By Mike Cronin
Have you heard that scientists have found that our drinking water contains dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO)? Something needs to be done! No it doesn’t. Dihydrogen (DH or H2) monoxide (MO or O) IS water: DHMO = H2O. Dihydrogen monoxide sounds scary, because it’s a chemical term, and because it contains the word monoxide, which is also in carbon monoxide, the harmful gas that can be released in your house by a leaky furnace or into your car from a leaky exhaust system.
OK, dihydrogen monoxide is safe, but what about sodium chloride? Surely you’d be concerned if you were eating that? After all, it contains chlorine, the same stuff that’s in bleach! Well, too much of it can certainly be bad for your blood pressure, but you probably eat it every day. Sodium chloride (NaCL) is just table salt!
“Organic” food is better for you than inorganic food, right? Well, consider this: The diet & health industry has smuggled a new meaning onto the word “organic.” We’re supposed to think that “organic” food is better for us because it contains fewer chemicals than non-organic food. In some cases it may actually be true, but there’s a catch: In its truest sense, the word “organic” simply means “containing carbon.” By that definition, almost any food you care to name is technically organic (I’m not sure about Twinkies). Just as our “fossil” fuels, i.e. hydrocarbons, are organic, our body fuels, i.e. carbohydrates and proteins, are also organic. that means that if a food manufacturer labels an item “organic” that doesn’t pass the government’s criteria for “certified organic” food, the firm can get in trouble for mislabeling the package, when in fact if the item has carbs or protein it most certainly is literally and factually organic! About the only food items we put into our bodies that are truly not organic are salt (sodium chloride – no carbon!), trace minerals (iron, zinc, selenium, etc. – no carbon!) and WATER! (Dihydrogen monoxide – no carbon!)
So what’s the point of these scientific word tricks? Only this: Sometimes you can be lead to worry, or to panic, or to pay more by folks selling you snake oil – especially if it’s factually accurate but misleading (in the case of organic food) or when it’s packaged in double speak, as in “organic water.”