Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My Chemical Romance: Natural Is Not Always Better

The Free Dictionary defines ‘chemical’ as “a substance with a distinct molecular composition that is produced by or used in a chemical process”. However, based on the word’s usage by many people such as health bloggers and environmentalists, it has become synonymous with “unnatural”, “additive”, “unhealthy” and most simply, “bad”.

The food industry today loves to advertise products as being “natural” with “no added chemicals”. This is especially true for the organic food industry, whose fearmongering about toxins in everything has eeven expanded to non-edible products! There is no clear standard for what constitutes a toxin however, and any molecular compound whether naturally-existing or artificial is by definition a chemical. The ambiguity of terms such as “natural” and “toxins” allows health food peddlers to define these words as best promotes their products.  The organic and homeopathic industries vilify scientifically-validated biomedical achievements such as vaccines and GMOs (genetically-modified foods, see my blog post on GMOs for more details) for containing potentially dangerous “toxins”. Ironically, organic food often contains higher incidences of ACTUAL biological toxins and pathogens from increased bacterial and fungal load due to their proudly-advertised natural farming practices. Additionally, organic farming produces substantial environmental pollution that can be more damaging than traditional means.