Maintenance Phase

Celery Juice

May 25, 2021
Maintenance Phase
Celery Juice
Show Notes Transcript

Do you have viruses? Cysts? Cancer? Are you tired sometimes? According to Instagram, the  problem might be a lack of liquefied vegetables! This week, Mike and Aubrey take on a troubling taste test, meet a ghost with bad intentions and encounter the longest list of problematic celebrities we've ever seen.

Plus, we start the show with an announcement: We're doing Patreon-only bonus episodes! Sign up here:

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Michael: Hello, and welcome to Maintenance Phase, the podcast that takes fewer calories to listen to than it does to chew it. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: The podcast that takes away calories or something. 


Aubrey: This is like a Zen Koan, right? What does it take to chew a podcast? 




Michael: I am Michael Hobbes. 


Aubrey: I'm Aubrey Gordon. 


Michael: And we have an announcement to make. 


Aubrey: I'm very excited about it. It feels fun. 


Michael: Your mother and I have been talking and- 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: -you may have noticed. 


Aubrey: It's nothing. We don't love you anymore. 


Michael: [laughs] 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: No, it's that we are going to start doing bonus episodes.


Aubrey: Yeah. So, we're going to start releasing bonus episodes on Patreon, for our Patreon patrons.


Michael: yes.


Aubrey: And our first one comes out tomorrow, then it is me explaining something that I know quite a bit about to Mike and that is 'The Bachelor.' 


Michael: Yes, it was so much fun. 


Aubrey: It's really, really, really fun. 


Michael: So, we don't know exactly what format the bonus episodes are going to take. We're going to do like an ask us anything, we're probably going to do like an advice show, we're going to talk about like movies and weird old diet book clubs, and just random stuff that doesn't really fit onto the show. 


Aubrey: Absolutely. At some point, I'm going to make Mike explain to me his fixation on Elon Musk. 


Michael: Yeah, it's going to be a four-hour long bonus episode. 


Aubrey: [laughs]


Michael: Anyway, if you already support us on Patreon despite getting zero anything for that, thank you from the bottom of our little hearts. If you would like to start supporting us on Patreon and hearing our little bonus episodes, go to


Aubrey: We'll see you there, team. 


Michael: You can also not support us and just keep listening. It's fine. 


Aubrey: Yeah. 


Michael: However, to listen today, you have to hate celery for some reason, I guess.


Aubrey: No, you don’t have to, or love it, or anything. 


Michael: [laughs] I have no idea how we're going to fill a whole episode talking about celery juice. [laughs] 


Aubrey: Oh, buddy. Just you wait, [crosstalk] 


Michael: I have no preexisting relationship with this substance.


Aubrey: Well, that cut off my first question which was going to be, "Mike, what do you know about celery juice?"


Michael: I heard about celery juice two weeks ago when my friend in Portland, Aubrey Gordon-


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: -said, "Let's do an episode about celery juice." I was like, "Ah, okay."


Aubrey: Mike, I'm so excited for this episode now. 


Michael: I know. Me, too.


Aubrey: The fact that you're coming in 100% clean means that I get to blow your brains out of your head a couple of times here.


Michael: No toxins on this end of the conversation, Aubrey. I need you to know.


Aubrey: So, I came in sort of knowing that celery juice was a broad trend. This is one of our most requested topics by the way. 


Michael: How did I miss this?


Aubrey: This may be where the dividing line of on Instagram versus not on Instagram shows up once again. 


Michael: Yes, because I am not privy to the juice discussions in our society. 


Aubrey: It is so Instagrammy. 


Michael: Yeah. 


Aubrey: Vanity Fair wrote a piece called 'celery juice is the perfect probably pointless trend for 2019.' "Goop approved, vaguely virtuous Instagrammable." Is it healthy? It's not, not healthy. What exactly does it do for you? Who knows? The important thing is that it looks good. Carrying around a bottle of celery juice comes with an air of exclusivity. To drink it, you either need to own your own juice or have easy access to a place like pressed juicery, which is currently selling a seven-day celery juice package for $60. 


Michael: Jesus. 


Aubrey: It's the perfect addition to an early morning, no makeup selfie. It also goes well with a trip to equinox. 


Michael: Right. 


Aubrey: It is also being used as a way to signal the kind of person that you are and the kind of health that you're invested in, and wellness that you're invested in. It's no accident that this has shown up on a social media platform, and not only that but the social media platform that is literally all about images. 


Michael: Right. 


Aubrey: So, do you want to hear what people have been saying about celery juice on the internet? 


Michael: Yes, take me into the world of celery juice claims. 


Aubrey: I'll say, first of all, celery juice has shown up over the last like three or four years in the biggest way. That's been sort of its peak. Lots of like health and wellness influencers. This has been big with a lot of people who were on 'The Bachelor.'


Michael: Oh, this is the Aubrey entry point. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: This is how she learned. 


Aubrey: This is not how I learned, but it is something I found out along the way. 


Michael: A suitcase of lunchmeat, a suitcase of celery. 


Aubrey: But when you talk about celery juice, people who are believers in celery juice believe that it is fundamentally different. The nutrition behind celery juice is fundamentally different than the nutrition behind chewing a stalk of celery. 


Michael: Oh.


Aubrey: Here are the things that they say that drinking celery juice-


Michael: Oh, no. 


Aubrey: -can do. These are all big expansive claims. They say that drinking celery juice regulates your gut microbiome.


Michael: Sure. 


Aubrey: They say that it fights inflammation. 


Michael: Okay. 


Aubrey: They say that it cleanses your body of toxins. 


Michael: Okay.


Aubrey: They say that it can cure addiction and mental illnesses including bipolar and PTSD. 


Michael: Jesus Christ. 


