I have been out shopping a lot lately. Most people execute their main shopping adventures before the holidays but my little art business keeps me very busy around that time and so it isnâ€™t until after the fact that I even get a chance to hit the grocery store. In the past few days I have been to Target, the local drug store, Vons (grocery), Lowes, The local craft store and Home Depot. Something struck me while I was strolling the isles at these prominent retail locations. Alternative medicine has completely ruined part of the English language (and probably some other languages too depending on translation).
The fact is you really canâ€™t believe what you read on packaging anymore. The bait and switch tactics of alt medicine have become standard practice on retail shelves everywhere. Homeopathy is marketed as medicine and itâ€™s primarily only water people. WATER. Along with the words like homeopathic are the words like â€œnaturalisticâ€ and “holistic” that are meant to sound important and healthy and therefor better. Actual words that once may have meant something specific have been twisted or deluded in an attempt to sell you things you donâ€™t really need and you probably wouldnâ€™t really want if you knew all the facts. Itâ€™s come to a point now where if I see certain words on packaging I automatically hesitate and ask myself, whoa are these guys trying to sell me crap at an inflated price? Is someone trying to slip me a department store Mickey?
I have made a list of what I think to be the top 10 misleading words and phrases that have been seized by the marketing departments of imitation medicine. Please feel free to add any I may have missed in the comment section below andâ€¦ buyer BEWARE. (Fade in spooky music.)
1. All Natural Um, WTF does this even mean? Hasnâ€™t the general population considered the fact that cobra venom is completely natural? Other â€œall naturalâ€ and poisonous items (just to name a few) include; arsenic, cyanide, black widow spiders, jasmine berries, mistletoe berries, oleander leaves, strychnine, hemlock, jellyfish, scorpions, belladonna and pufferfish. Certain parts of potatoes and even too much nutmeg can kill you. All natural doesnâ€™t mean better for you.
2. Green This one really irritates me. Itâ€™s a f-ing color people! Green means a mixture of yellow and blue. A part of the color spectrum? Sure. Pretty? Sometimes, yes. But it doesnâ€™t mean that you are stopping global warming with your crappy recycled product. Green doesnâ€™t mean healthy or safe either. If you think it does then please refer to #1.
3. Toxins *Sigh* Yes, there are such things as toxins (or more specifically poisons) but not in the way that the alternative medicine subculture thinks there are. Toxins are not invisible and everywhere or created by our bodies and killing us. We are not storing them until we get a magic pill or Starbucks enema. Whenever you hear someone tell you that their product or regimen â€œremoves toxinsâ€ just ask them specifically what toxins and how. The answer, â€œYou know, like environmental toxins like smoke and stuff and out your butt.â€ is not the correct answer. Our body is quite capable of excreting waste without the use of magical mystery enema toxin removal systems or special homeopathic-naturalistic-supplement system. Also toxins can be quantified. In other words you can test for them (not with a questionnaire). Oh and BTW, you are WAY more likely to overdose on fat-soluble vitamins in some crappy detox supplement than from imaginary environmental toxins.
4. Detox This word is a place and has been hijacked from rockstars. Please return it. If you would like to learn more about the â€œDetox Scamâ€ please read this lovely article by Steven Novella.
5. Immune Boosting This statement is utter nonsense. You cannot boost your immune system. It doesnâ€™t work that way. Itâ€™s not a rocket. If you are a healthy individual your immune system is already â€œboostedâ€. Iâ€™m not a doctor so I will refer you to one. Please read this immune system article by Mark Crislip on Science-based medicine..
6. Clinically Proven Maybe at one time this meant something but tested in an alt med clinic by Crystal and that guy down the hall doesnâ€™t mean shit.
7. Good for You or Healthy As opposed to what? Says who?
8. Mom Approved Getting knocked up does not give you super powers. In some cases it actually proves you are an idiot. Breeding in itself does not make you smarter. There is no mommy intuition. Sorry Jenny and Airborne Inc., but itâ€™s time to let go of the delusion and get over yourself. Try some good old-fashioned common sense and the scientific method. You might like it!
9. Antioxidant Rich This is one of those tag lines that just wonâ€™t die. The most recent science seems to point to the fact that antioxidants donâ€™t actually do anything to help you at all and may in some cases be harmful but marketing companies are still aggressively promoting the unfounded anti-aging health claims. I would also like to know at exactly what amount does something become rich?
10. Organic Aw, the new pet word in marketing offices around the world. Does organic mean better for you? No, but it usually means more expensive. Seriously, would you prefer to pay more for the same tomato with animal urine as pesticide and a higher likelihood of salmonella or that more affordable tomato grown with tried and true bug sprays that have been shown to be safe for human consumption? Yeah, I guess itâ€™s a flip of the coin. If you can afford it go ahead and buy whatever vegetables you want. I myself prefer to support local growers with larger potential crop yields. I also prefer to support companies that arenâ€™t trying to manipulate me with the latest in trendy ad campaigns and buzzwords.
Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you a year filled with love, fun, happiness and as free and far from from hippy crap as possible! Cheers!