I’m not feelin’ it today, so I won’t do an in-depth post about food processing and myths about chemistry (although I WANT to). I’ll keep it short and sweet and give you some advice.
Conventional wisdom: If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.
You should never eat anything outside of your ethnicity because you probably can’t pronounce it.
Unless of course you are fluent in every language on Earth, which no one is, in which case you can eat anything you want even if it is chemically altered, prepared in an unsavory way, or is just plain icky. I just hope there is no indigenous 7-syllable word for human brains, which was once a popular food item in Papua New Guinea. Nope, no health risks (or moral qualms) with eating human brains.
If you are illiterate, you must starve to death.
Anyone without a basic science education must starve to death also.
If you are a scientist and CAN understand all those long scary labels, you too can eat anything you want…even something caustic, flammable, radioactive, or otherwise toxic and it totally won’t hurt you.
Most importantly of all, don’t drink dihydrogen monoxide. It contains no nutritional value, causes burns, and is deadly.
The problem is that you can’t live three days without it. It’s water.:) Check out my sidebar for more information about the deadly compound that is water.
Does my advice sound silly? That’s because it is.
I have a major issue with the common wisdom that if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it. Rather than encourage people to learn about what’s in their food, chemistry and all, including foods that are made at home or that are allegedly natural, it encourages technophobia, chemophobia, and ignorance. This mentality spurs people to adopt policies that endanger public health, such as the campaign against irradiation, a technique that can virtually eliminate food-bourne illness.
I bet if someone reviewed the ingredients in your home-cooked food and had to explain it to other scientists, you would hear way more scary scientific names than you ever wanted to.
Know your food. Know your chemistry. Resist.