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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What they said, not necessarily what they really meant

Do you ever catch inconsistencies in commercials, or is that just me?

Car Guy and I had the TV on Sunday morning, and for some reason we stopped on a channel that was showing an infomercial for a paint stripper. It was soy-based, and claimed to be safe for skin and fumeless. Of course, it also claimed to do an awesome job pulling paint off whatever home/furniture restoration project one had.

As we've all seen, there's greater emphasis in the market today on natural and environmentally friendly alternatives to products that have, for the last century, been based on petrochemicals. And as long as they work well, I'll admit that I'm willing to jump on that bandwagon. Petrochemicals stink; they're usually harsh and toxic; and there is a limited supply of them as we use up the oil reserves around the world. But that doesn't mean that natural products are all they're portrayed to be.

"All natural - it's healthy!" "Non toxic, because it's natural." "Natural and good for you!" Really? Because arsenic and rattlesnake venom are natural, too, and I'm not going to put those on my morning granola any time soon.

But the part about the paint stripper commercial that really made me laugh was their claim that, "It's organic, so it doesn't smell." Now, I'm not a chemist, nor do I play one on TV. But I always thought that in relation to chemistry, organic meant that something had oxygen in it's makeup. Besides, I'm pretty sure that "organic" can be applied to skunk musk, and that cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be described as odorless. So why would "organic" indicate "odorless," unless the writers were just trying to get more buzzwords into the spot?


Marcyanna said...

Cow poop is organic too...

chefann said...


And Car Guy reminded me that organic, in terms of chemistry, means that something has carbon in it. That's what I get for trying to be smart after never having a chemistry class.