The Unpronounceables

26Jul11

I just happened to see this on a site that I was looking through the other day:

right now, in front of me, I have 2 cans of lighter fluid, the one that used to be and the “new formula” one. With the older one it is just plain simple, the contents are Petroleum distillate naptha and on the new one formula, ( of which I can hardly even pronounce, the contents are : Synthetic Isoparaffinic Hydrocarbon . I do not know about anyone else, but at least for this lighter fluid, I feel more comfortable with the older type of fluid, at least I can pronounce and i know what it has in it compared to what the newer type is. If I come in contact with something I want to know how to pronounce it and what it is !!!!

(All grammar and punctuation are as they appeared).

This got me thinking though because if one is wondering, “synthetic isoparaffinic hydrocarbon” is basically more refined naptha. It is naptha that has undergone a hydrogenation reaction to make it burn more cleanly and efficiently. This would be better since you don’t have to breath in as much unburnt, vaporized, and possibly carcinogenic chemicals.

I noticed that many people nowadays are afraid of ingredients in foods and other items that they cannot pronounce. There are many of these. Take thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, maltodextrin, tricalcium phosphate, and diglyceride. Now, look at what those things actually are. They are, in order, vitamin B, vitamin B2, sugar (from corn and easily digested), calcium (often used to prevent caking), and fatty acids from vegetable oil. Modern chemistry has made it possible to produce purer forms of many of the substances we used to use. This often eliminates a good amount of things that may be harmful for us and allows us to enrich certain products with nutrients and vitamins. These developments allow people to live longer, healthier lives. Although of course, in the group of things most people cannot pronounce are some things that are actually not very good for people such as preservatives like sodium benzoate or high-fructose corn syrup, but a good majority of the unpronounceable ingredients are actually familiar things that are purified and given unfamiliar names.

The unpronounceables

I’ve also seen that some people as of late have decided that “natural” is better. In my view, it really does depend. A lot of the stuff we use that is more highly processed can be better because it removes a lot of the noxious chemicals and other mild poisons that are not at all good for people. However, although this is true for some things, there are things that are so highly processed like white bread that need so many vitamins added to it as well as loads of preservatives. In this case, I would definitely recommend getting something like a fresh-baked wheat loaf. These often come with many of the vitamins that were lost in the production of white bread and don’t contain the preservatives since they were not intended to sit on store shelves for several months. In this case, more natural is definitely better.

It's a juicy tomato. Better enjoyed cooked some say

In the same vein, I have noticed some people going on an all raw diet thinking that it is actually better. In many cases, I would caution people once again that some foods such as plants contain nutrients that the body cannot absorb unless the food is cooked. Plants, for example, come with very strong cell walls, a lot of cellulose, and plenty of tough things that prevent certain nutrients from ever being released unless the vegetable is cooked. Examples of these are tomatoes, carrots, spinach, mushrooms, cabbage, and pepper. Of course, there are foods that lose nutrients when heated or cooked like milk, bread, and host of other foods. In this case, one should definitely avoid cooking or heating if possible.

A UFO? No, just a harmless electric burner

A UFO? No, just a harmless electric burner

When it comes down to it, I find that many of the people I know take on the things they do for health reasons. That is a very good reason, but one should not lose sight of their goal. In some cases, to stay healthy, one must remember that some unpronounceables are actually familiar things that are actually very good, some processed foods are better that their “natural” counterparts, and some things need cooking so that one can better utilize the nutrients held within.

Bramble

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