, if you want to get the band for free and your first month for free, head to joinwhoop. That's w-h-o-o-pcom slash ever forward today.

19:05 - Speaker 2 Oh, okay, and I would talk to the person running that district office of the TTB in Washington, so I don't want to go through the same conversation. I just went with the person that works underneath you and what I'd like to do is ask for your approval to speak with your lab team the people that come up with the scientific basis for the protections that we put in place to protect consumers in this country when it's within the realm of alcohol. Can I speak to those people in the lab? Yeah, okay, cool. And if I do, and I get them to agree with what I'm saying and they come back to you and give you the thumbs up, can you give me an approval? Yep, no problem. Talk to the people in the lab. Hey, lab people, do you know what spontaneous fermentation is by chance? Well, of course.

19:47 - Speaker 1 Cool. Can you tell me about that? Have you seen our lab coats? Of course we know what spontaneous fermentation is.

19:52 - Speaker 2 So here's the trick you don't need a lab coat because spontaneous fermentation doesn't require one. In fact, if you got me a cold-pressed juice from Creation or a juice down the street just a regular cold-pressed juice, or from Erewhon and I left it on the desk here, the table here, and I said, guess what, don't drink that until you come back three months from now. Okay, let it sit there for three months. When you come back to that cold pressed juice that we bought at Erewhon today that contains sugar and all sorts of healthy ingredients and it tasted sweet and really nice and like a juice would taste right. What if now, when I come back three months from now and give it to you and I say, look, there's no sugar in this anymore. It's now loaded with probiotics, which it wasn't before. Okay, it's actually a healthier version of the same juice that I bought you that you thought was already so healthy your green juice. Now it's even healthier. It's bioactive because it's fermented, it's ready to be absorbed by the body and all the benefits from fermentation live in that juice and you're going to drink it and feel amazing.

20:50 It took three months to make, right, and it costs five bucks, not 12 bucks. We're doing the large scale fermentation to provide to the consumer, on a very small scale, unfortunately right now, an opportunity to have a different relationship with alcohol. Okay, and I need the person in the lab at the ttb to understand what spontaneous fermentation is, so that they can understand that this is the thing that was done always and the thing that will always be done by nature, not because you, a big company, wanted to do it, not because you know it's new science that's coming out around it. This is the oldest science that we have on the planet. Fermentation belongs to everybody the people, animals, I mean, even deers get drunk on apples that fall off trees.

21:41 - Speaker 1 Oh, there's so many videos of like squirrels getting tipsy. Totally man Like fermented fruit and stuff like that, Right.

21:46 - Speaker 2 So who are they then to step in front of me and say you can't provide to consumers what nature does anyways?

21:52 - Speaker 1 So how did this process end for you?

21:54 - Speaker 2 Well, they said yeah, you're, you're actually totally right. So I guess we have to allow you to use these healthy ingredients and put them in a product like this, and we have to allow you to say probiotic, because you're saying that you're testing for it and I provided the testing to show that this is in fact probiotic, which any other claim and any other consumer product.

22:14 - Speaker 1 good has to be made and done.

22:16 - Speaker 2 Right Now they said, okay, gave me the thumbs up and we're good. We're the first that I know of that's ever done this. We're the first to have super mushrooms, or functional mushrooms, approved in an alcoholic beverage by the TTV. We're the first to use milk thistle and the first to use activated charcoal and the first to use like all these different things. And the basis for that is if it's allowed in your drink when it doesn't contain alcohol, then why shouldn't it be when it does in your drink when it doesn't contain alcohol, then why shouldn't it be when it does? And I don't want to endorse a systematic approach that says hey, consumer, if you're going to make a poor choice to consume something that's always going to be bad for you alcohol then guess what? It should be never even close to better for you, never close to good for you. It should always be bad, right.

23:04 That would be like saying you know, if you're in South America, as an example, and you see little kids and grandparents working in the fields and they're chewing coca leaves all day long to stay alert and be happy and have energy and to curb their appetite, right, if you went down there and said cocaine's always bad, and right now. What you're doing is bad. You're chewing on coca leaves. Well, you can't do that, it's illegal. It's, in fact, exactly what they did. And then countries revolted in south america and said this is part of our essence, this is part of our culture. You cannot call this illegal just because in north america they don't understand how to use the drug. The drug uses them. So true man.

23:46 And unfortunately, in America we consume cocaine the same way we consume alcohol.

23:51 - Speaker 1 Any kind of substance like that. Right, it's usually escapism.

23:55 - Speaker 2 True. It's also the fact that alcohol is the most widely accepted drug culturally that we've ever known, very socially acceptable.

24:05 - Speaker 1 Except for prohibition, always been legal.

24:07 - Speaker 2 True, yeah, and that's a fair comment. That obviously predates my time on this earth, so I can't really relate with prohibition, but what I know about the prohibition era is there were greater motivations beyond just curbing unhealthy habits.

24:21 - Speaker 1 In my opinion, of looking also the same uh war on drugs period.

24:25 - Speaker 2 You know higher motivations, different motivations than what we're just seeing and what's being executed and I think what we need to talk about more often to consumers anyways, is that when something's widely accepted and it becomes widely available by association, we tend to lower our bar so low on scrutinizing it. Until now, we haven't scrutinized alcohol in forever since prohibition, probably right. So now we're going to overly scrutinize alcohol and place the blame on alcohol and what you're going to see in the media most often lots of podcasts, lots of social media and even national printed media Everyone's talking about how alcohol is bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.

25:09 - Speaker 1 Right, yeah, I was telling you right before we sat down as we're recording here today. Yesterday I had an episode that went live, all for that argument. And we're talking about with Dr Brooke Scheller from her work on how to eat to change how you drink, talking about what alcohol does in the body at any level consumption, overconsumption, what it does in terms of brain health, gut health, hormone health, fertility health and kind of went more of the angle of there's really no safe amount when we're looking at health perspective. And I was very clear with her.

25:40 You know I'm fascinated by this approach and look, you can't deny, I think, to some degree, when we especially overuse and abuse alcohol, without any of these other things that we'd love to get into, such as adaptogens, functional mushrooms and have that clearer head and clearer heart. Of course we're gonna run into health concerns. But you can't tell me and this is why I'm so adamant about N equals one like listen to your body, know your limits, know what you can do, get unique components of feedback. You can't tell me that me having a cold one, a beer or pulp culture out on the beach enjoying life with my wife, my friends, is not going to add immense value or joy to my life and help communities come together. Or getting a beer, a pint at the bar with my closest guy friends. I can't see myself personally ever getting on board, fully on board with. There is no safe level of alcohol. I just don't think you can make that argument.

