Take a trip down to your local store and start reading labels. What do you see on the labels? Probably a ton of names that you cannot pronounce even if your life depended on it. But what do these names mean and why should you care about them? The answer is very simple, all those names are part of different chemical compounds or extracts of different plants and animals. Many people do not question what the name implies. Most people just let those funky names just be. No questions asked.
Now you might ask yourself what about those products that say “chemical free,” what makes there label different from the rest of the labels. Well to start they want to advertise to those very few people that care about what goes onto, into, and around them. The ones that will not use bleach because it is to harsh on the skin. The ones that have pets or small children and know some of the chemicals can be very harmful to the health of the animals and kids. The ones that learn different chemical names and see them as being totally wrong. Those types of people make the production industry change their product labels to “chemical free”. But is what they are selling really “chemical free?”
Beeswax Butter Balm clams to be free of chemicals. The company Made from Earth, names a couple of natural occurring ingredients under their label but does that really mean that they have no chemicals what so ever in the balm? If the product was really a natural representation of the ingredients the balm would be a totally different color. Although the company uses “natural” ingredients in the product “natural” does not always mean straight from the ground. Science has come so far that now a days the things that are labeled “natural” actually just refer to the fact that the actual compound was extracted from the natural occurring substance. The substance then was denatured in a lab somewhere to find all the chemical compounds that make it the substance it is. Then in a lab the scientist take the chemical compound and reproduce it in large quantities, selling it to the world as “natural”.
Each product has some sort of chemistry in it. After all atoms are everywhere! The Beeswax Butter Balm can get away with saying “chemical free” because technically they are not adding harmful chemicals into the mix; instead they are adding natural occurring chemicals into it. But lying to the public about chemical contents is not appropriate. The consumer has the right to know what exactly is inside the product they are about to buy. Some customers are less educated than others and automatically assume that “natural” or “chemical free” means healthier. In reality that is not true! The labels are a way to get more consumers to buy the product versus other products in the same field of work. Instead of “chemical free” labels the products should advertise safer chemicals than most. Even though that also might be an incorrect way to label the product.
Next time you go to the store and read labels make sure you know all of the story not just part of it.
Chemistry of Food, Dr. January Haile