Lindsay Mitchell

Jan 13, 2014  |  Today's News

For an ag communicator, work in 2014 focuses quite a bit on new ways to share information, using technology to our benefit, reaching a non-traditional audience with your messages, and thoroughly thinking through the words that can help or harm the Illinois farmers that we serve.

This article by Sharon Hill is an oldie, but a goodie and I think its information is worth reading again.

Hill investigates how the word “chemical,” and even “chemistry,” have come to mean something bad in today’s world instead of something scientific, progressive, and worthy of considering.

“Mothers don't want chemicals in their kids' foods. It's environmentally unfriendly to use chemicals on your lawn or garden. You are encouraged to “go green” and use chemical-free products around the house and on yourself.

The truth is: you cannot go chemical-free. “

Hill goes on to explain that water is a chemical.  And that the negative definition that society and the green movement has assigned to “chemical” causes us to lose out on some serious scientific benefits to the human race.

“Marketers take advantage of the poisoned meaning of the word chemical to tout their products as being safe, healthy, and chemical-free. It’s another gimmick. In 2008 in the U.K., a Miracle Gro compost product was labeled “100% chemical free.” That's not truthful, according to the scientific definition of chemical. Yet the advertising authority decided that most people interpret chemical-free as synonymous with “organic” and okayed the use of the term “chemical-free.” Organic products are not only made with and contain chemicals but can be produced with natural pesticides (also chemicals). Natural or synthetic, you can't be free from chemicals. It's ridiculous to use the term “chemical-free”.

In fact, to illustrate the silliness of the term, Britain's Royal Society of Chemistry offered a Million Pound Challenge to anyone who can produce a 100% chemical-free material. So far, no one has claimed this prize. “

This is just another example how words like “sustainable” and “corporate farm” and even “chemical” can have a very negative connotation.  These are the sorts of image and marketing ploys that your association works hard to correct through groups like Illinois Farm Families, Corn Farmers Coalition, and U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.

Read the full article here to get a more in-depth look of Hill’s evaluation and its negative effects to society.

And for a good laugh, don’t miss this part:

Dihydrogen monoxide is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and kills uncounted thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means certain death. From Snopes

That's some toxic stuff!

Dihydrogen monoxide is actually H2O.  Water.