26:46 - Speaker 2 I think that there is a conversation around cost benefit, that you can take that approach Kind of like with food. Athletes always look at the nutrient to energy deficit ratio, again like what is it costing my body to process this food and what am I getting out of it? What's the trade-off? Well, and this is why it's great to go to a place like Europe or parts of Europe you know, the Mediterranean diet where there's many centenarians, as an example, and Sardinia, which is a blue zone.

27:13 - Speaker 1 All of them, I think, except for the Latter-day Saints, all centenarians, all blue zones, all blue zones consume alcohol. They do.

27:19 - Speaker 2 Yeah, yeah. So when you talk about the tax that you pay with alcohol, we reference often I do in my circle people talking about social tax. Because you're consuming alcohol a lot of the times for social benefit. The tax you often pay is feeling like crap. The hangover yeah Right, that's the social tax. For me, it goes beyond that. Now, I'm not everybody. When you live in the world of being an entrepreneur in the alcoholic beverage industry for as many years as I have, you become something different and your viewpoints become something different. Because I'm hands on, I'm not co-packing my product, I'm literally fermenting this stuff myself. You know we're a fermentation sciences company. We've dug deep and poked holes in things in ways that other people have not.

28:01 - Speaker 1 And I can attest to this guys. Every other time I've met up with Mark and it's been many times over the last several years always at the I'm going to call it a brewery- Cider House, the Cider. House. He's in there. He's the mad scientist in there doing it downtown LA.

28:14 - Speaker 2 I mean, for me it's just always asking questions. The best way that I can show up very often is is to ask the questions, right? And then I write down and document what happened. Those, I guess, become the answers. But answers typically are only true or current for the moment in time that you're at, and then it changes, right? So we're always looking, we're always searching, we're always trying to figure out new ways and new approaches and see what's going on. And I think that's the mentality of a person making fermented beverages is you're going batch to batch, right? So with every batch, you know, I always ask the team when they're on canning day how's it taste, guys? Oh, best we've ever made. Always, always true, right? You know, that's our effort for mentalities. Every batch is better than the last, always improving.

29:00 So learning about these phenolic compounds and oxidation and oxidative qualities and how a living organism works, no different than training an animal. It's an animal that has its own tendencies and personality, just like a human being does. But wouldn't you agree? You've had a dog, you love dogs, many, many, me too. Your dog at the age of one and six years old, maybe not drastically different High energy, doesn't listen, a lot barks, a lot like all these things and they have a great spirit and they're good dogs. But they still want to be puppies and be playful and they bark at everything and they can be a bit of a nuisance sometimes and they don't listen to you when you tell them to come and whatever. By the time your dog gets to 10 years old wow, fully different dog. They just want to be loved. They're obedient. They listen to you every time you say anything. They almost learn how to talk to you through little groans and grunts right.

29:55 Yeah, yeah, there's a learning that happens over time, right?

29:59 If you're willing to slow down and willing to open up your eyes and ears, you can listen and understand living things. Right, when we talk about the realm of alcoholic beverages and fermented beverages, this is something that, inherently speaking, was supposed to be a product category of living beverages living products that are loaded with organisms living things that's the probiotics, they're bacteria. If you don't take the time to get to know the living things, you'll never know how to work with them. We are the only ones that have ever done this, so we know, by being further down the track, after five, six, seven and now almost 10 years of doing this, how these things work. No one in a lab anywhere took the time to get to know that and figure that out. So I don't blame them for not knowing, and not knowing any better. But when it comes to drinking and you wanna talk to somebody that can teach you how to drink better, it would have to be somebody like me who's learned how to do it and understands why it's better.

30:59 - Speaker 1 Hey guys, quick break from my conversation with Mark to bring your attention to something that I have had to focus on the more I choose to drink alcohol, and that's dehydration in general in terms of my energy, my mood, but also my skin. Have you ever woken up the day after drinking, or even just feeling it during having a glass of wine at dinner? Maybe you kind of just feel your body just dry up a little bit. Well, besides choosing to drink better, I have upped my skincare game with today's sponsor called Dara Lab. Put simply, their products are clinically proven to deliver results. They got a lot of options to choose from, but if you're listening right now, guys, and you need a face wash, you're looking for something to just clean up that mug, something that is not going to dry out your skin. Actually, it's going to be better for your skin Moisturize it, leave it matte, no grease. Check out the Clean Slate Balancing Cleanser. This is my morning and night essential. This is Made Safe, certified pH Balance Cleanser uses breakthrough plant-based ingredients, probiotic ferments I think Mark would appreciate that and gentle PHAs to cleanse, rebalance, natural oils and gently exfoliate skin without drying it out. Guys, do yourself a favor. Start a skincare routine. Level up your skincare routine. I cannot recommend Caldera Lab enough. I love pretty much all of their products. I use them damn near every day. You want a cleaner face? Start with a clean slate. Code EVERFORD at calderalabcom is going to save you 20% off of any purchase. That's C-A-L-D-E-R-A-L-A-Bcom. Code Everford at checkout to save 20% off the Caldera Lab Men's Skincare lineup.

32:35 I think, right now at least, what I'm seeing in a lot of the social media space and general wellness space really also it's spilling over. I think it's a lot of categories I see on social media and it's, you know, dry January, sober, sober, curious, not drinking anymore. Like alcohol is literally the worst thing you can do for you. It will wreck your life and sure I will again go on record and say that I think anything that we use with little to no awareness or little to no intention and use as a coping mechanism or escape, it's inevitable we're going to run into some kind of problem with it or because of it, right? But I do not feel like alcohol is getting the fairest rap right now. The fairest rap right now.

33:25 I see it being demonized and I see so many people just going the angle of this has no purpose in our life. It only serves to wreck your life. It's going to ruin your relationships, ruin your health. If you can't get pregnant, if you're, if you're not getting gains, if you can't sleep, it's because of alcohol, and I don't really believe that. I think, sure, if you're chugging a six pack 30 minutes before bed, you're going to fuck up your sleep. If you're having that leak into the rest of your life and your schedule and therefore you can't do the things that you want to do or other commitments, sure. But again, I think you can make the argument for really anything there.

