Bright Side decided to bust the myths about natural food and cosmetics and answer a simple question: “Is it really as good as it is depicted?”
Myth #1: Organic food is always healthy.
We see slogans everywhere promoting eating only food grown on organic farms. They say that natural means healthy, while artificial means harmful. They also say that we are surrounded by chemicals that harm our health and body irreparably. Surprisingly, this isn’t true: our food really does contain chemicals, but it doesn’t mean that natural products are always safe for your health.
There are many substances in nature that are real weapons of plants. For example, cranberries have an excess amount of preservatives, while almonds and apricots contain poisonous cyanide. The most important thing here is how these substances affect or don’t affect a human body (excluding allergic reactions) because the amount of harm is usually determined by doses. Therefore, it is unknown which is more harmful — drinking 3 liters of Coke or eating 3 kg of cranberries.
Studies have shown that the ’organic’ mark doesn’t mean that this food was grown without using pesticides. Moreover, World Health Organization outlines that no pesticide allowed for use in the world trade harms people’s health. It’s only farm workers who get negatively affected by them because of the large amounts they are surrounded by on a regular basis.
Moreover, this food contains more bacteria because the animals don’t take any medicine and eat whatever they want. Those fighting for ecology should also think about the following fact — organic farms produce fewer products, which means that harmful emissions are higher in terms of the unit of grown production. Anyway, it’s up to the consumer to choose, but there are no guarantees that food from an organic farm will be healthier than the one grown on an ordinary farm.
Myth #2: Natural cosmetics are the best choice for your skin.
So, as we have found out, natural origin doesn’t mean total safety and the situation with skincare is the same. Additionally, if cosmetics are certified then it will be safe no matter how many artificial components it has. All because manufacturers don’t have any interest in producing goods that will harm their customers. Another question is whether it will suit you individually or not.
Plant components aren’t as stable as artificially synthesized components, they are more difficult and expensive to get. Also, they can act very unpredictably on the skin and cause an allergic reaction — some more, some less. Any synthetic component can cause the same reaction if it doesn’t match your skin.
Being harmful or beneficial also depends on the concentration, formula, and many other factors. Some time ago women used to whiten their skin with the help of powder that contained a lot of lead (well, isn’t that a natural item?). Unfortunately, many women ended up having big troubles with both their skin and health from these beauty-procedures. Nowadays, manufacturers also add lead to lipsticks but since it has a minimal concentration, a person would have to eat 30,000 tubes to get poisoned.
Again, it’s up to you to decide what to use. After all, if the item suits you completely and you enjoy using it, does it really matter what the manufacturer promised on the package?
Myth #3: GMO is dangerous for your health.
Let’s suppose, agronomists need to produce a new type of frost-resistant strawberries. To get the result they will have to use the selection process of plant breeding. There are many different types of breeding, including the one where the method of exposure to toxic substances is used, after which agronomists can choose the more suitable mutant. This type of strawberry might end up having excess amounts of different substances because the method used for its production was not ’elegant.’
Genetic modification, unlike selection, is highly technological and allows the changing of specific genes. The fears around GMO have been incredibly exaggerated. Moreover, no harmful effectsof this technology on a humans health have been detected within decades of its existence.
Additionally, the active implementing of genetical engineering could help enrich products with necessary nutrients and provide poor countries with them. For example, ’Golden Rice’ enriched with vitamin A could have saved millions of people from going blind if it had been allowed to be used earlier. But in fact, it takes a lot of time for scientists to prove the safety of their innovations to society by publishing an endless number of scientific articles on the safety of GMOs and testing the plants and cultures that they got a million times.
Of course, GMO must be controlled but the common panic, unawareness, fictional conspiracy theories, and forbidding laws only worsen the situation and don’t let science develop.
Myth #4: It’s necessary to get rid of toxins and slags.
There is hardly anyone that hasn’t heard of toxins and slags. In fact, if you try to search for the term ’slagging’ on the website of the World Health Organization, it’s likely that you won’t find it because it simply doesn’t exist.
Toxins and slags do exist but in a different way than we are used to thinking about them. They get formed when there are problems with the kidneys, infectious diseases, and intoxications. A healthy body doesn’t have them and if the ’cleansing’ is really required, then the methods used for it would be much harsher than simply drinking smoothies. The body of a healthy person is able to get rid of unnecessary substances on its own and no special detox procedures are required for this.