Tero Isokauppila is a Finnish foraging expert, founder of medicinal mushroom company Four Sigmatic, and the author of Santa Sold Shrooms.

What you'll learn from this episode:

  • Where the real St. Nicholas—aka Santa Claus—originated, and the circuitous route he took to become a global phenomenon revered across cultures.

  • Why our ancestors who lived more in step with nature held certain seasons sacred—and the benefits of a seasonal diet versus one that remains the same all year round.

  • The role of the Amanita muscaria mushroom in popular culture—from Santa to Snow White to the Super Mario Brothers.

  • How pine trees, ornaments, reindeer, stockings over the fireplace, gift-giving, and elves became associated with Santa and Christmas traditions.

  • What even Frank Zappa might not have known about the yellow snow...

  • And much more!

This podcast is sponsored by my friends at Four Sigmatic (check out my interview with founder Tero Isokauppila in episode 12), who make a wide range of coffees, elixirs, and teas using mushrooms like chaga, reishi, lion's mane, and more. Go to foursigmatic.com/max to save 15 percent off of everything!

Resources from this episode:

Santa Sold Shrooms by Tero Isokauppila and Juho Heinola

Four Sigmatic (15% off discount code automatically applied!)

Tero's website

Tero at Instagram

Healing Mushrooms: A Practical and Culinary Guide to Using Mushrooms for Whole Body Health by Tero Isokauppila and Four Sigmatic

Mushroom Academy

Facebook 'Shroom Club

The Genius Life 12: How to Use Mushrooms for Better Health | Tero Isokauppila

Why the Godfather, Part II Is the Best of the Trilogy by Gerardo Valero, RogerEbert.com

St. Nicholas of Myra by Burak Sansal, All About Turkey

Santa Is a Psychedelic Mushroom by Matthew Salton, The New York Times

The Sami People of Lapland by Guilia Vincenzi, Globe Trekker

Zeitgeist: The Movie

How to Safely Eat Amanita Muscaria by Hank Shaw, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Sinterklaas! An Old Dutch Tradition in the Hudson Valley

Don't Eat The Yellow Snow by Frank Zappa

The Old Norse Yule Celebration—Myth and Ritual by Maria Kvilhaug, Freyia Volundarhusins

Does Coca-Cola Contain Cocaine? by Elizabeth Palermo, LiveScience

When Heroin Was Available to Housewives and Aspirin Was Bad for the Heart by Mark Borigini M.D., Psychology Today

Could Ancient Remedies Hold the Answer to the Looming Antibiotics Crisis? by Ferris Jabr, The New York Times

3 Reasons Why Social Events Should Have Food by Kateryna Yaroshenko, GEVME

Mona Lisa—Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo, The Louvre

Cacao: 5 Little Known Benefits of This Amazonian Superfood by Buffy Ellen, Be Good Organics

The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross: A Study of the Nature and Origins of Christianity Within the Fertility Cults of the Ancient Near East by John M. Allegro

Slavic Winter Solstice Festival—Koliada! by Gwiddon Harveston, Wiccan Rede

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

Wild Mushrooms: What to Eat, What to Avoid by Tom Oder, Mother Nature Network

The Year Of Albert Einstein by Richard Panek, Smithsonian Magazine

Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life by Max Lugavere and Paul Grewal M.D.

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