The next time you’re peeling a fresh, organic, “all-natural” banana just remember: it’s filled with loads of chemicals! But don’t worry, so is everything else.
James Kennedy, a chemistry teacher living in Australia, has created some fun images that show just what chemicals are lurking inside your favourite foods — even the “organic,” unprocessed ones.
As Kennedy explains, there’s a lot of panic right now about the chemicals we’re consuming. And the hype around words like “natural” — a word whose definition isn’t regulated by the FDA — is mostly just marketing.
Some people care about different ingredients such as “E-numbers”. I made this graphic to demonstrate how “natural” products (such as a banana) contain scary-looking ingredients as well. All the ingredients on this list are 100% natural in a non-GM banana. None of them are pesticides, fertilisers, insecticides or other contaminants.
There’s a tendency for advertisers to use the words “pure” and “simple” to describe “natural” products when they couldn’t be more wrong. With this diagram, I want to demonstrate that “natural” products are usually more complicated than anything we can create in the lab. For brevity’s sake, I omitted the thousands of minority ingredients found in a banana, including DNA.
So here’s a fun game: choose maybe half a dozen words from Kennedy’s banana list and read them to a friend. “Would you eat a food with ethyl butanoate, phenylalanine, and aspartic acid….”