The idea that there is a difference between “natural” chemicals — like those in fruits and vegetables — and the synthetic version of those chemicals produced in a laboratory is a common misconception.
Marketers often feed off consumer’s concerns that “man-made” chemicals are bad. But the fact is that all foods (and everything around us) are made up of chemicals, whether they occur in nature or are made in a lab.
Australian chemistry teacher James Kennedy wanted to dispel the myth that chemicals are bad for us. He created an ingredient list for natural products, like the banana above, to show that there many chemicals in our food’s natural flavours and colours.
And some of them have long, scary sounding names, too. We first saw the graphics at io9.
“There’s a tendency for advertisers to use the words ‘pure’ and ‘simple’ to describe ‘natural’ products when they couldn’t be more wrong,” Kennedy writes on his blog.
“As a Chemistry teacher, I want to erode the fear that many people have of ‘chemicals’ and demonstrate that nature evolves compounds, mechanisms and structures far more complicated and unpredictable than anything we can produce in the lab.”
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