33:59 Believe that, with moderation and intention and going especially the angle of somebody like you and your product over a pulp culture and one-on-one cider, um, it's the level of awareness consumers have. Now. It's almost like how can you not, how can you not choose to find something that is a better option? Yeah, it doesn't need to be stop entirely, it doesn't need to be teetotaler, unless you have a problem. But look, we live in a day and age now where we do have better choices, and that's my soapbox speech about make a better choice.

34:37 Do your due diligence, look at things and look into the products that you're putting into your body and you can still enjoy an alcoholic beverage. You can still have that release, that stress release. You can still which I want to ask you more about put things into your body that add value. So talk to us more, please, about the additives that you all put in. We've already kind of like laid the foundation of what happens in this natural fermentation process. That is beneficial for a lot of different reasons. But things like adaptogens what are they? What are you putting in? Why are you putting them in there? Functional mushrooms, because a lot of people I know will make the claim no matter how healthy you try to make an alcoholic beverage, it's still alcohol and still bad for you.

35:19 - Speaker 2 Right them. I would say then, um, think of a health food that you consume, like a carrot carrots. I think people regard the og right, right, like carrot juice used to be the health beverage of the 80s?

35:33 right, carrots are a healthy thing to eat, you know they just. They're good for your body. They contain a lot of nutrients, right, but they're loaded with sugar. When somebody holds a carrot in their hand like bugs bunny style and starts eating it, do you think for your body they contain a lot of nutrients, right, but they're loaded with sugar? When somebody holds a carrot in their hand like Bugs Bunny style and starts eating it, do you think anyone's sitting there saying, oh, look at him eating that sugar. There's tons of sugar in it. Is it only sugar?

35:54 So, when we look at an alcoholic beverage, is it only alcohol? Because last time I checked, I looked at the ingredient on that label and all I saw was passion fruit and strawberry and ginger and turmeric and lion's mane mushrooms. And last time I checked those things are really healthy, like really healthy, right. And if I knew any better which I don't, cause I'm the average consumer then you know, I would know that functional mushrooms are very functional If the body can actually digest them and gain the function from them. But I would also know that mushrooms are the hardest thing to crack. They're like fort knox. The reason that they've that fungi has been so successful on our planet and probably planets before right, truly yeah, yeah, it's because they're so hard to break down, they're so hard to beat right, it's like the only thing that lives, once other things do break down and die.

36:43 - Speaker 1 What do we see?

36:44 - Speaker 2 mushrooms right, the cell membrane of a mushroom is very difficult to penetrate, so do you actually think you can just like grab a mushroom and eat it and get a ton of benefit? No, it takes time. If you ask any of these mushroom companies, how long does it take to consume your product, your raw mushrooms, your lion's mane ground up into a powder and I put it in my smoothies every morning as part of my shake.

37:08 - Speaker 1 Reishi, chaga, turkey tail, all the trending, All that stuff, functional mushrooms right now.

37:12 - Speaker 2 Ask any one of them how long do I need to consume this super mushroom for before I start to feel super? Oh well, we recommend you consume it for about 30 days.

37:21 - Speaker 1 Oh To and you consume it for about 30 days, oh, to get that saturation point.

37:23 - Speaker 2 Well, yeah, but that's a bunch of BS, because actually it's not about a saturation point at all. Do you think you need to have all these mushrooms reach a saturation point before your body decides for itself? I'm going to start absorbing it and feeling good from it. No, it can only absorb it through your digestive system and it takes four weeks to work through your digestive system.

37:43 - Speaker 1 A single serving of these functional mushrooms take four weeks to digest.

37:45 - Speaker 2 Well, not as a food source.

37:47 You can certainly expel the food that you eat far sooner, but if you're asking the body to absorb the benefits of functional mushrooms, you're asking for it to be fermented in your system.

37:57 The fermentation is the unlock. That's what happens in your digestive system. Reason that our digestive digestive tract is so long, it takes so long for food to go through is because fermentation is what we use to actively break down our food and then absorb the net benefit. The fermentation, when the organisms eat the cell walls of the mushroom, is what is allowing your body now to poke holes through the the walls of that food, the mushroom, and grab on to the things that it wants the beta-glucans and the adaptogenic effects that it's looking for to kill stress and boost immunity, and nootropic benefits to make you think better All these things we talk about with mushrooms. You wouldn't get any of those benefits if the body couldn't actually absorb the goodness that's held inside, and fermentation is the unlock if the body couldn't actually absorb the goodness that's held inside, and fermentation is the unlock. The fermentation is what enables the functional mushrooms to become bioactive, or another way of saying bioactive is bioavailable, right.

38:58 - Speaker 1 Yeah, how much and how quickly can the body grab hold of the nutrients that are in the things that we ingest and digest Right?

39:02 - Speaker 2 So if you ask the high quality mushroom manufacturers hey, bioavailability, talk to me about that, how bioavailable are your mushrooms? Well, we've tested and they're about 10% bioavailable, which is pretty high industry standard. Okay, 10%, cool. What if we talk about protein? Because a lot of people that listen to your podcast they think work out and take protein. We have a product that we created called Plus by Pulp Culture, and it contains a fermentation-derived protein five grams per can, and people would say to me well, five grams, that's not that much, okay. What if I told you it's 95% bioavailable? Oh, wow, okay, wow. What if your 30 grams of protein that you're buying in your smoothie at air one is only 15 bioactive 30 grams, where you're getting four and a half grams of actual protein that your body absorbed? Then mine's five grams and 95 bioavailable. So you're getting 4.75 grams of protein that's absorbed, more than the 30 gram protein shake at air one so you're saying most of the protein powders a lot of us are using are not that bioavailable 100.

40:10 They're not, yeah, interesting and they're all across the board. There's good ones and there's bad ones, right?

40:16 - Speaker 1 the. I gotta do my research here at legion right.

40:18 - Speaker 2 the more important exercise to move through as a consumer is to ask questions, not to doubt, not not to mistrust, not any of that. But if all the facts are there because they're literally called that nutrition facts we should look at them. And then if within the nutrition facts there's no reference to bioavailability or bioactivity, we should ask that too. And there's no reference to probiotics, as an example? When you look at kombucha and it says good for the gut or gut friendly, what does gut friendly even mean?

