Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Natural and Organic

'Natural' and 'Organic' are two words which provide a licence to sell all sorts of expensive nonsense to the unwary. Combined with the right packaging, they are a marketer's dream, giving comfort and reassurance whilst discouraging us from subjecting the ingredients list to any scientific investigation.

Cyanide, anthrax, and radioactivity are all natural- that is they are found in Nature. Ebola, swine flu and cancer are all organic- ie related to a living organism.

'Herbal extracts' is a close runner-up in this race to fleece the foolish. A herb is simply a plant that has no wood in it and as most plants don't really like being eaten, it should be no surprise to learn that many of them have evolved all sorts of defences to dissuade animals from doing so.

However, never let it be said that I don't have the highest double standards, so keep an eye out for Chalk Industries' latest product.

Our natural, organic rat poison with plant extracts will be hitting the shelves soon. (The 'plant extract' is the cardboard box it comes in).


Anonymous said...

I've mistrusted the word "natural",in relation to food ingredients and pretty much everything else, since I discovered that the phrase "natural flavourings" in vanilla ice-cream is a cover for a product called Castoreum. This, it appears, comes from the anal gland of the beaver!

It does of course beg the question, "who first discovered that a beaver's arse tasted of vanilla"?

Anonymous said...

Organic is a trade mark of the Soil Association. You have to pay them quite a lot of money (a % of your turnover) to licence the word.

They do check to ensure that you source from other "organic" suppliers though.

SF said...

Organic and natural are terms that are both utilised by food companies to sell 'healthy' food to consumers even though the food in question may not be healthy or may be dubious when researched for additives etc. The fact that good bacteria drinks are labelled healthy etc but are proven not to reach your lower gut unless in quantity is a shambles. It should stop.