Natural, shmatural - Aeon

Molly Hodgdon in Aeon:

Now, I’m aware that Diet Coke is not exactly a health tonic, but blithely calling it poison in a voice cracked with the tar of innumerable organic butts speaks to a certain cognitive bias. The soda was bad purely because it wasn’t natural, and the cigarettes were good purely because they were. I refrained from asking her if she enjoyed lots of other natural things, such as cobra bites, poison ivy, malaria, and diving headlong into 100 per cent organic molten lava.

I don’t mind when people prefer organic or other “natural” foods and processes. That’s fine and dandy. What I do mind is when they apply a blanket policy of “naturally-occurring is always good and everything else is bad”.

I snickered at her depiction of the imagined Big Ag scientist:

The man squints down at his Ayn Rand day-planner where there are only two items in his to-do list:

  2. $$$ PROFIT $$$

She closes sensibly with:

Nature can seem as inspiring, beautiful, strong and nurturing as a mother, but it would be foolish to believe that this ‘mother’ loves us. There’s no reason we can’t celebrate her glorious natural gifts while also appreciating the important ‘unnatural’ improvements our fellow humans have created.