40:48 first of all, but it's a very, very safe claim that they can make right yeah, because what they used to say on a bottle of kombucha was probiotic and no one ever tested for that. No one ever said, hey, a guy in a lab somewhere with a white coat on said to me this is how many live cultures of bacteria in this product? No one ever did that. So they're saying, oh, we should probably stop saying probiotic because we didn't test for that. And in fact when we did, we learned that it wasn't probiotic. Because, oh, what did we do when we finished the kombucha? Oh, we pasteurized it so that it would taste good, but then it kills all the living things.

41:22 Yeah, pasteurization is a heating process that kills all the living things, and not to segue into a full-on tangent into kombucha here, but I have to go there just for a brief moment, because when I ask people, why do you drink kombucha? And they say, well, because it's gut healthy. Oh well, why? Well, I don't know why? Well, let me tell you why. It's probiotic. Yeah well, what if it wasn't probiotic, would it still be gut healthy, or is it just called?

41:44 - Speaker 1 kombucha oh wow, do you know what I mean? Alcoholic kombucha, and I think a lot of people in this sober, curious or what they believe is drinking better. They go to these things that are very cleverly marketed as alcoholic. Good for you, kombucha, gut, gut-friendly, probiotic drinks, and what I'm hearing you say is that this is just yet another clever marketing aspect 100%.

42:09 - Speaker 2 I mean they're playing off the aspiration of the consumer to do better, and that's the unfortunate thing. If we look at sex as another category that sells in this country, which it does around the world, sex is not all that different from alcohol in the way that it's sold.

42:21 - Speaker 1 We want to enjoy A lot of people have sex because of alcohol.

42:24 - Speaker 2 If it wasn't for alcohol, you wouldn't be having sex, maybe 100%, but I firmly believe that abstinence is never a solution. It's merely a short-term, sometimes long-term, because you've decided for yourself to maintain it. But abstinence is a short-term reaction to either a long-term problem or something that you were never taught, you never understood. So the easiest way to step away from something that's hurting you is to never go in front of it, never be near it. So abstinence, just walk away. Look at sex, if you've only ever had bad sex. And then you say you know what Abstinence is for me. You know I'm going to go there. I don't need to have sex for the rest of my life because I've never had good sex. So it's not serving me now. It'll never serve me. I'm just going to leave behind all the problems associated with sex, which is the connections that are made.

43:13 And then you have sex with that person and it's awkward to leave that person or not actually be with them. And then it's the walk of shame kind of mentality, right? We feel dirty, we feel like we've given a part of ourself intimately to somebody and if it doesn't work out well, that's hurtful, it's emotional, it's a dig at ourselves. We start to challenge ourself and wonder like did I make a poor choice. I can't believe I did that with that person.

43:35 You know, and if you look at the same exact sort of experience with a different person, and they only ever had great sex. They've never had bad sex, always great sex with a great person who loved them and cared about them are they the same thing? They're both sex that we're talking about. Both experiences are rooted in the conversation around sex and the experience that we have with it. One has only ever been negative, so then the choice was to leave it, so abstinence was the solution. The other one over here was always positive, never bad, so then the choice was to stick with it and never abstinence. It feeds you, it helps you. Sexual health is a part of our overall health and wellbeing.

44:17 - Speaker 1 I'm hearing this kind of same through line. What my takeaway here is, I think a lot of people do approach relationships, and definitely sexual activity, if you think about it, the same way that we probably approach alcohol. And how many of us have gone, you know, like, oh, we wake up the next day like I wish, I wish I didn't drink that much. Or you wake up and you're like, oh, I can't believe I called my ex or hooked up with my ex. Or, you know, you look over and it's's like a one night stand that you wouldn't really pick, maybe in the daylight. It all comes down to your level of awareness.

44:50 Going into that situation, what were you looking at? The label? Were you looking at this person before you made that choice and really go, what am I getting into here? Where's my emotional state? What is the driving force really behind this decision, or lack thereof decision? You know, I think a lot of us we kind of take a look at our sex life and alcohol consumption. It's the baseline. Is you the through line? Is you it's? Are you aware of what you're doing? Are you aware of the choices you're making or not?

45:16 - Speaker 2 There are two things to be very aware of, and it's fair, I think, to say this, and I'm not the authority on everything I'm not trying to be, but in my experience, and what I believe to be the experience of most people, there are two things we need to always consider. It's inhibitions and governance. That would be the idea of having a throttle of some kind to control yourself, self-control is a big thing.

45:35 - Speaker 1 Right, it's a very good thing.

45:36 - Speaker 2 You like to work out. You like to go seven days a week and be there for four hours a day, unless maybe you're a professional athlete and you're dieting to keep up with that because you're going to harm yourself. You're not going to have any time for recovery and repair, right, so you overdo it. We overdo a lot of things in life and, forgive me, but the doctor that was on prior to me- Brooke Scheller. Brooke Scheller Brooke, this is with all due respect to everything that you said, but I think she would agree.

46:09 - Speaker 1 There's a scientific basis for saying that you could over-consume water. Oh yeah, okay, yeah, there's such a thing as being too hydrated, right, yeah, well, you could die, yeah.

46:14 - Speaker 2 Hydrophilic Right so, but does that mean we should abstain from consuming water?

46:20 - Speaker 1 No.

46:21 - Speaker 2 It means there's a degree of self-control.

46:23 - Speaker 1 It's a much higher degree when it comes to water right.

46:26 - Speaker 2 Alcohol, to be fair, much lower threshold. We do need to govern that. We do need to make sure people are educated and know what they're doing when they drink right. But that's a responsibility conversation. And then it comes down to being self-responsible, self-governing, right. Not needing someone to show you the way and decide for you, but just knowing that this is probably the wrong thing. I should just not do that, right? So you're going to have people that become alcoholics, just like you have sex addicts you do. When there are pleasures in life to be enjoyed, people tend to want to enjoy them because they want the pleasure. Sugar is the same thing.

47:03 If you let my six-year-old and nine-year-old they're the best kids on this planet. I love them to death and they do self-govern. They do have an awareness. They're great little human beings. They're not just my kids, they're their own people and I watch them. They have governance, they have inhibitions, they have all these natural things that we all have and they're self-aware. But if I put a bowl of Skittles in front of them at 8 pm at bedtime and say, hey, I'm going to leave this in the bedroom with you, but do not eat that, I expect you to self-govern, I expect you to hold back and show some restraint here. Hey, isla, do not eat that. Go to sleep right now. Okay, good night, and I walk out and shut the door. Guaranteed, she's eating the Skittles. Guaranteed, and I can't blame her for it. She's six years old.