Aubrey: At least, according to Miranda Kerr, who's a big believer, she put up an Instagram post which she has since taken down saying that, drinking celery juice can protect you from contracting COVID-19. 


Michael: Oh, good stuff. Topical. 


Aubrey: There is a huge list of conditions that celery juice is supposed to cure. The first one on the list is viruses. 




Michael: Cool. 


Aubrey: It cures viruses, it cures Hashimoto's thyroiditis, it cures rheumatoid arthritis-fibromyalgia, acne, eczema, Lyme, gut problems, brain fog, weight issues, migraines, bloating, vertigo, psoriasis, cysts, fatigue, PCOS, fibroids, UTI, endometriosis, and autoimmune disorders. 


Michael: God. It's funny that none of the ones on there are minor. 


Aubrey: No. 


Michael: I have dry eyes. I have to use eyedrops.


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: But that's like a very minor irritation to me. It's not like MS or these like much more significant conditions. On that list, it is fascinating how many of those conditions are multifactorial, and scientists don't know all that well, the way that they start or how to treat them? Many of them are perfectly structured for this kind of snake oil bullshit.


Aubrey: Absolutely. So, the creator of this craze, there is a single person who created this craze. We'll get into him in a minute, 


Michael: Bob Celery. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: The juice, actually, it has nothing to do with the vegetable. I'm sorry. 


Aubrey: His name is Celery juice. 


Michael: Oh, my God. 




Aubrey: He contends that this is not a health trend, because health trends are propelled by big money, and advertising, and promotion- 


Michael: Oh, here we go. 


Aubrey: -and millions and millions of dollars, and this is popular, and it's affordable, it's accessible, anybody can get celery juice. This is like every man's wellness approach.


Michael: Argh. What do you even say anymore? It's always the same stuff. It's always this like for the people, it's a way of pushing back against elites. There's something so interesting that as income inequality has become objectively a bigger concern. All of these diet fads promising miracle cure bullshit, they've all put themselves into that funnel now. They're glomming on to these real concerns that people have.


Aubrey: Well, and that stands in contrast to what we see and know about wellness world, which is that it is often a major marker of wealth. That if you think about who's going to equinox, who's drinking moon juice, who's subscribing to goop, all of that sort of stuff is really coated with middle class, and upper middle class, and wealthy class codes, and it is also deeply coded as a very white space as well. So, it's just odd to try and take on this populist tone to an industry that is in no way populous.


Michael: Of course, you made me go to PCC and buy some celery juice, and it was like $4.99.


Aubrey: It's so much money. 


Michael: Even like buying celery and juicing it, I guess, is like cheaper than that surely. But also juicers cost money and also cost time?


Aubrey: Yes, and the further you get into the world of juicing as I now know, as I have taken several dives into juice world, the more judgments there are about essentially like cheaper kinds of juicers being not as good, and extracting the juice incorrectly, and what you really need is a masticating juicer, which are like hundreds of dollars, blah, blah, blah. 


Michael: When I was a kid, I remember my parents saying if I masticated, I would go blind. Is that what that word means?


Aubrey: [laughs] I'm just going to start straight off the bat with debunking of those claims. Every single source that I found that was not the sole creator of this craze was like, "This is utter bullshit." It's not bad for you, but it's not going to cure fuck all anything.


Michael: It seems like juices are fine. If you want to drink juice, drink juice. But it's not going to do anything magical for you. 


Aubrey: Exactly. I think, there's also this thing that they talk about which is like the hydration effects of celery, and they're like, "It's the best hydrator."


Michael: Sure.


Aubrey: Celery juice is the single best hydrator. Nutritionists, and doctors, and dietitians are all like, "Yeah, it's 94% water." 


Michael: Yeah, but so are you. So am I.


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: Everything is mostly water. 


Aubrey: Celery juice is 95% water. Regular water is 100% water. [laughs] 


Michael: You know, there's more efficient ways to get water. 


Aubrey: Yeah. 


Michael: Such as water. 


Aubrey: There's a very specific protocol for drinking celery juice, and that is you are supposed to drink 16 ounces of freshly juiced celery on an empty stomach, and then you don't eat anything for about 30 minutes--15 to 30 minutes, then you can go about your day, and eat what you were going to eat, and what have you.


Michael: Wait, what why?


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: Why are we ritualizing it to this level? That seems so weird. It's not a medication. Just eat it when you want it. Why do we have to make a right way and a wrong way to do this? 


Aubrey: Mike, I feel like, you're wasting your outrage too early in this. [laughs] 


Michael: I'm whining to you because you're the messenger. I'm like Aubrey [laughs] make it stop. [laughs] 


Aubrey: Also like, listen, I don't want to spoil this for you, but I'm going to spoil this for you a little bit. After we talk about celery juice, there's a big twist coming up. 


Michael: Ah.


Aubrey: Yeah. 


Michael: Celery juice is real. 


Aubrey: [laughs] No, this is [crosstalk] 


Michael: Railroad workers used to rub it on their joints. 




Michael: It's happening to me, again. 


Aubrey: How dare you? So, I'll tell you this. There's no research into celery juice in particular, which people who are pro-celery juice say, "Aha, how do you know then that it doesn't work?" People who are like skeptical of celery juice go, will cause there's no research. Like there's plenty of research on celery. There is not research on celery juice in particular.


Michael: But that's also-- that's getting the logic wrong, because I can go and write an article on medium right now saying that, hopping on one foot for five minutes every day will prolong your life expectancy. Like I can just write that and put it out into the public bloodstream, right? Then, when people say, "There's no evidence that hopping on one foot has any benefits," I can say, "Well, where's your evidence that it doesn't have benefits?" 


Aubrey: Yeah, totally. 


Michael: It's not up to the no celery people to prove it. It's up to the yes celery people.


Aubrey: Yes. There are some good things that celery juice really does. It's like the juice from celery. Celery is pretty good for you. 


