Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Chemical Cell

I had been to a restaurant with my friend the other day. The coffee I had ordered came with sachets of sugar and colorful sachets of artificial sweeteners. I had seen ads on TV of one of the sweeteners and picked it up to add to my coffee. Most of the sweeteners I knew said they were meant for diabetic patients. But this sweetener said it is nearest to sugar and is ideal for the whole family. My friend stopped me and asked me not to use artificial sweeteners as they are made of chemicals which give them the sweet taste. This one said it is made from sugar compounds and so I argued with him that it is not like the other sweeteners which are made of chemicals and I had seen ads of this sweetener since a long time. If it contained harmful chemicals it would have been out of the market by now. Both of us argued our minds and finally he went with normal sugar while I went with the artificial sweetener.

I got a mail today afternoon from the same friend in which he had sent a link to one of the sites which said, contained the truth about artificial sweeteners. It had a mention of the sweetener I had used the other day. It seems there is no tested data or any evidence to say that this sweetener was really closest to sugar. It also said no testing was carried out for knowing the long term effects of this sweetener. Now I am not sure if this is a gimmick from a competitor company or if it is for real but the supposedly long term effects of different such chemicals used in food was really scary.

Read through the list of ingredients of any food product you buy. There will be at least 2 or 3 items which you will not know. The bigger the list of ingredients the bigger is the list of unknowns. All these unknowns from so many different sources go into our body every day. Who knows what will happen when an unknown chemical from one product mixes with an unknown chemical from another product? I remember the color changes, the boiling and the spurting, the fumes etc which I had seen in the college chemistry lab when we mixed different chemicals. Maybe something like that might happen in our body too. Who know!

Do you know how the ripe red tomatoes retain that color even after 3-4 days? It seems at some places they are “fed” with some kind of chemical, due to which they retain their freshness for days. It looks like all my favorite vegetables can be adulterated. The chemical story doesn’t end here. Meat eaters too have their share. It seems at some places, animals which are reared for meat are fed with certain steroids and other chemicals which make them meaty and grow faster compared to those which grew without these chemicals.

Looks like the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe are all contaminated with chemicals. Our body will slowly become a repository of chemicals!! A day will soon come where you don’t have to feed the animals reared for meat with separate chemicals. The chemicals will be readily available in what ever they feed. Humans too, will be at the receiving end.

Maybe a chemical might affect the brain of one person and the finger nail of another. Maybe it might not have any effect on someone. Maybe one day after years of chemical consumption and its reactions, the color of our blood might change to black or blue. Or maybe our blood might turn into some liquid similar to petrol or diesel and it might be used to run cars. Maybe human body might be used as a chemical cell to generate power. Maybe................I can only imagine.

~Narendra V Joshi

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