Charles wrote:Any decent chemist can combine or break apart individual compounds to derive that same composition.
getting that 'same' composition is a lot harder than you may think.
in a natural product, there is no set composition.
also, total, confident characterization of all contributing species is very far from trivial.
Charles wrote:For example, Salt is NaCl (Na = Sodium, Cl = Chloride). We get most of our salt by evaporating seawater or mining rock salt. Our blood also contains about 0.9% NaCl. