Natural Skepticism

I was strolling through a lounge one day…

When I saw this lying on a table:

I became suspicious at once. I’ve never quite understood how the word “natural” makes something automatically better than another thing.

Natural steaks, natural food, natural medicine.

Hell, my mum buys Arrowhead water instead of the generic brand because she thinks it has more “natural water”.

I once saw a bottle of sparkling mineral water that said that it was made with “natural CO2”. Apparently being natural carbon dioxide doesn’t change the chemical formula of carbon dioxide anyway if it’s still “natural CO2” so what’s so great about it?

Maybe if I changed my blog’s sub-title to “All-Natural” I’d get more traffic.

Now, obviously there are some artificial things that are bad for you (though a lot of them are fine when taken in moderation). There are also some natural things that are bad for you.

Arsenic occurs naturally.

Uranium occurs naturally.

Mercury occurs naturally.

And that’s just a few things I pulled off the Periodic Table.

But it turns out that Kevin Trudeau is even more of a flat-out liar than my original suspicions let on when I found this YouTube video by Googling his name:

As wonderful a job as John Stossel (we need more journalists who have half as much skepticism as him) did exposing Trudeau, I still have to bang my head into a wall after reading this YouTube comment:

Trudeau is NOT a crook. I have tried several things in his book and they worked for me. Like Magnesium tablets for stress relief. They work better for me than ANY antidepressant or antianxiety that doctors have given me. FDA is out to KILL!

Thank you for your anecdotal scientific assertion that magnesium tablets work for stress relief (I personally have found that a hot bath and some chocolate works well enough, and yours can’t possibly be a placebo effect!) and that the FDA wants to kill us all.

Advice for the FDA: it would go a lot quicker if you let us use China’s tainted milk products.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Stress relief? Well of course if you think you’re going to get relief you’ll feel less stressed! Arrgh!

    My favorite examples of naturally occuring nastiness are a whole array of interesting mushrooms…


    hi! this guy angers me so much. I’m a young breast cancer survivor and what scares me most is that someone with cancer or any serious illness would forgo conventional treatments based on what he claims.
    I wrote a post about him a few years ago (pasted above) when I used to write for AOL’s

  3. Ugh, the comments on YouTube… you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

    Also, now that your blog is finally all-natural I find that I can understand what you’re saying with 300% more clarity! “They” don’t want us to know about all those beneficial natural photons that now emanate from our monitors when we check your blog. All that’s left to do is to charge us every time we visit here. It’s quite obvious that something isn’t truly all-natural until you put a price tag on it.

    Consider that friendly all-natural advice.

  4. I have seen his commercials a thousand time, since I sleep late. Everytime I saw him, I wanted to punch him. I hope someone puts him in jail. His case seems like deliberate scam. Not only that, I thought his claims were 99.99999999% implausible. I mean cmon, cure 100% of diseases?

  5. I see you’re not a reader of Pratchett…

    Colon: “[It’s] not natural, in my view, sah. Not in favour of unnatural things.”
    Vetinari: “You mean, you eat your meat raw and sleep in a tree?”

  6. Posted by Al on October 27, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Brit comedian Jasper Carrott had a nice take on it:

    “Keep swimming man, the shark’s just natural

  7. Posted by Christian (as Name, not Faith) on October 27, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Stupid people think if it is biological, vegetarian, natural or whatever is good for your health.

    Well, offer them a hemlock smoothie. It is all vegetarian, green and fresh out of the garden (don’t mind the smell, though)!

    Or a nice tobacco tea (one spoon full of tobacco in a cup of boiling water). All natural grown, of course, without those poisonous herbicides. Actually, this helps the drinker to stop smoking without the danger to relapse. But it has even more potential. The drinker will soon stop to produce or spread stupid ideas like “all natural is all good”.

    Someone already mentioned “interesting” mushrooms. Curare is biological, too. Not to mention (almost) every bacteria and virus from cholera to ebola. Ah, yes, all the pollen that give you the sneeze are all natural. And the saber toothed tiger that hunted down your ancestors for dinner was 400 kilograms of pure nature, too…

    For some reason I can’t explain extremist treehuggers don’t want to argue with me even after a short discussion. Maybe this “all natural” stuff makes them unreasonable somehow, or impatient?

  8. So, did naming your blog “all natural elles” bring more traffic? 🙂

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