47:48 - Speaker 1 Are you aware of this study I forget the name, I think it's called the Marshmallow Study they did with children, okay, years ago. So they did this study of children. At a believe it was marshmallows. They put a certain amount of marshmallows in front of kids and they left the room and they said, hey, don't eat them until I come back. They would wait. I think it was like five, 15 minutes, something like that. And they it was a longitudinal study.

48:11 They followed the ones that didn't eat the marshmallows Highest probability of going to college. Many of them went on to like Harvard. They became doctors, high achievers, all this stuff. And the ones that leaned in to call it temptation here and ate the marshmallows and then even especially lied about it. They're like, oh no, I didn't have any. Uh, they, you know, follow them through the life and the argument could be made that they were significantly less significant or significantly less successful. Um, had, uh, you know, many of them, I think had ADHD or had trouble holding down jobs and just even eating disorders and things like that. So very interesting kind of study with the power of choice and dominion over your body and what you choose to do or not do.

48:50 - Speaker 2 Well, I love that you just brought that up, because the power of choice is something that we have to consider when we think of alcohol as much as any other category. Because it's widely available, you have a high degree of power when it comes to the power of choice. As long as you're over the age of 21, in this country, anyone can drink. It's their right, it's legally their right. They can drink if they want, but no one's ever taught them how to do it. No one's ever told them it's okay Also. Yeah, like. This is why I'm so fearful of the movement against alcohol right now is because I think that it's going to lead people to feel this guilt, this tremendous guilt about the idea of consuming it. They'll start hiding it. It'll start showing up more in their coffee cups and not in just the bottle that it comes in. It won't be the wine bottle. Now that you're opening with pride and proud of that bottle to enjoy and savor with friends on a Friday night, it'll be just sneaking it in.

49:41 - Speaker 1 I'm so glad you bring this up. I think when it comes to these choices, especially when people go, my life got so much better when I stopped drinking it wasn't the alcohol, and I see this as a big movement right now, especially in men, and I'm curious to get your take on this. There's a sense of pride that a lot of people are advertising I'm 100 days alcohol-free, 300, 500, 700. And then that's used as this badge of honor of this is why I'm so successful when, ever since I stopped drinking, I did boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. That is a small contributing factor, I believe, to what really happened is that you stopped putting certain things on a pedestal and you learned how to finally make a promise to yourself and keep it. It's accountability.

50:33 Exactly, and it's easier for a lot of people to put alcohol up on the demonized shelf as a thing that we can all get on board with. As to what is keeping me from my potential is keeping me from living my healthiest, optimized life. You know, getting all the there. There are a few like really big podcasters that crush it and they're amazing and I would love one day to sit down with the ones that I'm referring to in my head. But like they have this very public track record of I'm x amount of hundreds of days alcohol free and my, my, my show skyrocketed ever since then and I think especially a lot of men look to that. As to this new narrative Now, beyond alcohol, there are no amounts of safe alcohol for you. It's not healthy. We need to stop drinking entirely instead of drinking better or learning how to tap into our bodies and make smarter choices. But also as a man now I feel like it's also like the second level of demonization.

51:25 - Speaker 2 Yeah, and not to keep going back to my kids. But if my nine-year-old son, who does what most nine-year-old kids do, is just run out in the street, if I don't want them to get hit by a car, if I don't want him to get hit by a car, I say, don't ever walk out in the street, just don't cross the street ever. You'll never see the other side, but you're safe, you'll never get hit by a car, wouldn't it be better to say, before you walk out onto the street and experience life, look both ways and if it's safe, proceed Right? There has to be something said for this multilayered approach to life that we live, where it's education, then it's awareness, then it's evaluation, then it's accountability. There has to be the understanding of why am I living Right? What is the awareness I need to bring to that, how much of it, when? What's appropriate? It's all the culture, parts of it. And then the evaluation, which is the self-reflection, and then the accountability of am I actually doing the right thing or not? And if I'm not, I should stop and do it better. And if I am, keep doing it Right.

52:24 So these guys that are saying look at me, look at me, look how amazing my life is now that I cut alcohol. Instead, what they should be saying is hey, I now want to admit to my social circle on social media. I'm looking back on the ways that I was and the experiences that I shared with all of you for so many years, and I'm reflecting upon that, thinking there was a lot of those things that I experienced with you all that I wish had gone differently, and I either drank too much because of my own stress or choices I made Otherwise. It led me to drink more. It was an escape.

52:57 I did all these things and I just want to say that alcohol wasn't the culprit of all those problems. It was actually me and my behavior, and now I look forward to the day where I can drink again with all of you and socialize and enjoy it, but not have a problem with it. Well, if you can no longer look the beast in the face and you abstain and just run away, you've never conquered the beast. You've only conquered the beast when you sit down and stare at it in the face and say guess what, I'm not scared of you anymore. Hell, yeah, hell yeah.

53:25 Right. So it's ownership. It's taking ownership of where you've been at, what you did at that moment in time. Previous could be the last 20 years, could be the last 20 minutes, but just being aware of it and then evaluating was that the right or wrong thing to do? Yeah, and then being held accountable for if it was right too, not just when it was wrong.

53:47 Like let's hear more from people about hey, remember that time when you asked me to emcee your wedding, man, I was nervous as hell. I was. I was really sweating buckets in the back, I was all shaky. I wasn't sure what I was going to say. I knew I had to be funny. I knew what. I remember a bunch of things about your life and connect with your, your mom and your dad. And you know it's your wedding day. I don't know much about you. I guess you just thought I was the funniest, most witty guy that you know. I don't know. But I did a couple shots of tequila in the back though before I walked out. Man, I crushed that. Like there is this social lubrication that happens, this, you know, fueling of thoughts and creativity and emotions and good times and laughter. That happens when you drink.

54:28 Yeah, just like I don't need a girlfriend or wife to feel loved, but I feel more love when I have one. Nothing wrong with that, absolutely. You can choose your relationship. I choose a positive relationship with alcohol. So that's what I get Because I chose it. If you don't choose to have a positive one, you end up with a negative one, it's because you chose it, even if you think you didn't Sorry Right one. It's because you chose it even if you think you didn't sorry right.

