The Man, The Myth, The Mushroom: Storytime with the Founder of Four Sigmatic, Tero Isokauppila  — Real Chalk #50


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Tero Isokauppila knows more about mushrooms than you ever thought possible, and he breaks it all down in ways that the average human can understand. (Don’t want to be an average human? Start drinking mushroom coffee.) Originally from Finland, Tero has farming and science in his blood, and he brings this heritage to bear in everything he does with his company, Four Sigmatic. It’s his goal to improve people’s life quality, using nutrition as a stepping stone to whole-person wellness.

His new book, Santa Sold Shrooms, will be published soon and it will blow your mind. We talk about the origin of the Santa Claus story we know today (hint: it involves psychedelic mushrooms), and dive into the controversial possibility that well-known religions were based on mushroom-induced hallucinations.

Tero explains the meaning of Four Sigmatic, how cordyceps were discovered, and why you shouldn’t eat raw mushrooms—using a semen analogy—as well as how foods become superfoods and why we need to care about eye health. It’s an info-packed episode that will make you feel smarter before you’ve even started drinking Lion’s Mane. Get educated!

Episode Highlights:

2:50 🍄 Tero’s origins: degrees, parents, heritage

4:20 🍄 Why natural supplements don’t appeal to athletes, but adaptogens are different

7:00 🍄 Some science-y sh*t about nutrient density, and what “four sigmatic” means

9:10 🍄 If you give a yak a mushroom...(how cordyceps was discovered)

11:15 🍄 Why you shouldn’t eat raw mushrooms (there’s a sperm analogy in here)

13:15 🍄 The cure for cancer is...mushrooms??

17:00 🍄 The new marketing landscape, and how information spreads

18:50 🍄 The four mushroom pillars

21:40 🍄 The next uncharted territories: eye health, immunity

28:00 🍄 The different kinds of magic mushrooms

29:40 🍄 What we currently know about mushrooms’ effect on the brain

31:50 🍄 The evolution of Santa Sold Shrooms

33:40 🍄 Details and spoilers

35:00 🍄 What do mushrooms have to do with religion? More than you might think

38:15 🍄 Rock-, plastic-, and oil spill-eating mushrooms

41:30 🍄 How a food gets to be super (Tero hates the word “superfood,” by the way)

45:00 🍄 The Four Sigmatic process, and how to sniff out a bullsh*t product

49:00 🍄 Don’t buy protein powder from China.

54:50 🍄 What a mushroom newbie needs to know

57:00 🍄 Books and other resources




Show notes:


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Shrugged Collective is a network of fitness, health and performance shows that help people achieve their physical and mental health goals. Usually in the gym, but outside as well. In 2012 they posted their first Barbell Shrugged podcast and have been putting out weekly free videos and podcasts ever since.

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