Michael: Oh, yeah?


Aubrey: [crosstalk] right? 


Michael: Celery is lit.


Aubrey: But it's also not an especially nutrient-dense vegetable, which is what makes this so interesting. 


Michael: Oh, wasted.


Aubrey: Oh, ooh, Jerry, Jerry. 




Aubrey: There's also no evidence that shows that juicing celery somehow enhances its nutrition. Much less elevates it to some sort of medicinal tonic. All of the evidence shows that juicing something, there's all this desire to believe that juicing something makes it somehow magical. All it really does is strip out the fiber. Fiber is a really, really good thing for your gastrointestinal tract, generally speaking. When you strip out fiber, what that does is increase the concentration of sugar in a given fruit or vegetable, right? And fiber slows down the digestion and processing of that sugar. It's a sugarier way of consuming vegetables, basically.


Michael: We keep coming up against the same weird drives in this kind of rhetoric that, it's not enough to eat celery, because it's a vegetable and has stuff in it. That's good for you. It's like, "No, no, no. You have to distill it down to only the essence of what makes it good for you."


Aubrey: Yep. 


Michael: It's just a weird drive. It's like, everyone wants to avoid. The really obvious conclusion, that is just like eating fruits and vegetables is good, y'all. 


Aubrey: Yes, and I think, particularly given the claims around curing a series of chronic illnesses and mental illnesses, it is particularly playing on the aggressively shitty treatment by medical systems, often of people with chronic illnesses.


Michael: I'm just imagining like walking around and seeing somebody in a wheelchair eating a stick of celery and slapping it out of their hand like, "No, it should be juice."


Aubrey: You better be spitting out that pulp mister. 




Aubrey: There is some evidence that celery can help bring your blood pressure down. They say according to the Cleveland Clinic "to get that benefit, you should eat roughly four stocks or one cup chopped." That's all you really need to do. You don't need to eat a whole head of celery and you certainly don't need to juice it.


Michael: Also, I'm against this thing of picking specific vegetables that you should eat. If you looked into any individual vegetable, you would find benefits like this. 


Aubrey: Sure. 


Michael: There's probably other things which give you the same benefits of celery. It's not like, you have to go out of your way to have celery every day.


Aubrey: Yeah, there's actually, I'm going to skip ahead to it. There's a quote that I was like, "Oh, this is like Michael Hobbes vindication." So, this is from a great reported piece from Huffington Post called "Food Isn't Medicine." 


Michael: Oh, hell yeah. 


Aubrey: Essentially, the argument of this piece is, we know that diets that include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, lean proteins, nuts and seeds, all of that can help reduce someone's risk for heart disease. We know that lower sodium diets can help decrease blood pressure. But those things are not a guarantee that you won't get any of those health conditions. You can do all of those things and still get colon cancer, and still get heart disease, and still have high blood pressure. It sure shit isn't a treatment for those conditions, and that seems to be a little bit of what's happening here is this kind of ass backwards situation, which is the thing that you can do to prevent something is the same as what you need to do to treat it?


Michael: Right. There's a lot of specific fruits, and vegetables out there and there's a lot of specific health conditions out there, and whenever we draw a line between, blueberries and prostate cancer. There's thousands of chronic conditions that could strike you out of the blue. So, it's just very weird to be linking these specific foods to these specific health outcomes as if we really have any control over the giant cluster of things that might happen to us.


Aubrey: Here's the quote that is like Michael Hobbes vindication. 


Michael: Ooh, give it to me. 


Aubrey: So, they talk about, "Here are the ways in which we have evidence that shifting your diet can reduce your risk for a specific health conditions like hypertension, heart disease, colon cancer like a handful of things like that." Then, they say, "Beyond this, there's really no evidence supporting any one food or any specific diet will be the magic bullet to the prevention of all maladies."


Michael: Ehhhhhh. 


Aubrey: Right?


Michael: They are playing my song. 


Aubrey: They are totally playing your song.


Michael: Eat the stuff that you want, and maybe you'll get some diseases, and maybe you won't. [laughs] 


Aubrey: Totally. Totally, totally. So, before we pivot into the backstory behind celery juice, which is where I think this really takes off, but I can't wait. Shall we do our little taste test of celery juice? 


Michael: Yes, I have it. 


Aubrey: Okay, so, we are going to taste some celery juice. Mike, I have a question for you. Was your celery juiced within the last 12 to 24 hours?


Michael: This is the thing is we talked about this. We were supposed to record this last week, and I had celery juice. I told my boyfriend, "Oh, yeah, we had to postpone." Then my boyfriend is like, "No, you need to drink the celery juice now, because that shit goes off in 15 minutes, and it'll get rotten." So, I didn't want to ruin this. I didn't want to spoil myself and drink the celery juice that I bought. So, I made my boyfriend drink it, and then I went to the store yesterday, and got another bottle. 


Aubrey: Wait, can I ask what your boyfriend's reaction to it was?


Michael: He said, it tasted like fucking celery. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: I was like, "Oh." [laughs] 


Aubrey: Again, this is like, there's a specific way to do this. We're not doing it in this specific way. Mike and I have both already had breakfast. You're supposed to have it on an empty stomach. 


Michael: Okay.


Aubrey: Both of us are drinking bottled celery juice. 


Michael: Oh, is that bad? 


Aubrey: It just means it wasn't juiced within the last 12 to 24 hours. So, that means its medicinal properties have significantly decreased.


Michael: Can I describe my bottle to you? 


Aubrey: Yes, please do. 


Michael: I have failed you. I was not able to get celery juice. I have celery and lemon juice. That was the only thing they had at the store.


Aubrey: I have the same thing, which also means that it is medicinally useless.


