Darin Olien, the famous superfood hunter, co-host of the Emmy Award-winning Netflix documentary series “Down to Earth” and original formulator of Shakeology, has been on a lifelong quest to uncover the hidden dangers in our daily lives. As a New York Times bestselling author and host of the wildly popular podcast The Darin Olien Show, he curiously explores people, solutions and health as well as the fatal conveniences of life – a revealing segment of the show the flaws and challenges of modern times that can harm our health and our environment, which he also explores in his new book “Fatal Conveniences.”
Olien’s groundbreaking work shines a light on what he calls “fatal conveniences”: everyday products and habits that silently harm our health and our environment. Whether it’s laundry detergent, tap water, ultra-processed foods, cheap clothing/fast fashion, slippery dental floss, cell phones, lotions, makeup, shampoo , deodorant and cleaning products, among others, these amenities contain a myriad of chemicals, with minimal safety testing performed.
Olien’s message is clear: it’s time for brands and businesses to prioritize safety over profits.
Darin Olien’s journey into the world of health and wellness was significantly influenced by personal tragedy. When he was in college in the ’90s, his father began to be sensitive to common chemical odors and fragrances from everyday products, like laundry detergents, shampoos, soaps, paints, and the list is long. Even the off-gassing from a “regular” T-shirt affected him. Working closely with his doctors, they determined that he had a condition called multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), which means that low levels of common chemicals found in everyday products can trigger physical symptoms. Symptoms can include headaches, brain fog, fatigue (these were the majority of what his father experienced), memory loss, joint muscle pain, as well as potentially asthma.
The surprising prevalence of MCS in the United States, affecting one in four Americans, underscores the urgency of the problem. With approximately 55 million adults sensitive to chemicals, the impact of everyday chemicals on our health cannot be ignored.
Due to his health, Olien’s father was forced to retire as a professor and advisor at the University of Minnesota. “In my opinion, his deteriorating health caused him to break from his 30-year sobriety and lose his life to alcoholism. The book “Fatal Conveniences” is dedicated to him. Although most people do not suffer from multiple chemical sensitivities, they still suffer and feel the effects of these everyday chemicals, although perhaps less intensely. These products and chemicals continue to harm us all,” Olien explained.
Of the approximately 80,000 chemicals used in consumer products, only a small fraction, just 10%, has been subject to a safety assessment. The cumulative body burden resulting from exposure to these potential carcinogens and toxins has led to lower fertility rates, links to various disorders, and widespread health problems.
One of the most alarming aspects of this issue is the lack of regulation in assessing the true impact of these toxins. “From the FDA, USDA, FCC, EPA, NIH, etc., many agencies have good people trying to do the right thing. However, the system is backwards. When real-world data and interactions don’t match what’s actually happening, and policy only changes based on overwhelming evidence, it’s backwards,” Olien explained.
Most products do not need to be safe before companies sell them. One of the worst examples of products using known harmful ingredients is the more than 9,000 different forms of PFAS, a perennial chemical that is part of a class of chemicals created from Teflon derivatives. PFAS are heat-resistant, stain-resistant, and slippery, and are found in items such as food containers, rubber, stain-resistant shirts, leather, fire-fighting foam, bedding, carpets, sofas and even baby bibs. An EPA advisory committee has called them “probable” human carcinogens. According to the Environmental Working Group, “the PFAS pollution crisis constitutes a public health emergency.”
PFAS have been linked to kidney cancer, testicular cancer, liver disease, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, difficulties during pregnancy, suppression of the immune system in children and low birth weight, among other problems and conditions. “And don’t forget the phthalates, pesticides, EMFs, parabens and the hundreds of others we are exposed to every day that add to many unnecessary stressors on our bodies,” he said. he adds.
Its call to action requires companies to prove the safety of their products and ingredients before marketing them. Responsibility is essential and companies must take responsibility for the impact of their products on human health, the environment and animals. Olien urges businesses to move away from greenwashing marketing tactics and commit to immediate change. Delaying action is no longer an option, because the effects of harmful products are already having harmful consequences on people and the planet.
In “Fatal Conveniences,” Darin Olien aspires to reach billions of people: “I hope that the information in my book reaches the billions of people on this planet so that they can make more informed choices because we are suffering needlessly . The more we are aware of this pollution on our bodies and in the environment, the more choices we have. If we don’t raise awareness, more people will continue to suffer. People who are suffering have a hard time living a good life, and I think life is a miracle, so let’s give people a greater chance of living a happy and fulfilling life. We, the citizens, can make changes and put pressure on businesses to make the right decisions! »
By raising awareness about the pollution that affects our bodies and the environment, he believes we can collectively make better choices and put pressure on businesses to prioritize safety and health over profits . Ultimately, Olien’s message is a call to action for individuals, brands and businesses to join forces in a common mission: to create a world where health and well-being are valued above all else. . The journey may be difficult, but it is necessary to ensure a healthier and happier future for all.