Gwyneth Paltrow and Alex Jones don’t look like they have much in common, do they? She’s the attractive actress probably best known for playing Pepper Potts in the Iron Man movies, and he’s known for believing that just about everything is a conspiracy, up to and including pedophiles keeping children on Mars for nefarious purposes.
Let’s be fair, though. Jones may seem like the crazy one, but both have some opinions that make us question their sanity. Paltrow, for example, has advised women to steam their vaginas and place egg-shaped rocks up there, both of which, experts argue, can cause serious health problems.
With that in mind, it’s probably no surprise that both sell many of the same substances on their websites.
Near the end of a profile of Amanda Chantal Bacon, founder of the “wellness” brand Moon Juice, the New York Times Magazine noted that many of the alternative-medicine ingredients in her products are sold—with very different branding—on the Infowars store. That’s the site run by Alex Jones, the radio show host and conspiracy theorist who has said that both the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the Boston Marathon bombing were staged. Moon Juice is frequently recommended by Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness blog, Goop; it’s a favorite of Hollywood celebrities and others who can afford things like $25 “activated cashews.” Infowars, on the other hand, is a dark corner of the American right, heavy on guns, light on government intervention, and still very mad at Obama.
We at Quartz have created a compendium, from Ashwagandha to zizyphus, of the magical healing ingredients both sides of the political spectrum are buying, and how they are presented to each. We looked at the ingredients used in products sold on the Infowars store, and compared them to products on the wellness shops Moon Juice and Goop. All make similar claims about the health benefits of these ingredients, but what gets called “Super Male Vitality” by Infowars is branded as “Sex Dust” by Moon Juice.
There’s quite an extensive list of examples that are worth looking at. What does it mean, though?
For one thing, it behooves us to remember that the gullible can be found on either side of the political aisle. No one side has a lock on it by any stretch of the imagination.
Look, I get people wanting to be healthier. However, the best way to do that is with a proper diet, exercise, and plenty of sleep. If you need to take more, a multivitamin will do it for most people. There may be a need for some supplementation, sure, but few of the items being hawked by both Paltrow and Jones have much, if any, science behind them. That means people are spending their money for nothing … or worse, actively harming themselves.
It’s good to see bipartisanship in action. It’s just a shame when it’s based on stupidity.