Michael: The thing that has been sitting in the fridge for a day now. It has a thing where all the green stuff has sunk to the bottom. There's like foul sludge, and the last inch of the bottle and the top of it is basically just clear as water. 


Aubrey: Well, should we take a taste? 


Michael: Alright, we are doing it? I got to shake mine for freshness. 


Aubrey: Okay, you ready? Three, two, one, drink. 


Michael: Oh, fuck. 


Aubrey: Oh, Jesus. 


Aubrey: Oh. [laughs] Oh, it tastes like the pants I go running in. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: Oh. I was not expecting it to be that bad. Holy shit. 


Aubrey: I really, really thought it was just going to taste like celery. 


Michael: Me, too.


Aubrey: It stills like part of a bloody Mary, which I was like, "I'm in." 


Michael: Oh, I cannot believe how bad that tastes. 


Aubrey: It tastes so different than its smell. 


Michael: Oh, I know. 


Aubrey: It really tastes like what I imagined, like sweat.


Michael: Oh, God. It has a salty-- rancid saltiness. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: Oh, it's like a haunted swamp. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: It's like something a witch which would make you drink to cure the spell that she cast on you.


Aubrey: Oh, hang on. Mine also has, "I have newt in it." 


Michael: [sound]


Aubrey: That's probably not-- [laughs] 


Michael: I'm genuinely shocked at how terrible this is.


Aubrey: Here's the other thing. This bottle is 15.2 fluid ounces. You're supposed to drink 16 full ounces on an empty stomach. Can you fathom getting through this whole bottle and a little bit more? A couple tablespoons more? 


Michael: Aubrey, I'm not going to finish those. 


Aubrey: No, I took one sip and this is going like my plants are going to get watered. This will be put to use. It will not be put into my body. No thanks.


Michael: I feel like there's something about sort of these medicinal foods have to taste bad, because then it's easier to convince yourself that they're good for you. It has to go down like some horrible medication, because then it's like, "Oh, well, it's stopping the aging process or whatever myth you're buying into from Instagram." It's almost like, we can't have pleasure and health in the same little bottle, which I find very strange.


Aubrey: Not only does it mean that it's working, but it also makes you more virtuous for soldiering through how bad it tastes for your own health. Boy, I have taken a couple of sips of water and that is not going away.


Michael: It tastes like, "I hate crime." 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: I feel discriminated against. Someone's like targeted me.


Aubrey: Oh, if you drink it and you like it, keep drinking it. If you drink it and you feel better, keep drinking it. That's totally fine and great. I am not anti-celery juice at all. What we're about to get into is where I do have some beef, which is the origins of the celery juice craze? It came from a man named Anthony William from Sarasota, Florida. William is not a doctor, or a nurse, or any kind of certified health care provider. He doesn't have any formal training in anything in the world of physical or mental health. But he does have a massive following, 2.9 million on Instagram and 3.5 million on Facebook.


Michael: There is nothing more depressing than finding like a straight up health grifter and seeing how many followers they have.


Aubrey: It's so upsetting. So, I have a little clip for us. 


Michael: Oh. 


Aubrey: I'm going to send you this first clip, which is Anthony William talking about celery juice on 'Extra.' 


Interviewer: He's taken the world by storm with his books on helping people overcome illness and disease with me now, Anthony William. Hi.


Anthony: Well, good to be here.


Interviewer: Good to see you, again. I mean, every time I see you, I feel like a gazillion more people are talking about celery juice. You have started this total phenomenon. Congrats.


Anthony: You know, it's the single most powerful healing remedy there is and that's why this movement started grassroots. I started long ago, and it's built up, built up because of a storm of people healing, getting better, reversing their eczema, psoriasis, their acne, their gout, their diabetes getting better, things that are getting better. When they were already doing healthy things, but nothing was moving the needle, and they brought in the celery juice, 16 ounces on an empty stomach, and they brought that in every single day, every single morning, and it's turned the tide. It's like getting people out of that stuck mode. It's pushing them forward like never before in history with a remedy like this and it's natural. It's just celery juice, but it has to be celery juice by itself. That's a mistake made all the time. 


Interviewer: Okay. I wanted to ask you because a lot of people are putting lemon in it. Does that change the effects?


Anthony: Yeah. It changes it. It stops it from working. Because there's something in there that science and research hasn't discovered yet. It's called sodium cluster salts. And they get neutralized when you put things in there in the wrong way. So, basically, it diffuses the power this holds. It has to be fresh, it has to be by itself, it can't have all this different stuff in, it can't have products in there, like it can't have collagen in it, it can't have apple cider vinegar, you can't put lemon in it, you can't put water in it, you ruin it.


Michael: Oh, my God.


Aubrey: There you go. 


Michael: Okay. I was trying to keep all the red flags in my head. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: I was like, "That one and that one and that one," then I'm starting to forget the early ones now.


Aubrey: So, tell me your impressions of seeing this guy talk about what he calls the global celery juice movement.


Michael: As a media ethics person, not that I expect much from Extra. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: But like, don't put-- don't put people like this on your fucking TV shows, man. We didn't really get into this all that much in the Master Cleanse episode. But I think that this has a similar structure where you're saying, this has all these medicinal benefits, but only if you do it in this very specific way. You have to have these really narrow parameters. And that way, when people say, "Hey, I've been drinking this for two weeks and my gout isn't cured." You can say, "Well, you must have accidentally adulterated that or you must have not been drinking it before eating. You must have not waited 30 minutes." You have to design these essentially unreachable parameters. That way, it's never the product that failed. It's always the people that failed.


Aubrey: Yeah, absolutely, and we'll get into this. So, Anthony William wrote an entire book about celery juice that I read for this episode. 


Michael: Oh, Aubrey, I'm sorry. 


Aubrey: God, help me. 


Michael: Oh, Aubrey. 


