Life isn’t all natural
May 18, 2017
I saw a label on a bag of ice that read, "All natural, nothing added." I'm not sure if that was meant to be a joke, but I got a good laugh out of it. We live in a world where so few things that we eat, wear, drink or rub on our skin exists in nature that we actually pay extra for things that don't have anything added that are sold to us with no additives or processing. Does that seem odd to anyone else?
Just a few short decades ago if you were thirsty and broke you drank water. If were thirsty and had a little money you might buy a soda, which is basically water with stuff added to it. Somehow, we have reached a point where it costs more to buy a bottle of water that theoretically has nothing added to it than it does to buy the very same soda. We pay more to get less because it's natural, maybe it's just me but this makes no sense at all.
I understand that people worry about food additives, which makes sense to me if you cook your meals and nutrition is important to you, but makes no sense to me if you're worried about the quality of the chicken in your McNuggets. Anyone who pays more to get "more natural" fast food probably shouldn't be trusted to give either nutrition or financial advice.
Generally speaking, nature is a good thing, but I don't believe it's always the best thing. There are many things that exist in nature that I'm not a huge fan of. Mosquitoes, tornadoes, poison ivy, armpit hair on women and morning breath occur naturally but the world would be a better place without any of them.
That brings up another point that confuses my simple mind; why do we pay extra for some things because they are natural then pay even more to remove other natural things. Body odor is completely natural but we spend a fortune on products to make us smell like pretty much anything but ourselves. There is a whole line of expensive deodorants that claim to give you a "natural scent." Wait … what?
It seems that as a species we are fickle when it comes to what we're willing to pay extra for. We go to the supermarket and buy Fuji water because it's the most natural then on the next aisle pick up a pack of $35 razors to scrape off the hair that grows naturally on our face because we want it both ways.
Speaking for myself, a good number of my favorite things don't exist in nature. Corvette's, beer, chili-cheeseburgers and ice cream come to mind right away. I'm a huge fan of central heat and air, cruise control, cable TV and shotguns. I wouldn't want to live in a world without big block V-8's, business class seats and mountain bikes with hydraulic brakes and dual suspension.
All that said I appreciate nature as much as the next guy…unless that guy is driving a hybrid and wearing Birkenstocks. Some things are just better the way nature made them than the manmade version. A tomato never tastes better than eating it raw the day you pick it from your garden. The real Matterhorn is way cooler than the one at Disneyland and a real woman is way more attractive than the surgically altered version. I guess you could say that when it comes to salads, mountains and ladies I am a true naturalist.
To be honest I think mankind has done a lot to improve our quality of life here on Earth but sometimes I think we tried to fix some things that weren't broken. It seems to me that carrying a cell phone and paying extra to ensure that you're never left alone probably wasn't our best move. We would probably be better off without infomercials, 24-hour news networks and common core math…or maybe I'm just an old guy resisting change.
So in summary natural things like bottled water, gluten-free ice and human musk scented deodorant are nonsense but natural things like Lake Tahoe, a baby laughing and male dominance are good things. Things that don't occur in nature like pizza rolls, the TSA and monogamy are bad for us but the NFL, bourbon and a GTO convertible make life worth living.
Now that we've got that straight, I'll take a nap … it's the natural thing to do and it doesn't cost a thing.
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.