54:50 So you don't just get to go around telling the whole next generation of people, including my kids, that alcohol was always bad, should never have existed, should never have been consumed. It's always bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. It's actually just not accurate. It wouldn't be misinformation for me to share with you that the human body is naturally hardwired to metabolize alcohol. That's fact. The base root of our digestive system relies on the activity that's we call fermentation that happens inside the body. Yeah, so knowing that and knowing that, it's pretty reliable to say that every human being in their day consumes some amount of sugar, fair in fruits and vegetables and candy, and you're gonna sugar glucose, absolutely anything.

55:32 You know what I mean, like there's sugar in so many things. Knowing that my kids consume sugar in their diet, I know there's sugar going in. I know that their digestive system is naturally going to ferment that and when you ferment sugar it turns into alcohol. My six-year-old has alcohol in her system right now, right now. Yet your doctor friend is saying no amount of alcohol is healthy.

55:59 - Speaker 1 Oh, like no amount of like, added alcohol or like you know.

56:02 - Speaker 2 I meant like vodka or wine, or this is me talking, not him, but there's always a retraction, anybody's sort of argument where they can go back to a previous point and change the path and say, well, let me go back to halfway on the argument and then I'll reframe what I said on the back half.

56:17 - Speaker 1 It's like well, you, don't get to do that. I think anybody making any statement, especially when I see someone like you know, a healthcare professional, a medical doctor, make these all or nothing claims, for me that is the biggest red flag of just for damn sure, a pause, right, if anyone's saying this is absolutely the way or this is absolutely not the way, you better insert a pause and really take inventory of what's happening. Um, but you know, it's beyond, just influencers and now I get so and I'll move, move past this guy. You know I I love when we talked about it, but I was just like bro, like I can't agree with you.

56:48 - Speaker 2 But I agree with you on something very specific. I like to use a philosophy in my own life where it's like don't say never, don't say always, don't say nobody, don't say everybody. These things that we say are often very decisive in the way that they come across, but often not well informed Right.

57:11 - Speaker 1 We say things a lot of times in life because we feel that way, not because we know that way. We're led to believe that we know. What belief system are we operating off of to make that response?

57:15 - Speaker 2 Right, you know now. But to talk about feeling though, um, and connect it with alcohol let's be honest about. People usually consume alcohol because it makes them feel good, not because it makes them feel bad. Right, right, right. So if we focus on that and then we talk about the positive experiences we have with alcohol there's a lot of them, if people were honest with themselves and thought about well, when I look back from wherever I am and look at my life and write a book about it, when I'm no longer here, and I think about the best times in my life, the best times are usually when you feel the most extreme social connection that could be with the love shared with your wife or husband.

57:58 It's a first love kind of feeling that you had when you were a teenager. It's the first time you held your kid. It's the first time that you dropped them off at school and walked away and bawled your eyes out. It's the emotional connection that we have to people. It's social connection, right, if we're honest about the social connections that we've made and the ones that excited us the most, where we were happy not just emotional but genuinely happy. Think about your wedding, your wedding day, think about vacations.

58:30 - Speaker 1 Vacations are probably paramount for most people, the best times I've ever had in my life were vacations.

58:35 - Speaker 2 Well, when you're on vacation, did you ever drink during the day? Did you ever, you know, swim up to a?

58:41 - Speaker 1 swim up bar and a pool and maybe grab a mango margarita maybe eight of them right when you're experiencing pleasure in a way that feels so allowed.

58:53 - Speaker 2 It's my right and my opportunity and it's accepted by everyone around me, because they're all doing it too to just sit up at this pool bar right now and have a drink and feel the Caribbean breeze in my hair Maybe even drink a Caribbean breeze, because it's actually the name of a cocktail on the menu, Like I would see this time and time again.

59:09 - Speaker 1 In my last coaching practice, my clinic, I can't tell you, mark, how many times I would have a client come back after a vacation and they would be very like, oh, like you know, I only went for a couple of walks, or like I didn't work out, I drank way too much. And then they would, you know, we would step on the scale, we do the body composition analysis, or or they would just, you know, talk about really what they did and like they actually maintained a lot of them actually lost weight and it seems so counterproductive because like, oh well, I was drinking and I wasn't really, you know, meal prepping or doing the diet, the nutrition plan we talked about. I'm like, okay, well, tell me more. Oh well, it was three, four or five days a week of of getting connected to nature. I was out on a beach, I was in the woods, I was with somebody or some bodies that were really meaningful to me.

59:57 I let go of the stressors of life, of work. I had some alcohol, I let loose a little bit and what happened? You can't tell me that. I mean, I'm not saying alcohol made this happen, but it is a strong contributing factor to an end result that anybody can objectively say that's healthy, that's happy. And look at the Harvard study the longest human study we have, at least in the US, of all-cause mortality, chronic illness and disease. It's an 82, 85-year study now in the US. Harvard conducts it and the number one predictor of longevity and quality of life, and also minimal amounts or none of chronic illness and disease, is the quality of relationships these people have, meaningful not a bajillion, but meaningful quality relationships in their life. And then also overlay that into the blue zones we were talking about earlier. All these people that live to be 100 plus. They have those quality relationships and in that they're having this connected time, sipping some sake in Japan, or beer somewhere else, or wine in northern Italy.

01:01:06 - Speaker 2 Yeah, and it's also the things they're drinking. So if it's wine in Italy, that would be different than saying it is specifically this varietal of red wine that they have in Sardinia.

01:01:17 - Speaker 1 Right, right, yeah, where it is spontaneously fermented.

01:01:20 - Speaker 2 It is grown right on their land and it's consumed in a way that was never sterilized in any way. It's not filtered, there's no sulfites added, there's no junk added to it.

01:01:29 - Speaker 1 And they're usually the ones outside getting all the vitamin D and walking and staying active, tending to the grounds, you know, making sure the grapes are good to go, and there's so many contributing factors go into it.

01:01:37 - Speaker 2 Yeah, but no different than the sake that they're drinking in Okinawa. Right In Okinawa, they're making this beverage that is just an, inherently speaking, a very healthy beverage to drink, right? They also have a diet that is riddled with fermented foods, right? Oh yeah, you know pacific rim countries have known, fermentation was the best thing ever for a long time they've got kimchi and fermented vegetables and so many other dishes right.

01:02:00 It's actually kind of an embarrassment sometimes when I talk to americans and you know I'm talking about fermented foods here. Oh, you mean like kimchi? I'm like, yeah, that's one of them, but what about every single food you've ever heard of in your life just being fermented?