Aubrey: Truly, Mike, it is the first time in this podcast and research for this podcast or for anything I have written up to this point that I've gotten so frustrated with a source that I wanted to stop before it was done. 


Michael: Oh, yeah. 


Aubrey: That is one of six books that this guy has written. Most of them have landed on the New York Times bestseller list. 


Michael: No, Aubrey. 


Aubrey: Would you like to know where Anthony William gets his information? 


Michael: His own brain? I don't know. 


Aubrey: So, you noted his-- the name that he goes by on social media and publicly, and it is the beginning of every title of every book that he's written is Medical Medium. 


Michael: Is that because he's not medical rare or medical well done. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: I'm sorry. 


Aubrey: He says that he does not speak to the dead as other mediums do. But to a single Spirit, he just calls that entity Spirit, capital 'S' Spirit, who gives him medical advice and information that is "decades ahead of research in science." 


Michael: Oh, my God. 


Aubrey: So, what I'm not interested in doing, we're going to go into this a little bit. Mike is going to hyperventilate. [laughs] 


Michael: I'm preemptively hyperventilating like, "Where are we going?"


Aubrey: Here's the story, the brief story. Anthony Williams says that, Spirit first spoke to him when he was a child. He was about four years old and Spirit told him that his grandmother had cancer. She was not symptomatic at the time and she was diagnosed shortly thereafter. He also says that, there was a family member who had a back injury after falling down the stairs when he was like seven, and he told that family member based on advice from Spirit to drink celery juice, and their recovery started that night, and they were able to walk the next day.


Michael: What's actually interesting about that, because one thing that stood out to me from the list of conditions that he's promising celery juice will cure is he's not saying like sprained ankle and stuff. He's not saying the kinds of conditions that we normally allow "western medicine" to cure. Even the sort of Marianne Williamsons of the world are fine with Western medicine when it's that kind of acute accident style things.


Aubrey: Funny that you should mention Marianne Williamson. 


Michael: Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no.


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: Oh, fuck.


Aubrey: "Anthony William brings a dimension to medicine that deeply expands our understanding of the body and of ourselves. His work is part of a new frontier in healing delivered with compassion and with love" says, Marianne Williamson. 


Michael: No, she blurbed the book? 


Aubrey: There are so many blurbs like we will get into this. 


Michael: Oh, no. 


Aubrey: Oh, buddy. 


Michael: How many people am I going to have to cancel? 


Aubrey: He says that, Spirit told him about celery juice. He started recommending it to customers when he worked as a stock boy in a grocery store in the late 80s and early 90s. This was before juicers really took off as a home appliance. So, he would, juice celery at the store for customers. He said that customers at this grocery store would start talking to him about their health problems, and that he would then go, "You should drink some celery juice," and they'd be like, "I don't have a juicer," and he go, "Well, hang on. Let me go juice it for you" and he would bring it out to them.


Michael: Imagine walking through the grocery store and somebody hands you one of those like little free sample cups of this fucking foul juice. [laughs] 


Aubrey: It's even weirder than that because he's saying that, customers who were grocery shopping were going up to him as an employee of the grocery store and going, "You know, I have this Hashimoto's thyroiditis?"


Michael: Yeah, my first job was in a grocery store. People do tell you weird stuff when you work at a grocery store. But that seems like the kind of thing that happened once. Then he's turned it into like, "Customers were always coming up to me" like turning it into this pattern.


Aubrey: Yeah, the demand is so great. He told these customers, if they didn't have a juicer, which most of them did that they could put celery in a blender, which is what I told you. When I texted, I was like, "If you don't have a juicer, you just put it in a blender and strain out the pulp." If they didn't have a blender, he advised them to chew celery and spit out the pulp. 


Michael: Oh. 


Aubrey: Science.


Michael: Or, you could just eat the fucking celery. 




Michael: Why is that better than just eating it? 


Aubrey: It will not surprise you to learn that this guy is a regular contributor to goop. Each column starts with this disclaimer, "editor's note." We trust that you'll quickly understand that this Medical Medium is operating well outside the bounds of medicine and science. But to avoid any confusion, our in-house PhDs want to remind readers that his claims cannot be substantiated by science.


Michael: In-house PhDs, come on PhDs. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: What's the point having a PhD? But anyway, disregard any of my expertise in favor of this random dude who's just going to tell grocery store stories. But what's the point of having in-house PhDs then?


Aubrey: Okay. So, are you ready to hear who the celebrity endorsers are?


Michael: Oh, no. I'm just imagining like which celebrities do I know or like weird anti-vaxxers. So, Jim Carrey, Robert De Niro, definitely Gwyneth.


Aubrey: Okay. So, you nailed it with Gwyneth, you nailed it with De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Pharrell Williams, Rashida Jones, Calvin Harris, Debra Messing, Scott Bakula, Alexis Platel, James Van Der Beek. 


Michael: Okay. 


Aubrey: That is just scratching the surface of the number of celebrity endorsers.


Michael: This is a list of skinny women and sexual harassers. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: If I asked you for that those are the names you would have given me. 


Aubrey: Do you know something on Scott Bakula that I don't know? What's happening? [laughs] 


Michael: No. I have no information about any of those men. All I know is Robert De Niro came up on a Vanessa Williams episode. 


Aubrey: Yeah, not great. So, he has a Medical Medium diet, surprise, surprise- 


Michael: Of course. 


Aubrey: -which focuses on what he calls the Holy Four Foods, which are fruits, vegetables, herbs, and what he calls wild foods. 


Michael: [laughs] Two of those are like totally ungettable. Like they're not even foods. 


Aubrey: [giggles] He also has an unforgiving four. 


Michael: Oh, God. 


Aubrey: Here's the unforgiving four. Radiation, heavy metals, the viral explosion, and DDT. 


Michael: [laughs] What? 


