Activated charcoal, sound baths, coffee enemas, adaptogens – wellness trends continue to rise and rise, and many of them are totally (wholemeal) crackers.
While it’s easy to make fun of the more bizarre notions floated by self-styled wellness gurus, there’s no escaping the fact that the wellness industry is serious, multimillion-dollar business. How much of it is harmless nonsense, how much is actually helpful and how much is exploitative and dangerous? And to what extent does the rise in the wellness industry reflect real deficiencies in traditional medicine, especially in the treatment of women?
We’ll ask these questions of Nick Toscano – one of the journalists who exposed Belle Gibson’s cancer hoax – as well as nutritional scientist and dietician Tim Crowe, writer Clem Bastow and host Jacinta Parsons.
Leave your spirulina smoothie at the door and your chi-invigorating, Paltrow-endorsed jade vagina eggs … in a sterile container at home, as our panel subject the wellness industry to some healthy (and vital!) scrutiny.
Nick Toscano is a multi-award-winning journalist based in Melbourne, who specialises in federal politics, business workplace relations, and the labour movement for the Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
He has been awarded the Grant Hattam Quill for Investigative Journalism, and has twice received the highest honour in Australian journalism, the Walkley Award, for exposing the country’s biggest-ever underpayment scandal.
Toscano has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Masters in Journalism from RMIT.
Tim is a career nutrition research scientist and educator, dietitian, and regular media and social media communicator.
Clem Bastow is an award-winning cultural critic whose work appears regularly in The Saturday Paper, Fairfax newspapers and The Guardian. She has written about film and television for journals including The Lifted Brow and Kill Your Darlings, and books including Investigating Stranger Things (Palgrave Macmillan), ReFocus: The Films Of Elaine May (Edinburgh University Press) and Copyfight (NewSouth Publishing). She co-wrote and co-presented the 2017 ABC podcast Behind The Belt, a documentary “deep dive” into professional wrestling.
Based in Melbourne, she holds a Master of Screenwriting from VCA, and teaches screenwriting at University of Melbourne. Clem is currently undertaking a PhD in action cinema and screenwriting at RMIT University.
Jacinta Parsons is a broadcaster, writer, speaker and author of memoir Unseen: The secret life of chronic illness. She is an ambassador for the Crohn’s and Colitis Association of Australia. She currently hosts Afternoons on ABC Melbourne, delivering a popular mix of art, culture and ideas.