01:02:12 - Speaker 1 Yeah, I look to my in-laws. They're Iranian and there's this side called torshi and it's fermented pickled vegetables and it's like a nice little side dish that goes on like with everything Me. I love it. I literally eat it by the bowl. Everyone thinks I'm a freak. It's meant to be like a small little accent, but I mean it's in all these cultures that you know.

01:02:33 - Speaker 2 I mean, look, they live so long, happy, quality lives that it's difficult for many North Americans to comprehend what it takes to live beyond 100, and not just to get there because it's some far-reaching goal, but to legitimately just love and enjoy your life and then live that long Like. My ever forward is not to live 120 years but to, at 120 years old, be able to run faster than my son, jump higher than my daughter, like just be full of energy like be the best I can be.

01:03:17 Otherwise, why stick around like I don't want to be here living my life, if I'm not thinking in the way that there's a constant pursuit? It's just being better and better, and better and better, and and that shows up differently later stage You're not, at 80 years old, the same person you were at 20. From a physical standpoint, if we look externally, in the most vain point of view, as a woman at 80, after having multiple children and being beat up upon as a parent and going through all the stresses of life to manage work and kids and all that balance, it does wear and tear on you. If anyone could see your brain on the inside, they'd probably see someone very experienced, that knows a ton and is very wise, right.

01:04:02 So when you look at someone in Okinawa and they're 110 years old, they look older, they have gray hair, they're not a 20 year old fit person. They're very fit for 110 year old person. But they still get up and down a lot. They're moving around and they're they're very active in the ways that they're active. And life changes, granted, but the mentality that we all need to maintain in life is learning from where you were before and in some way, finding a way to apply that to what comes next. Right, absolutely Amen brother Right and so with drinking it's no different.

01:04:40 This is a day-to-day experience of like hey, I'm going to learn from the last time that I drank that if I drink eight of these within one hour, I don't feel very good the next day.

01:04:50 - Speaker 1 Eight bad two better Right. So what I'm going?

01:04:53 - Speaker 2 to try and learn this time is how many should I drink within? I only have an hour or two while I'm meeting up with my friends here and then I'm going to go home and I have a meeting in the morning. How should I enjoy this experience? Like there has to be a calibration of some point, Like is it one or two? Yeah, I'd probably be good with that If I feel like I'm having a lot of fun and I want to leave my car here and get an Uber home, can I? Can I do three or four and still feel good tomorrow? Probably, if I choose right.

01:05:19 - Speaker 1 So I'm not going to have a game plan.

01:05:20 - Speaker 2 Yeah, like I'm not going to have the margaritas then, which I really want. I love margaritas, don't get me wrong. Like I want one, I love margaritas, and if I drink a bunch of them I'm going to feel like hell, right. So you know what I'm going to start with a glass of sparkling wine, and you know, after that I'm probably going to have a beer, you know, maybe two, and then I'll go home and you know, I've enjoyed myself. I've had a bit of an experience. I had some wine, I had some beer, a really well-made one. It was something that I really enjoyed. That gave me the sensory experience of, you know, some dopamine hits where I feel good and I feel like I'm out, living my life, which is great, like just the act of meeting up with your buddies for a pint after work. Oh man, it's like the Holy Grail.

01:06:04 - Speaker 1 There's this new hack I have with drinking that I've learned. I picked up and the through line again here is slowing down and appreciation, instead of just going through the motions and sticking with habit for the sake of habit and overconsumption. Christmas and New Year's, 2022, going into 2023, my wife and I went to Paris and Europe. When you go up to the counter, you order an espresso, unlike American culture, more often than not you're getting a single and I hear I'm used to it. No, give me a double, give me a double. I really learned in that trip. You know what I'm in their land and their country, their ways. Let me just take a page out of their book. And so I then kind of got hooked on sipping one shot of espresso instead of two. Right, and I learned how to just drop in and be more present and I would sit in the rain under a brasserie in Paris and just sip my single shot and just be so much more present and I had the same, if not more, enjoyment and dropping my consumption of something that I was so used to than you know getting a double shot before, and I carry over this now into alcohol.

01:07:14 I have learned to really stop and savor, especially I'm a big, like hearty, deep red wine guy. Um, now, what I do at restaurants is I, if I'm drinking, I'll order the glass. Hey, can you put it in a carafe, like a small little carafe pour? Most of them will have it, because then I get to control the experience and so I will pour like two or three sips kind of at a time, right, and I will just, I will savor it and I will love it and I will make that one glass of wine last a two, three hour dinner, sometimes Totally, and I am, I am just in the moment and I'm savoring it. Also, I think due to a friend, actually a former guest here as well, dr Randy Sherlock. Amazing wino really taught me a lot more about. You know, especially with fermentation alcoholic beverages, there's a way to allow them to release flavors and aromas and, you know, get oxygen in there.

01:08:04 normal, uh, pour does not now give me the same flavor profile experience as when I had that same wine and, um, yep, oh, doorbell oh, we're about wrapping up um, so yeah, I'll have, I'll pour that in and I'll have way more of enjoyment getting that one glass a few sips at a time, and, uh to to randy's point of it actually tastes better.

01:08:32 - Speaker 2 Yeah.

01:08:33 - Speaker 1 I'm instead of just, you know, having a full glass and just down in the hatch. You know, I have so much more of an enjoyable experience. It's nuance yeah.

01:08:41 - Speaker 2 Right, and I think in life, when we get older, we learn that you said slowing things down. Okay, we learn how to slow things down later in life.

01:08:51 - Speaker 1 When we're young.

01:08:52 - Speaker 2 We want to speed things up.

01:08:53 - Speaker 1 Only after too many times are going too fast, right yeah, Like when you're six you want to be 16.

01:08:58 - Speaker 2 Why? Because you don't want to be told you can't do stuff anymore. So naturally, you want to get older faster, right, it's all about speed when you're young. When you're older and you're 60, you're thinking about oh man, I don't know how much time before I'm 80. And when you're 80, you're like I don't know how much time before, I don't know how much time I have left, so you're trying to slow things down and soak it all up, right? So naturally, later in life, you admire and appreciate things that have depth and complexity. You want nuances, you want the layers. You know what I mean. Anyways, when I moved down here, my wife says what are you going to do with your life now? I thought well, through all my experience, I now want to merge these two paths together, because I know that there are people out there that would value a much healthier way to drink, right?