Aubrey: You can understand why I was excited to share this part with you, yes. 


Michael: These don’t even make any sense. 


Aubrey: [laughs] Boy o boy. DDT showing up in a diet book. I didn't see it coming. 


Michael: The DDT one bugs me because I feel like most people don't know that DDT was banned in the 1970s. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: The fact that people are still invoking a pesticide that hasn't been used for 40 years just indicates like how rigorous all of the information behind this is.


Aubrey: Would you like to hear some other truly wild claims that this guy has made? 


Michael: No, but yes. 


Aubrey: [laughs] That's always the answer to. 


Michael: I know.


Aubrey: Do you want me to do the next part on the show or is the other person always goes? No, but okay. 


Michael: We need to make content- 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: -so, as a person though. 


Aubrey: I love the window into your soul that's like, "Oh, this is slowly, but surely killing my soul." [laughs] 


Michael: You're giving me an ulcer for which I will drink some celery juice.


Aubrey: According to science-based medicine, he has claimed that food additives that are labeled as natural flavors "are all really just MSG," and he believes that MSG is a neurotoxin. 


Michael: Come on, man.


Aubrey: He claims that cancer has only been around since the Industrial Revolution and that everything prior to that that was described as cancer were just benign tumors. 


Michael: Okay. 


Aubrey: So, one of the things that he barked out in a goop column about cancer, he said, "here's the real equation. Virus plus toxins equals cancer." 


Michael: [laughs] Oh, my God.


Aubrey: He claims that most cancers are caused by Epstein-Barr, which is one type of herpes. There has been quite a bit of study on this. There are a few types that are linked to Epstein-Barr, but for the most part, we don't actually have any evidence. The idea that it all boils down to this one single source is a really tempting thing to believe. But that's not borne out by data. 


Michael: [sound]


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: It's like, we didn't start the fire. He's just like bulking out stuff. 


Aubrey: Leonard Bernstein, we didn't start the fire. 


Michael: Yeah. 


Aubrey: Yeah. So, his own website, he has a disclaimer that says, "Anthony William incorporated DBA Anthony William Medical Medium is not a licensed medical doctor, chiropractor, osteopathic physician, naturopathic doctor, nutritionist, pharmacist, psychologist, psychotherapist, or other formally licensed healthcare professional practitioner or provider of any kind." Despite that disclaimer, you can book a consultation. Would you like to watch a consultation? 


Michael: Oh, shut the fuck up. There's one online. 


Aubrey: Mike, it's so much better than you even think it's going to be. 


Michael: Oh, my God. 


Aubrey: Wait until you see who is getting consulted. 


Michael: Oh, no. [laughs] Oh, no.


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: We're on a cancel spree, okay. 


Aubrey: Get cute on up, buddy. 


Michael: Okay. Copy link. Oh, no.




Michael: No. Okay.


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: I am looking at a YouTube page with the headline, Kim Kardashian consults the medical media for help with her out of control psoriasis.


Aubrey: I'll tell you this. Psoriasis is no fucking joke. I have a friend who has psoriasis. It has like fucked with her life in so many goddamn ways. 


Michael: What is psoriasis actually? It's a skin condition? 


Aubrey: It's a skin condition. So, basically, you get these like big flare ups of angry red. They look like clumps or rashes. They don't totally know what causes it, they don't totally know why it exists, it's just one of those chronic conditions that people have to manage. 


Michael: It's perfect celery juice stuff. 


Aubrey: Absolute perfection. 


Michael: Yeah. 


Aubrey: So, we are going to watch I believe just the whole rest of this clip.


Interviewer: I am all about mediums. I'm so obsessed. Anyone that knows me knows I love connecting to the spirit world. So, yeah, if you can tell me anything about my psoriasis and how to fix it, I'm down to see what happens. 


Kim: Hi.


Male: Hey, hi, how are you?


Kim: How are you? I'm Kim.  


Male: Good to see you. 


Kim: Nice to see you. 


Male: Nice to meet you. 


Kim: I've had really, really, really bad psoriasis flare ups lately. And when I hear someone's name more than once, I think I have to check them out. So, your name came up from like my cousin sending me like screenshots of your Instagram, and then other people just sending me your name, and then I'm like, "Okay, what does it hurt? I'm going to try it." Then you we DMed, and I was like, "Oh, my God. It's meant to be." You are in LA, but I don't know much about you. Are you a real medium? 


Male: Yeah, I'm the Medical Medium to doing this forever, since I was a kid. But yeah, I'll take a look at you. Have you stand up for a minute? Are you okay with that? 


Kim: Okay. Yeah. I wore a skirt so you could see all my psoriasis. 


Male: Yeah. 


Kim: That's my big spot. And now, it's like that size, and now, I'm just getting them all over, and now on my face. So, when it gets to my face, there's a problem.


Male: We have to get rid of those. No question. I'm just going to take a look. So, right here, I'm talking to spirits. So, it's going through every organ looking for the problem. With you, it's definitely the liver. You have really high deposits of copper. I know it probably sounds so farfetched, right? 


Kim: No, I believe in it. 


Male: Heart looks good, brain looks good. There's nothing in there. 


Kim: [laughs] 


Male: Nothing, I'm worried about. Take a deep breath. Hope I'm not scaring you. 


Kim: No.


Male: All right. Yeah, you can sit down. I had you up for a long time. [crosstalk] So, what's happening is you've got these deposits of copper inside the liver. That's a dermatoxin. So, that's a poison that's floating to the skin. So, celery juice is going to neutralize that copper. Your psoriasis will start going away, and that's why I want you on it. 


Michael: You have got to be kidding me with this shit.


Aubrey: [laughs] That was another one where when I found that clip, I was like, "Oh, Michael Hobbes."


Michael: Okay, so, people cannot see this. But he just did like a consultation with her where he just waved his arms around her body.


