Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Shit and The Asshole

  I was recently listening to a podcast, Science Vs. (which is great, BTW) about organic food. In the evaluation of the evidence for organic food they brought up the point that manure is “organic” as fertilizer but the animal that made the manure may not be. The narrator said “That is drawing the line between the shit and the asshole”. Meaning that, the line being drawn is completely arbitrary.

  This point is applicable in so many arguments. Think about another popular debate- “processed” food vs “real” food. Where are we drawing the line? And why are we drawing that line? If I pick a tomato from my garden and process it by dicing it, packing it in a mason jar and canning it at home- how is that any different than buying a can at the store? For that matter, how is it any different than dicing it and put it directly in to my recipe and cooking it? It’s not. It’s a completely arbitrary line that makes no meaningful distinction in the end result. It’s a line between the shit and the asshole.

  How about using “natural” sugars over cane sugar? The difference between cane sugar and beet sugar is nonexistent. They are chemically the same thing. Yet people demonize cane sugar far more. Similarly, the chemical differences between cane sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave nectar and HFCS are small and don’t have any impact on why you’re fat. Sugar is sugar and too much will make you gain weight, regardless of the source. Stop making a distinction between the shit and the asshole.

  It’s also applicable in skin care products. When I was working in cosmetics, people loved to put an emphasis on products that were derived from something “natural”. Like a plant. For example, some companies used willow bark extract in place of salicylic acid because willow bark contains salicylic acid and they claimed that willow bark extract was better because it was derived from nature. By that logic, I could claim that petrolatum is derived from nature because it comes from oil, which is drilled out of the ground and is composed of decomposed organic matter. This is absolutely drawing a line between the shit and the asshole. 

  The next time you’re looking to make a choice in anything- think about it critically. Is there really a difference? Ask some experts! Don’t get caught between the shit and the asshole. It’s pretty unappealing in there.