"Chemical" does not equal "poison", fuckheads.

I’m sick of it. The steady drip of annoyance has now reached Pit level.

When did the word “chemical” suddenly become synonymous with everything that is bad in the modern world? Everything is made of chemicals. If you can see it, smell it, touch it, taste it, sit on it or have sex with it, it’s made of fuckin’ chemicals. OK?

Our Golden 86 Wheat is Certified Chemical Free! Yeah? Well, looks like you’ll be going hungry with that vacuum bread, fuckwits.

We sell chemical free computers! Really? No plastic case to stop the components falling out? Oh, wait, they don’t have any fucking components, because they are made of chemicals too.

Chemical Free Mint Conditioner. Lemme see now - “Ingredients: Purified Water, Natural Glycerin, Soybean Oil, Vegetable Oil, Natural Oil of Spearmint, Panthenol, Carotene, Vitamin E (D-Alpha Tocopherol), Olive Leaf Extract, Ginger Extract, Chamomile Extract, Comphrey Root Extract, Rosemary Extract.” OK now, even if we cheat and don’t count water is a chemical (which it is), you’ve got 1,2,3-propanetriol (glycerin), n-octadecan-9-enoic acid (soybean oil), ®-1-methyl-4-isopropenyl-6-cycloxen-2-one (spearmint oil), and countless others I can’t even be bothered to type out.

And another thing. Just because something is “natural”, and is squeezed out of roots, or flowers, or leaves, or whatever, doesn’t mean it is “safe”! Some of the deadliest fucking poisons known to man are found naturally in plants, courtesy of Mother Nature. By the same token, just because something has been made in a lab by scientists doesn’t mean it is evil and toxic. In fact, many times it will be a hell of a lot purer than the so-called “natural” product, because it will have been made to order rather than extracted from loads of other shite.

And don’t even get me started on the people who are selling low-calorie energy bars:

Yeah, that definition of the word “calorie” can be a fucker to get around, can’t it.

FFS. :rolleyes:

I don’t have anything to add, I just wanted to tell you that I thought it was a great rant.

I’m with you all the way on this. I used to sell homemade soaps and couldn’t believe things I would see other soapmakers say. Sorry, but since soap itself is the result of a CHEMICAL reaction I’m not buying that it’s chemical free.

Don’t get me started on “All-natural.” Whenever I hear that I want to say: “Like spider venom? Poison Oak? Hemlock? Flesh-eating bacteria?”

The minimal amount of chemistry that I’ve learned makes me revolt at the use of the word “organic”, as in “organic foods”. What are “inorganic foods”? Well, there’s sodium chloride, and hydrogen monoxide (aka water) – I can’t think of any others at the moment.

Great rant. I agree 100% Humans are a part of nature, as is everything we do and everything we create. A skyscraper is no less natural than a termite mound. A city is as much a natural enviroment as the heart of a forest. The opposite of “natural,” contrary to popular belief, is not “artificial.” It is “supernatural.”

Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals, such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.
– Dave Barry

Uh huh. Organic salt.

I dunno, for my part, I think it’s sillier to insist that the scientific definition of a word is the only legitimate definition. In the field (heh) of agriculture, “organic” has a specific meaning—codified by law in some places, even—which is not the same as its meaning in chemistry. To say that this is an incorrect way to use the word is not just pedantic, it’s incorrect, IMHO.

Many words have very specific meanings in various branches of math and science, but are used in a different way by laymen, or even by people in different fields of study. I can only come up with lame examples off the top of my head, but: eccentricity, inclination, half, square, inertia, impulse, chaotic, etc.

You’re rght – words do have different meaning in different disciplines. It’s just that “organic food” looks, well, redundant to me. I wouldn’t mind if they said “organically grown food”, since that’s what they mean (more or less).

Great rant, Colophon.

Podkayne, that site may be using a different definition. Fine and dandy. But they’ve stretched the definition of “organic” to meaninglessness, as they tacitly admit:

So they’ve substituted a definition of “It’s organic because we say it’s organic.” The only close to objective standard is the French one, which at least specifies that the salt must be sea salt. Note that the reason sea salt gives food a different flavor is because of other minerals and impurities, the very things that the other two standards claim they reject!

You forgot about the only thing worse than chemicals: Atoms

Years ago my roommate and I came to the conclusion that we sould one day conduct a little experiment. We wanted to enter a crowded department store or shopping mall, hold up a nondescript container and yell that it’s full of chemicals and atoms. Then we judge the state of average science education by the reactions.

I was curious since your quote doesn’t contain the word chemical, so I read the linked article. No, not there either. Good thing you didn’t get started then.

What I found especially amusing was the Web site that spoke of selling computer systems that were radiation-free. Including the minitors.

Tell me; if your monitor were to emit no radiation, what the hell would you be looking at?

I think he’s referring to the fact that “calories” are a measure of energy. Thus a "low calorie energy bar is, in essence a “low-energy energy bar”

As to the OP, I ceased long ago to be amzed by what kind of psuedo-babble people will swalllow.

This would be really unwise in the post 9-11 US.

Too true. Remember, “chemicals” is what them “chemical weapons” is made from. :rolleyes:

Does anybody remember the print advertisement for a chemical company, maybe Dupont or Dow, featuring a picture of an orange and an ingredients list in chemical terms? Very effective; that has stayed with me for years. But I can’t find it on the web.

When someone tells me how all-natural is so much better than “man-made chemical stuff” or something similar, I tell them "Getting mauled by a grizzly bear is natural, too. "

My stock response to “It’s all natural!” is “So’s uranium.”

From the Britcom Yes, Minister:

Sir Humphrey: Metadioxin is an inert compound of Dioxin.
Joan Littler: What?
Jim: Yes I think I follow that Humphrey but, er, could you, explain it a little more clearly?
Sir Humphrey: In what sense, Minister?
Joan Littler: What does inert mean?
Sir Humphrey: Well, it means it’s not … ert.
Bernard: Wouldn’t ert a fly.

What’s wrong with my anium? :confused:
Thank you, Colophon, for writing a rant on a topic I have been mucking through ever since I became a parent. Certain moms will give their kid/use on their kid any so-called “natural” product under the sun. You’d think that the dismal record of the supplement industry would disabuse them of the notion that “natural” = good and “man-made” = bad, but it seems to have no impact.

I really want to offer them the following: “Cook your baby’s meals with pure, unprocessed well water from pristine New Hampshire! Bottled directly at the source, a glacial aquifer formed 10,000 years ago.” Of course, when they accept I would tell them this would be water directly from the tap at my nearby friend’s house, which is high in arsenic due to the geology.
(I thought about writing a longer post with cites about the research into risk perception which talks about the differences with regards to man-made and natural chemicals/hazards, but then I realized that this is the Pit. So I just say Fuck!)