Aubrey: And looked away from her. 


Michael: Yeah, while staring off into the distance. Then, I'm sure there's some editing involved. But he comes up with this diagnosis of her in like three seconds. 


Aubrey: Yeah, it's copper in your liver. 


Michael: He just like waves around, and he's like heart no, brain no, boom, copper, liver, go. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: Colonel Mustard in this study, and then, to her credit, Kim Kardashian looked a little skeptical. [crosstalk] face.


Aubrey: But she did. The look on her face while he's doing the scanning is like, "Whoa." He's waving his hands around her in this like almost like a scanner kind of way. But he's doing it very quickly and she looks nervous that his hand is going to collide with her at some point, which I would also be nervous about. 


Michael: Absolutely. Yeah. I also think that Kim Kardashian said something interesting in that clip. 


Aubrey: Mm, tell me. 


Michael: It's not clear sort of how convinced of this whole thing she is. She's a little furrowed brow. He's doing his arm waving thing. But then at the end of the clip, when he suggests celery juice, she says, "Eh, it can't hurt." I think, that's a big part of the scam here. Is that like, "It's true. It can't hurt. You know, it's four bucks," and it's not really, we're not talking about fen-phen here. This isn't going to harm you. I think weaponizing that is a big part of these wellness influencers, scammers, however you want to put it. That it's like a lot of this stuff is pretty harmless and is expensive by the standards of like fruit juice, but is cheap by the standards of medicine.


Aubrey: Absolutely. So, part of how he does this, which I find really fascinating, and challenging, and also boring all at the same time is that, he says that, he communicates with spirit about individual people's individual health concerns and about macro level solutions for large populations of people. He says that, spirit is giving him information from the future that science has not yet researched. So, it's from the future. So, of course, you can't debate. The efficacy, now, of course, we don't have the information. So, it builds in this defense. 


Michael: You know what, I hope the scenario is? 


Aubrey: What? 


Michael: He is not lying. He really is speaking to a spirit from the future, but the spirit from the future is scamming him. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: He's actually the victim of a con artist. "Tell him about the sodium clusters again, spirit." It's like, "Oh, I've got this guy on the phone." 


Aubrey: This is the thing we don't talk about enough, is ill-intended ghosts.




Michael: It's actually an Instagram influencer from 2100 who just has a channel where he scams people from the past. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: It's a prank video. It's just a series. [laughs] 


Aubrey: So, Anthony William also has the Medical Medium 28-day Cleanse. It's mostly just eating almost entirely fruits and vegetables, mostly raw. According to his website, the 28-day Cleanse "will help you clean and clear your liver from the buildup of viruses, bacteria, toxic heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, and everyday chemicals like perfume and conventional household cleaning products."


Michael: Sure. 


Aubrey: "And will break down and eliminate leftovers such as rancid fats that have been sitting in the lining of your digestive tract." 


Michael: Olestra. He should be giving people Olestra. 


Aubrey: [laughs] It actually will detox. Yeah, absolutely.


Michael: Yeah. 


Aubrey: A number of doctors, nurses, dieticians, and other healthcare providers have responded to those claims, and they're all really clear. One, there's no cleanse that will get rid of "all the toxins in your liver," two, your liver is the filter for things your body doesn't need. You have a liver, you have kidneys, if those are working, you are filtered. Look at that. Three, any "cleanse" that's mostly fruit and vegetables will send you to the bathroom often because it's much higher in fiber than most of us are used to. So, because people are pooping so much, they assume that they're "cleansing" not just like actually eating fiber. 


He'll also say, it can't be confirmed or denied because the research isn't there and he's right. There is not research into celery juice. There's also not anything that would indicate that this needs to be researched, right?


Michael: Right. [laughs] And also, if there was a study on this that didn't find an effect, you know what would happen? People would either ignore it or they would quibble with the methodology, which it probably would be true. Like, we quibble with methodologies all the time on the show and those diet research is extremely bad. 


Aubrey: Oh, buddy. 


Michael: So, even if there was a study out there showing that it didn't work, people would find ways of discrediting that.


Aubrey: This is actually the perfect segue into the actual celery juice book. 


Michael: Oh, I love it when I transition us. 


Aubrey: He actually preemptively does exactly that. "We always have to remember that as honorable as the pursuit of science is, it doesn't exist on a plane above humans. Science is a human pursuit, not the fully independent, impartial process we sometimes idealize it to be." 


Michael: Come on.


Aubrey: To run studies, labs need money. And that doesn't always come from the most honest or impartial sources. Funding invested interests can affect outcomes or interpretations of results. 


Michael: I hate how right he is. 


Aubrey: All of that is true and that does not mean that celery juice is going to cure your cancer or PTSD or anything else, right?


Michael: Yeah. It's like when the NRA accuses left wing groups of being like a special interest. It's like, "Yes, special interests have captured politics and it's bad. But you are also a special interest." 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: He's right that like the scientific process around these things is not perfect, but also he's trying to fucking sell you something, and he's selling a book.


Aubrey: He's trying to sell you something and he's succeeding. Part of what I found so frustrating about this book is that, he vacillates between things that are proven scientific fact, things that are established by one study that hasn't been replicated, and things that he says, he has learned from spirit, and he doesn't always tell you which one he's speaking to, and there are no citations in this book.


Michael: Nice. The old Dr. Oz shuffle. 


Aubrey: Boy o boy.


Michael: Make it a little good. [laughs] 


Aubrey: He also cautions readers about bringing too much skepticism to his book. Of course, he says, "looking at celery with disrespect translates to disrespecting your healing process and that's not fair to you." 


Michael: [laughs] What?


Aubrey: We're taught to have respect for ourselves and others. It's part of life in this world. The ultimate respect we can show is to this miraculous powerhouse herb, because doing so is saying, I want to heal.


