Commentary - Natural
What does the expression, "all natural," mean? There are myriad products on the markets that are designated as, "natural," or "all natural," which are supposed to be superior in some way to other products not so designated. But what are those products that are not, "natural?" What do we call them, unnatural, supernatural, preternatural, or what?
If it is in this world and you can perceive it, it is natural. There is no human product that is not natural, and every human product is 100% natural. So what do people mean when they imply something is not natural? They mean anything that requires human intelligence to produce. In their view, the less intelligence it takes to produce something the more natural it is.
The natural-only cult believes anything produced as a result science or its applications, technology, is "unnatural." This absurd view is based on a total ignorance of the meaning of natural. Originally, what we now call science was called, "natural history," and when expanded by greater knowledge, "natural science," which includes, chemistry, physics, and biology. Science is nothing more than what has been learned about nature, and technology is nothing more than the use of that knowledge when dealing with nature. Those who oppose science and technology oppose knowledge of the very nature they worship, as though they can only love nature so long as they are ignorant of her.
The opposite of natural is supernatural; all food is natural food, except manna.
If you ask somebody what they mean by "natural" food, they usually tell you they mean something without additives, such a chemicals, or grown without chemical fertilizers or insecticides. I guess they do not eat bread of any kind, or eggs, or cereal either, since none of these things are possible without chemicals, without additives, without fertilizer. Everything is a chemical. You cannot make bread without adding things together. Infertile chickens do not lay eggs. Besides, fertilizer is nothing more than food, food for the plants, and chickens actually make it, fertilizer that is. Chickens also frequently commit insecticide. (I'm sorry, no intelligent person can take this subject seriously. It is sad that so many people do take it seriously.)
What most people mean by, "natural," is anything that requires no human intelligence to produce. By this understanding, what could be more unnatural than a soy burger or tofu.
Personally I loath most soy products and tofu in any form. However, a recent study indicates that a diet rich in soy products may actually cause cancer. As with most studies of this sort, it has given me new interest soy products. I suppose another study will show soy does not cause cancer, and I'll have to find something else "dangerous" to eat.
If processing makes food unnatural, the only way to eat naturally is to pull a turnip out of the ground and to commence eating or to walk out into a field and to take a bite out of a cow. Washing, peeling, slaughtering, cutting, cooking, and preserving are all "unnatural" processes.
Much of the world eats most of their food "naturally," that is, without being cooked, or too well washed. Their diet may be bland, but it is not uninteresting. Every meal is actually an adventure, because they never can be sure of what the results will be, at least for several hours, in the case of the most virulent of organisms, or a few days, in the case of less active pests.
Some people want no chemicals in their food. What do they propose to eat? Poems?
Everything material is a chemical or mixture of chemicals. If you take all the chemicals out of anything, what you have left is only a memory. In most "natural" and "lite" food, they have taken out so much, that in most cases, the only goodness left is the memory of what such food used to taste like.
There may be a secret wish on the part of these new-age nature worshipers to actually do away with material food? Testimony of the evils of greedy materialists is in no short supply. I always remember this when one of these anti-materialist altruists comes seeking a charitable contribution. "Of course I'll glad to give to your cause. I'm not like those greedy materialist who are interested in nothing but material goods and money, and I'm not going to foist any of those cheap material things on you. Look, here's a nice poem I've written just for you, and my IOU for several sincere prayers." I'm always surprised at how little gratitude this thoughtful offer receives.
It is unnatural for human beings to eat unprocessed food; if you insist on it, avoid eating bears and green tomatoes.
Tomatoes, as well as, potatoes, and eggplant are all relatives of poisonous nightshade. Uncooked, green tomatoes, and the green parts of potatoes are toxic. Bear meat frequently harbors the parasite trichinae, and if not adequately cooked, like pork, it can cause trichinosis. Cooking, by the way, is a chemical process that, among other things, often makes food safe to eat. Cooked food hardly ever occurs "naturally," however.