I am glad to see people becoming more aware of health than before. The problem is, in the process of becoming aware of your health, you become phobic about certain health issues.
One of these issues is chemicals found in foods. You simply start to panic when you see certain chemicals on food labels. You start to worry that a certain chemical will give you cancer or that the food is toxic simply because it has “too many” chemicals in it.
The truth is that everything is made out of chemicals. Chemicals are all around us; you cannot escape them, and labeling some of them as bad or good is the wrong thing to do in most cases.
For example, the chemical composition of an egg looks like this:
WATER (75.8%), AMINO ACIDS (12.6%) (GLUTAMIC ACID (14%), ASPARTIC ACID (11%), VALINE (9%), ARGININE (8%), LEUCINE (8%), LYSINE (7%), SERINE (7%), PHENYLALANINE (6%), ALANINE (5%), ISOLEUCINE (5%), PROLINE (4%), TYROSINE (3%), THREONINE (3%), GLYCINE (3%), HISTIDINE (2%), METHIONINE (3%), CYSTINE (2%), TRYPTOPHAN (1%)); FATTY ACIDS (9.9%) (OCTADECENOIC ACID (45%), HEXADECANOIC ACID (32%), OCTADECANOIC ACID (12%), EICOSATETRAENOIC ACID (3%), EICOSANOIC ACID (2%), DOCOSANOIC ACID (1%), TETRACOSANOIC ACID (1%), OCTANOIC ACID (<1%), DECANOIC ACID (<1%), DODECANOIC ACID (<1%), TETRADECANOIC ACID (<1%), PENTADECANOIC ACID (<1%), HEPTADECANOIC ACID (<1%), TETRADECENOIC ACID (<1%), HEXADECENOIC ACID (<1%), EICOSENOIC ACID (<1%), DOCOSENOIC ACID (<1%), OMEGA-6 FATTY ACID: OCTADECADIENOIC ACID (12%), OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID: OCTADECATRIENOIC ACID (<1%), EICOSAPENTAENOIC ACID (EPA) (<1%), OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID: DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID (DHA) (<1%)); SUGARS (0.8%) (GLUCOSE (30%), SUCROSE (15%), FRUCTOSE (15%), LACTOSE (15%), MALTOSE (15%), GALACTOSE (15%)); COLOUR (E160c, E160a), E306, E101; FLAVOURS (PHENYLACETALDEHYDE, DODECA-2- ENAL, HEPTA-2-ENAL, HEXADECANAL, OCTADECANAL, PENTAN-2-ONE, BUTAN-2-ONE, ACETALDEHYDE, FORMALDEHYDE, ACETONE); SHELL (E170), ALSO CONTAINS BENZENE & BENZENE DERIVATIVES, ESTERS, FURANS, SULFUR-CONTAINING COMPOUNDS AND TERPENES.
Show this to a conspiracy-theory guy and he will bash one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. He will tell you it’s carcinogenic, will put you in the grave by the age of 60, and you must avoid it at all costs.
Luckily, the longest living people on the planet consumed this chemical-rich food to reach their old age.
Remember that I told you here that in the future these “natural foods” will be 3D printed. There will be no difference between synthetic and natural.
Advertisers who use the words pure and natural to describe their products are wrong! Through the cloud of information out there you have been deceived into believing that “natural” is the only way to go.
The time has come to stop fearing the notion of chemicals. As one chemistry teacher wrote, “Nature evolves compounds, mechanisms, and structures far more complicated and unpredictable than anything we can produce in labs.”
Chemicals are measured in parts per million (PPM) and parts per billion (PPB). One part per billion is equivalent to a tiny speck on a piece of paper. It is not the parts per billion that are dangerous; it’s large amounts that are dangerous. Don’t worry at all about “parts per.” It’s like one grain of sugar in an Olympic swimming pool. Does that make it unhealthy to swim in the pool? NO! Who gives a god damn about one grain of sugar in the swimming pool! Stop being obsessed about chemicals once and for all.
The difference between natural and artificial is a matter of perspective. E numbers (Europe numbers – codes for food additives) are just numbers for chemicals that are approved for use in foods.
Vinegar (acetic acid) is also known as E260. What is wrong here? Nothing!
Anthocyanins, which are known to give blueberries their “superfood” status, are also known as E163.
If I offered you a cocktail of isoamyl alcohol, hexanol, phenyl ethanol, tannin, butanol, benzyl alcohol, caffeine, geraniol, quercetin, 3-galloyl epicatechin, 3-galloyl epigallocatechin, and inorganic salt… or a cup of tea – which one would you choose? Of course you would choose tea over this CRAZY cocktail, but the truth is that tea is a mixture of the chemicals I just offered you!
“Natural” doesn’t imply that the chemical is healthy and safe, as is often assumed. Arsenic is “natural,” but it is not healthy and safe.
The funny thing is that there are people who say their diet is chemical-free. That is a hilarious statement I hear these days, and now you know why.
Let me end this article by saying that 99.9% of the chemicals you ingest are natural. The amount of synthetic pesticide residue in plant-based foods is TRIVIAL compared to the amount of natural pesticides produced by the plant itself, and 99.9% of the pesticides you consume are natural. They are simply the chemicals produced by plants to defend themselves against insects, fungi, and other predators.
It is the dose that makes a chemical poisonous, not the chemical itself!