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We're a little crazy, about science!

What do those words really mean?

organic_produce

Certified by whom?

Organic, all natural, chemical free, theory, toxins, all words that get tossed around a whole lot for sure, especially in advertising. But do you really know what these words actually mean? More importantly is that source giving you a definition a reliable one– probably not.

Organic

This particular one makes me want to run my head into a wall. Organic gets thrown around a lot, from makeup to fruit, everything today is organic. Apparently no one bothered to look up the term organic, or maybe someone got ahold of the idea to make more money. Not only does the FDA [and the world in general] have poorly defined guidelines for what is considered “organic” the word doesn’t mean what you think it means.

An example, what would a non-organic fruit look like? Organic in science means carbon based. That would pretty much be anything you could eat [and live to tell the tale]. So then what would the definition for organic be in regards to food, clothing, makeup, or anything else for that matter– the world sucker would come to mind. Remember arsenic and mercury are organic [and all natural] that doesn’t mean you want ingest them.

[A Lab disclaimer: I wholeheartedly think that using pesticides or unsustainable farming techniques is a bad idea. But just because something is labeled organic, does not mean that it’s what you think it is.]

all natural

All Natural

This one would be right up there with annoying phrases that get thrown around a lot without thinking about what they actually mean. Natural is something that is not man made, just because it is man made does not make it evil. There are plenty of all natural things that will kill you– another example, radiation, just because it is all natural doesn’t mean it is inherently better.

There are natural and man made flavor additives to drinks for example, one is made in a lab using “evil” chemicals, natural flavoring– made using bacteria, yeah so next time you want that drink that is naturally flavored just think about that one for a second, bacteria, it’s what gives you your distinct body odor when you sweat. Drink up!

Uh oh, better contact someone quick I see chemicals...

Uh oh, better contact someone quick I see chemicals…

Chemical Free

Free from chemicals, what could be wrong with that? The idea that chemicals are the devil probably revolve around an amazing ad campaign playing on the lack of science education and understanding. Chemicals are all around us, from mercury in the water to that all natural hotdog you ate.

Oxygen, water, teas or sodas, everything you’re eating, drinking, and interacting with is made from chemicals. There are chemicals you need to live and chemicals that can kill you. Chemicals, you need them, you really do and for the record there really is no such thing as truly “chemical free”.

Heavy metal testing? Shouldn't a actual MD be doing that? Also... what the hell is a toxin?

Heavy metal testing? Shouldn’t a actual MD be doing that? Also, what the hell are cellular toxicity levels? Sounds dangerous…

Toxin

What the hell is a toxin? No, really, next time you go for a “detox” ask for a specific toxin. There is no such thing, people are selling “all natural, organic, chemical free” detox remedies like there is such a thing. It’s snake oil pure and simple.

Now there are things your body needs to get rid of, waste, that is filtered from the blood via the kidneys and liver. You want real detox — dialysis, but if you need that kind of detox then something is seriously wrong with you and no amount of “detox remedies” or cleanses will fix that.

So please, save your money, it’s yours,you work hard for it, please don’t fall for this.

Well... sort of.

Well… sort of.

Theory

Yet another good one that gets thrown around on TV a lot, man made climate change is just a “theory”, evolution just a “theory”, big bang theory, oh right, it’s in the name.

Theory in the normal conversational sense is usually just a guess, which in a scientific standpoint couldn’t be further from the actual meaning. The actual definition, a theory is an explanation of the method of action. Evolution will never be a “law” because it explains how you are getting from point A to point B.

Laws describe the point A and point B.The laws of thermodynamics for example, entropy will always increase doesn’t tell you how it is increasing just that it is increasing. Describing how it increases would be labelled as a theory. So the easiest way to think about it is that laws describe the scenery and theories tell you how you got there.

Theories will never be laws, they will never be unchangeable either, but that is a good thing. You want to be able to more accurately describe the journey, if it is set in stone you couldn’t change it despite new or better information.

Theories are very much real, they have proof to back them up. Despite what anyone says, just because you may one day better explain the journey from point A to point B it doesn’t make the current explanation wrong, it is just adding more detail to what is already there.

Theories, get used to them they are more real than internet “fact”

If the place you are getting your information offers you another explanation to the above, then you should probably move on. In fact, don’t trust what I just wrote, do your research, think critically, knowledge is power, empower yourself and don’t allow popular movements shape how you think or what you think.

pseudoscience

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3 responses

  1. Very neatly put but remember advertisers are out to sell products and scientific words sound just great. There is a sense in which all advertising is a lie or at the least an exaggeration, this will never change.

    April 28, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    • Thank you, I pretty much agree with all that. It just gets annoying when people spout advertising or bias without even understanding what they are saying.

      April 28, 2014 at 12:34 pm

  2. Wow .. so basically the whole world is using the term ‘organic’ and has no idea what it actually means! Thanks for the education, but i’m not sure whether to carry on buying organic lemons for me morning tea, or use the ‘non’ organic ones!

    March 12, 2017 at 9:59 am

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