Issue Date: June 15, 2009
As an engineer trained in chemistry, I am not too upset about "natural foods" versus "unnatural foods" (C&EN, April 27, page 28). After all, what is natural food in the U.S. is not natural food in other parts of the world and vice versa. What does upset me is when someone says their food product is "organic." I always wonder if that is opposed to "inorganic."
It has been a while since my last organic chemistry class, but my fading mind remembers that if it was grown, it is organic. Aside from certain minerals and salts, I am not sure why you would want an inorganic food. Even granite cereal, mined in the great state of Vermont, which is full of "natural" minerals, is hard on the teeth and not something for me.
Please, you can call a food "natural" all you want, but do not tell me it is organic. I already know that. And I am not going to pay more just because you say it.
Edwin Bentzen III
The Food & Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and the public must learn that "natural" does not mean "healthy." For example, rattlesnake venom is natural and deadly.
James F. Jackson
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