Michael: Fuck you, man. I'm allowed to ask whether the treatment you're prescribing and selling me is effective. That's not like not being true to myself.


Aubrey: It's really something. That one hit me hard where I was like, [laughs] "Oh, come on." I will also say like throughout the book, this book is littered with quotes of Anthony William by Anthony William. 


Michael: Ooh, we love those. 


Aubrey: "For the billions on the planet who have suffered with any kind of health challenge, this one belongs to you. It is your right to be heard, be taken seriously, and have the freedom to heal." "Attributed to Anthony William, Medical Medium."


Michael: Audrey, should we start writing down quotes, your zingers from the show to put in your next book [crosstalk] chapters? 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: This is the best poopisode, Aubrey Gordon.


Aubrey: Or, a very thoughtful history of the BMI. [laughs] 


Michael: Yeah. [laughs] 


Aubrey: Or something new. So, he also goes into how and why he thinks celery juice works. So, I'm going to read a long quote and it's really something. "A glass of celery juice is saturated with information. It's saturated with intelligence. It's saturated with ample amounts of trace minerals and sodium cluster salts. It's not even just that though, the hydro bioactive water in celery juice is organized in such a way that it uniquely suspends those life-giving nutrients and phytochemical compounds, so that they're ready to be delivered to your body. This water is alive and has a system to it. One that will be studied in the years to come. The water that's inside your blood is different from the drinking water we pour into a glass too. The water in your blood is an organized part of your lifeforce. As part of your blood, it's not just water anymore. That's how celery juice is. We have to see the water content of celery juice as the life force of the celery plant, just as our blood is the life force of us. That lifeforce from celery juice is made to mix with our lifeforce, our blood, and become one. Because we're living organisms. If we consume this living water, it's more beneficial to us than consuming regular water. The hydro bioactive water in celery juice even goes beyond living water. It's life."


Michael: It's lit. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: This is just like Jordan Peterson stuff. We're just all this philosophical mumbo-jumbo about like the man is the dragon, and the woman is the unicorn, and the unicorn bests the dragon, and it's like it's not actually related to anything measurable or perceptible. It's just like you making up stuff.


Aubrey: He says that celery juice contains a compound that hasn't yet been discovered or researched by scientists.


Michael: Oh, fucking God.


Aubrey: They're what he calls sodium cluster salts. 


Michael: Wait, what? 


Aubrey: He says that those sodium cluster salts "neutralize toxins as they're floating through the bloodstream and organs, and therefore make the body less toxic." 


Michael: Love it. 


Aubrey: He says that, if you get a blood test that shows high sodium levels, it'll pick up not on the sodium from celery. He says that's healthy sodium, but it'll pick up on the toxic sodium that celery juice sends out of your body. So, he's like, [crosstalk] the sodium levels will go up. That's a sign that it's working. 


Michael: You see, this is totally ruined for me because now, I'm imagining spirit in the year like 3535 sitting in his bedroom, scanning the walls like Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects. 


Aubrey: [laughs] 


Michael: Just like, "Ah, sodium salts. Yeah, that's it." George Glass.


Aubrey: So, that's all I want to say about the celery juice book. Again, it was so immensely frustrating to me to read. 


Michael: Yeah, it sounds like a journey through Mordor. 


Aubrey: It was 200+ pages of that. 


Michael: Oof. 


Aubrey: Oof, oof, oof. There are a couple of things, I'm going to start bringing this in for a landing. 


Michael: Ooh, okay. 


Aubrey: This has come up in a number of our juicing episodes, and I was telling Mike, "I'm going to like take a little break from juice-based stuff for a minute," because we've done a few of them. 


Michael: I know. We need to get you back into solids. 


Aubrey: [laughs] It feels like presenting these kinds of miracle cures "really plays on the deep needs created by a shitty system." 


Michael: Yeah. 


Aubrey: It's like understandably very tempting to believe in something like celery juice, but that doesn't mean it's effective at all.


Michael: I think that sort of might be with this rhetoric is that, it seems to entrench this idea that eating vegetables is some sort of chore that you should be doing, because they have phytokisines or whatever. As opposed to, you should probably find fruit and vegetable-based meals that you like. If you like eating a snack of celery sticks and that's something that's like sustainable for you and you enjoy it, then like, yeah, you should do that. But if you don't like celery, you don't have to eat celery. 


Aubrey: Yeah, totally. 


Michael: This idea that it's like you have to eat something that you don't like, because it has these magical properties. It's like, "Don't eat celery if you don't like celery." 


Aubrey: I also think few of us are going on a detox or a cleanse from a raw foodist vegan organic diet. Most of us are, "Oh, I got to change how I'm eating, because I feel bad, because I've been eating stuff that makes me feel bad when I eat it." But overwhelmingly that's not going to be like a bunch of Crudites. [laughs] Then you're like, "Oh, I got a cleanse with some celery juice. I've been eating all the celery. Now, I need some celery juice." Like, ah.


Michael: It's proposing technical solutions to social and political problems. 


Aubrey: That's what feels like to me. 


Michael: These are complicated phenomena, and we're not going to solve them with a magical hate crime juice.


Aubrey: Hate crime juice. 


Michael: You know. 


Aubrey: So, for the most part when I research these episodes, I get more excited and jazzed by, "Whoa, check out this wild thing." This was the first episode that I researched that was, "It's just getting worse."


Michael: Yeah, but you know what's a really good treatment for low energy levels, Aubrey? 


Aubrey: Uh-oh, what? 


Michael: Drink yourself some fucking celery juice. 


Aubrey: Goddamn it, Mike. 


Michael: No COVID vaccine, just green sludge. 


Aubrey: Celery juice strong. 


Michael: Straight into your butt muscle.


Aubrey: [laughs]