Thursday, 23 July 2015


Many of you are joining the movement to bring back facts and science into our discussions rather than "I heard it online". Some of you are doing sterling work and I applaud you. Generally speaking I have other missions, but you have my full support.

My own personal peeve is with the word "natural". I'd like you consider what that actually means.

If we are talking about food, for example, natural seems to mean just about anything people want it to mean, depending on their agenda. Even better, we now have the label "all natural", which I take to be a higher class of natural.

And then of course there's "organic".

I am an organic grower. Officially. I am entitled to put up a sign on my property that says that, and any produce from my farm can be labelled organic. I don't, because I'm so disgusted with the politics and shenanigans of the organic industry that I want nothing to do with it.

But I'll tell you how natural my garden grows. My vegetables are not sprayed with anything. The water comes from the sky or a deep well. The fertilizer is sheep manure. The sheep eat hay and grass. The grass knows only rain. The hay is grown similarly.

It's a natural food lover's dream! All natural! All natural!

And do you what I do with that lamb and those vegetables?

I cook 'em.

Which is not natural. At all. Cooking food does not happen in nature. Burning food does, forest fires, lightning, volcanoes, the sun. These could all heat your dinner, but it's not a careful, controlled heat. It's not cooking.

Are you horrified? Are you shocked?

Don't be. Cooking our food is the most extreme thing we do to our food. There's no rinising it off.

Everyone online is going crazy about these.

These are mutant daisies afflicted by the radioactivity in Japan. 

Or are they?

This mutation also occurs spontaneously far from any radioactivity, from a variety of causes. And therefore it is just as likely that it has nothing to do with it. After all, one of the flowers is completely unaffected.

So it could be quite natural.

But then...radioactivity is natural anyway. Completely, utterly natural. It is keeping us all alive right now, and in some surprising ways. Look it up if you don't believe me.

Natural and organic, do not mean the same thing. Organic means "from once living matter". Which includes coal and gasoline. Actually. Natural just includes non-living things that occur without help outside nature. Wait a minute. What is outside nature? I'm not, are you?

Man-made doesn't mean unnatural. We are part of nature.

I think we need some new words.

In the meantime, stop using this one inaccurately.

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