Natural is healthy, right?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by oregonyeti, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    Cyanide, arsenic, tsunamis, earthquakes and ergot are natural. Does that mean they are good for you?
     
  2. siduri

    siduri

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    I'd say that since human beings evolved in a natural environment, we are more likely to be adapted to deal with more of the natural substances than we are of man-made substances.  Obviously not all natural stuff is good or healthy.  You forget, in your list, some of the most virulent diseases that are also "natural" cute little bacteria!

    I get a little scared at the simplistic "it's natural so it must be good" mentality, since people will take medicines derived from plants forgetting that there are plants that will kill you.  (And forgetting that ALL medicine that works can also poison you in large doses).  Or people taking Bach flowers because "flowers are not harmful" (because they're pretty?  deadly nightshade, opium poppy, belladonna, I'm sure there are hundreds)

    But if i see a list of man-made chemicals then i will presume guilty until proven innocent, and since you can't really "prove" that something doesn't hurt you, only that it HASN'T YET hurt you, i will always be leery. 

    There is much more interest in pushing for the acceptance of man-made products because someone makes them and they make someone rich.  (Well, you can say as much for stuff like alternative medicines that also make someone rich, but we forget that).  But the lobby for eggplants or string beans is a little less powerful.  (Not so the lobby for the chemical fertilizers and pesticides that may be used on them). 

    But if by your post you want to convince me that all the long-word ingredients on the long list on the packages of most commercial food products is ok, just because some natural elements are poison, I won't follow you there. 
     
  3. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    Siduri, I posted that in reaction to "natural" as a selling point. First off, it's a label that often means nothing, and second, a lot of people trust that label without questioning it.

    There are a lot of you more informed than I am, but I do see the deceptive marketing and I don't like it. That's what I had in mind.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
    cami likes this.
  4. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Unfortunately, the "it's natural so it's good for you" idea is incredibly pervasive.

    I see it all the time with New Agers and phytomedicine, for instance. If you were to believe them, there are no plants that are inherently dagerous to health and well being; no contraindications of any kind; no way that mixing herbs cures can cause a negative reaction.

    To all of them I have to point out that there's nothing more natural than heroin. And good luck with that one.

    So, the fact that marketers use it should come as no surprise. What I love is when a product is touted as 100% natural, and few people even ask, "natural what?"
     
  5. amazingrace

    amazingrace

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    It's interesting that this topic showed up today.  Hubbydearest just finished coating the deck with linseed oil,  and was complaining about the fumes giving him a headache.  A friend asked if he had worn a mask.  Hubby replied "No, I don't need a mask.  Linseed oil is made from pine." (Implying it's harmless because it's a natural product).  I then remarked "That doesn't mean it's not toxic".  I'm with you,  Oregon Yeti.  Not every natural thing is also healthy.  My opinion of the overuse of the word is that the companies using it most are trying to get consumers to equate natural with organic,  even though there is a great difference between the two terms. 

    And this leads me to gripe about something else.  Several ads popped up a little while ago, that really disturb me.  Not for what they say so much as what they omit.  In one a man walking with his little girl in a corn field says he discovered that the body can't tell the difference between high fructose corn syrup and sugar.  The last line is "sugar is sugar".   And that is probably true as far as it goes.  What it does not say is that neither is good for you in excessive amounts. 
     
  6. french fries

    french fries

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    Well there's not much luck needed to refute that utterly wrong statement, KYHeirloomer. Before you make it in public though, you may want to do a little research on the production of heroin. Heroin is about as natural as a twinkie. Maybe think of another example to make your point?
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  7. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Dietetic, Natural, Certified,Organicly grown,Hydroponically grown, Angus ,Low fat.   ALL magic merchandising and selling words to the uninformed consummer       . Caviet Emptor    ( IT"s  ALL ABOUT THE $$$$$$$$)
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  8. allanm

    allanm

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    I love how people check their brain at the door when they see certain buzz words.

