We caught up with entrepreneur and world traveler Todd White, who will be speaking at the Evening Lecture Series sponsored for the community by the Institute of Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC).
Fly fishing in mountain streams and saltwater fishing on East Coast shorelines called to Todd White as a youngster in Charleston, South Carolina, where he was born, and Charlotte, North Carolina, where he grew up. Now, natural wine farms around the world beckon White, who says it was his dedication to a “biohacking lifestyle” that led him to accidentally discover a new business opportunity.
White has been self-employed since age 17, in financial services, employee benefits, hotel development, senior health care and real estate development. His most recent business endeavor was launching all-natural and health-quantified wine marketplace Dry Farm Wines, developed through biohacking.
White defines biohacking as “the art and science of how our behavior influences our biological and/or neurological outcome. Sometimes we depend on the art rather than the science. There is science behind, for example, a ketogenic diet. There is science around cold thermogenesis, the exposure to extreme cold, like ice baths. There is science around many biohacks, but not all of them, so we have to depend on the proverb ‘to feel is to understand.’ So, I know If I’m practicing something that makes me feel better, or stronger, then I know that’s working.”
White’s top three biohacks are meditation, fasting and a ketogenic diet.
“I have a very dedicated meditation practice; in fact, my company spends the first hour of every morning meditating together,” he states. “I only eat once per day, at night, and I do regular water-only fasts every month or two. I’m usually on a modified, or low-carb, ketogenic diet.”
He says he started biohacking about 20 years ago and five years ago became more committed.
“I couldn’t drink commercial wines anymore and didn’t know why. I stumbled on a natural wine revolution, which was getting underway in France. When I started drinking these wines, I felt better and didn’t have any of the negative impacts I had been experiencing from commercial wines,” he explains. “I started doing lab testing on them and started quantifying it and ‘biohacking’ wine if you will. I discovered there are 76 additives approved by the EPA in winemaking. Some of them are natural and some of them are quite toxic. When I started drinking wines lower in alcohol and naturally made and grown, I had a wildly revolutionary experience in terms of how I felt.”
White says as he was sharing his insight with friends and people loved it and felt better, they wanted to know where to get those wines.
“So, I accidentally started a business that today has become the largest importer and reseller of natural wines in the world,” he explains.
Natural wines are organically or biodynamically farmed, fermented with native yeast and have no additives. The wines he curates are dry farmed, are free of sugar, sulfites and other additives, and do not contain more than 12 1/2 percent alcohol.
White says he has a mission to educate people because “the wine industry had kept dark secrets for years by lobbying to keep contents labeling off of wine. I think wine labels should contain contents and nutritional information. Until then, you should have a trusted source to get wines that agree with your body and your way of living.” That will be the topic of his lecture in Ocala.
White notes that he has been with friends with IHMC founder Ken Ford and his wife Nancy for years and they share interests such as diet and international travel.
“And they are both wine aficionados as well,” he says.
White’s frequent traveling companion in the U.S., Pineau, a French bulldog named for White’s favorite French grape, Pineau d’Aunis, will likely accompany him during his visit to Ocala.
“She travels a lot,” White notes.
White also travels extensively abroad, where he says he gets to return to his love of being in nature and spend time on organic farms.
“Most of our growers are spread across Europe. I spent 240 days in the air last year,” he explains. “It is a life of freedom that is kind of nice.”
The IHMC Lecture Series is a free community event. RSVP for the March 24th Lecture at www.ihmc.us or call (352) 387-3050.