01:09:46 Right here, baby, yeah, I'm going to make the world's healthiest alcoholic beverage. She's like well, what is that? I said I don't know, I'm not sure I got to research this and figure it out. She's like okay, well, let me know.

01:10:01 So I made it a mission to research online, not what was the healthiest alcoholic beverage, but where was the healthiest culture of people on the planet who drank a lot. And I found through the metrics that I created only two positive metrics and a long list of negative metrics that are associated with the consumption of alcohol, and I think this is the only study that's ever been done by anybody in this way, and it was one and two. On the one side, positive was number one, the consumption of alcohol per capita, where it was the highest in the world. Number two was the production of alcohol, where it was at the highest in the world. Number two was the production of alcohol. Where was it the highest in the world per capita? And both were in Northern Spain, in a small region called Asturias, and it's an autonomous region of Northern Spain, not far from the Basque country, where they drink a ton and make a ton of alcohol more than anybody.

01:10:45 - Speaker 1 I never would have guessed yeah, never.

01:10:47 - Speaker 2 And and but. Then they have the negative outcomes. To look at Obesity, divorce rates, public drunkenness, alcoholism. What are these rates? Oh, the lowest that you'll find. And then I thought well, could it be that the people that have actually cracked the code and know how to use alcohol are the ones that have the most experience with it?

01:11:09 - Speaker 1 So, again, the positive outcomes they drink more, make more Very fair hypothesis. Right Interesting hypothesis.

01:11:13 - Speaker 2 And then they have the least incidences of the negative outcomes. Well, how could that be? Does that just mean they they really know what they're doing and they use the drug? It doesn't use them. Well, man, what if it is like? I got to go? So I called my dad, said hey, I'm booking a flight to Toronto and I come pick you up. We're going to fly to northern Spain. It's like all right, father-son trip. So we go on this father-son journey. It was epic. We go to Bordeaux first, have a bit of wine, take the train down through northern Spain and we get to Asturias, northern Spain, and we're just blown away. These people there drink every day of the week, monday to Friday, only during the day from 11 am to 3 pm.

01:11:52 - Speaker 1 Oh, brilliant Siesta, Brilliant.

01:11:54 - Speaker 2 Yeah. So they make a choice to use alcohol to enhance their day and never take away. They work from 8 am to 11 am, then they break at 11 until 3 pm to do the thing that they want to do most in their life not just in their day in their life, which is those moments that Americans call golf tournaments, weddings, birthday parties, oh, vacations.

01:12:18 - Speaker 1 Human connection Right. These people in.

01:12:20 - Speaker 2 Asturias don't need vacations. Wow. They just choose to have the best time of the day, which is when the sun is highest in the sky, between 11 and 3 every day, monday to Friday, to do what they love most. Which is when the sun is highest in the sky, between 11 and 3 every day, monday to Friday, to do what they love most, which is connect with friends and family and sing and laugh and dance and drink and eat.

01:12:36 - Speaker 1 This is why I love Europe so much. It's amazing right.

01:12:38 - Speaker 2 And then at 3 pm they go back to work till 8. And then they go home at 8, and, yeah, they have dinner and they shut it down, right. That's why they eat dinner so late there too, because they're still at work till eight, right. And then on the weekend they don't binge, they don't go hard on the weekend, why? Well, I already filled my whole fun bucket during the week Exactly. So what do I do Saturday?

01:12:58 - Speaker 1 Sunday Exactly.

01:12:59 - Speaker 2 I connect with my family. Yeah, we sit around in the garden, we just chat.

01:13:03 - Speaker 1 I don't need to keep refilling my cup to have a full cup.

01:13:06 - Speaker 2 Right.

01:13:08 - Speaker 1 So that's really what we're after.

01:13:09 - Speaker 2 We want a full cup of life. It's the Holy grail man. Yeah Right, so I found the Holy grail. Wow, this was my attempt to bring it to people in America, not just as a product but, as a culture. That's why I call it pulp culture.

01:13:21 - Speaker 1 Well, mark, I'm going to um, I got to get to my last question here as we wrap up. I just want to say, um, I love pulp culture. I love the drinks. Thank you so much for introducing this to me and my world, and I'm going to share all about. You got a really cool four pack challenge that I'm going to have linked for everybody on the show notes. Real quick, tell them more about that. And then I'm going to ask you my final question.

01:13:39 - Speaker 2 Yeah, so the four pack challenge is basically challenging all these things we talked about. People think that they can't drink, they shouldn't drink. My challenge is take the four pack challenge, meaning finally try something that represents the best that alcohol can give you. This is alcohol at its best, not every way you've done it before. Drink a four pack of this and tell me how you feel and if you don't feel differently and feel like, oh my God, I've never had alcohol.

01:14:08 - Speaker 1 Tell me how you don't feel.

01:14:11 - Speaker 2 Right, tell me how you feel and if you don't agree it's the best you've ever felt, the best experience you've ever had with an alcoholic beverage then I accept any argument that you have and I'll give you all your money back you know, mark everford, those two words.

01:14:25 - Speaker 1 What do they mean to you?

01:14:27 - Speaker 2 it's directly aligned with our whole philosophy. You can see it on the box. Brendan Brazier, my co-founder, literally says on the box, on every package we sell, that this product represents the constant pursuit of better Okay, and that, to me, is my ever forward as I move forward in life. It's that constant pursuit of being my best.

01:14:47 - Speaker 1 This has been great, um very enjoyable for me and I think um very relatable to a lot of people, and I do think that, um, for a lot of different reasons, alcohol is getting a bad rap right now, and we discussed a lot of those reasons. And ultimately, I just want to say and close with no matter what we choose to do with our life and the things we choose to ingest, digest, absorb, put into our bodies, put into our minds, take a moment, take a pause, ask what am I doing? Why am I doing this, especially when it comes to alcohol, and I think you will find that you will need significantly less than you think, if any at all, but it also just drives you closer to the point of drinking better, eating better, move better, sleep better, do live better. Just make a better choice. No matter what your choice is, if you can learn to make a better one, we're in the same boat and for me, that's moving forward in life.

01:15:45 - Speaker 2 Yeah, don't choose excess, choose exceptional. Oh man, I love that. I love that.

01:15:50 - Speaker 1 For more information on everything you just heard, make sure to check this episode's show notes or head to everforwardradio.com.