    One of my favorites is a certain brand of red "Licorice" that proudly proclaims that it is LOW FAT!. If you check the ingredients it contains sugar, starch and a long list of chemicals. It is also vegan diet approved since it doesn't contain any nasty animal derived gelatin, which is natural, but does use something that came out of a laboratory instead of an animal. However the company that makes them can slap a big label on the front of the package that will attract parents looking for a healthy snack while hiding the ingredients on the back in micro print. (Follow the money.)

    I don't know what the prices are like where you are but here the "ORGANIC" vegetables usually cost two to three times the price of regular vegetables, not to mention being trucked from the states instead of local produce. However, we are still supposed to believe that these growers are worried about the environment and not their profit margin. (Follow the money.)

    The Raw Milk cultist are active here screaming the health benefits of "Natural" milk. Recently a local Raw Milk producer lost his appeal of his conviction on a bunch of food handling and safety charges. Naturally the local cultists are screaming about being persecuted by BIG GOVERNMENT, BIG AGRO, and the MEAT EATERS(WTF). They are also screaming that anybody that disagrees with them is stupid, part of the conspiracy, and a big poopy head. Even better they also point out a number of recent food contamination incidents and conclude that less food safety regulation is the solution.

    A little bit of research shows that this "gentleman" in question suddenly discovered the benefits of raw milk after the health and agriculture departments ordered him to upgrade his barn for proper ventilation and cleanliness. Install a proper commercial food process area, proper equipment and to implement proper sanitation procedures. Of course he is concerned about the health benefits of raw milk and not the cost of implementing proper food safety. (Follow the money.)
     
  9. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    Beer has no fat, no cholesterol, and it's vegan too. And it must be a vegetable since it's made from plants. Get your veges. Drink all the beer you can.

    allanm, that "natural" farmer story is disturbing :eek:
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  10. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Oil is a natural product but you wouldn't see me drinking it.  Lard is a natural product, but I wouldn't necessarily say its "healthy."  "Natural" or "all natural" are 2 of the most abused phrases in the food industry today, along with low fat and organic.
     
  11. durangojo

    durangojo

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    marijuana, coca leaves, peyote/mescal, silly mushrooms, valerian root.....??

    joey
     
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  12. siduri

    siduri

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    It isn't even true.  Glucose, fructose, sucrose, they're all different chemicals, aren't they? 
     
  13. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Yeah, but they are all natural chemicals, correct? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif
     
     
  14. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    Most of the desserts I like are vegetarian ... weird, huh? I should venture out and try making some chocolate cake with salmon frosting, or something like that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  15. jmueller

    jmueller

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    Anyone seen those videos of coke bottles exploding in huge fontains after dropping in some mint dragees? Anyone ever wondered what kind of weird chemical mix coke must be after seing that? ;) Oh wait - I'd rather not know...
     
  16. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Originally Posted by durangojo  

    Party at joey's house!

    BDL
     
  17. durangojo

    durangojo

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    oops, 

    so sorry...how could i forget about wine? 

    joey
     
  18. panini

    panini

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    .

    We're born, here for a minute, then gone.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  19. durangojo

    durangojo

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    yeah, it's quite  a sad day that steve jobs died.... he was a buddist, a vegetarian, a good family man and a recluse...nothing meant more to him then his family and his work...i wouln't be here today proudly using a mac if it weren't for him..the whole battle with bill gates, while i don't remember all the details, was that he sued microsoft for patent infringements(icons)...bad battle if i recall and bill gates won...never had any respect for bill gates after that. i know he(bill) has given prolifically to humanitarian causes but whose to say what he was like back then, when he started...when he was hungry...anyway, my heart is heavy for steve jobs and his family....i love that someone made a computuer for people that weren't all that interested in the technology, just the performance....right brain for right brains....gotta love it...rest in peace,  ant thanks you...

    joey

    sorry for the side track......what ergot? i thought it was rotting something.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  20. left4bread

    left4bread

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    I'm gonna bite my tongue about steve jobs, as long as you hook me up with some of that ergot.

    Maybe we can do a Saint Vitus dance together.