Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Another Year, More Chemophobia

Over the holiday break, a few people sent me pictures and links to demonstrate that we still have plenty to do to counter chemophobia in 2015. Here's a sampling:

1. U.S. FDA Cancer ad. Have you seen these pictures around airports, bus stations, and subways? This one - which I'm sure is equally supposed to simultaneously discourage youth smoking (while reminding them of Sauron from Lord of the Rings) appeared in my inbox a few days ago:

Nothing like some straight-up chemophobia from Big Government.

2. Health beans - now chemical-free!

Thank Goodness that 'omega fatty acids' or 'vital antioxidants' aren't chemicals!*

3. Microwaving'll kill ya. As a throwaway line in the Newsweek article interviewing famous futurists about whether or not Back to the Future Part II accurately predicted the future, Syd Mead, a "visual futurist" who designs sets for sci-fi movies, said this:
"No, I don’t remember [how the film depicted food]. I hope it wasn’t pills. [laughs] That was a fixture in future films. Popping steak or spinach or whatever in a pill. I hope it never comes to that."
"Microwave dinners are bad enough. Of course, microwave upsets the molecular structure of food, which isn’t too terribly healthy."
I've heard these arguments before, but neither one makes any sense. Healthy people routinely take all sorts of food supplements in "pill form" - vitamins, curcumin, antioxidants, essential oils - the list goes on and on. And as far as I'm aware, microwaves can't actually "upset" (change) the molecular structure of food.

Reminder: Syd consults for science fiction movies. We have a lot of work to do.
*Yes they are.


  1. Number 1 looks like someone microwaved one of the costumes from Alien(s).

    That can't be good for the photographer. He'd probably have been better off stepping out for a smoke.

  2. We do have to try to counter chemophobia. Chemicals are often referred to as the "bad guys" yet people forget they clean our water for consumption, are used to create life-saving pharmaceuticals and more.

  3. Denaturing proteins etc. isn't upsetting their molecular structure?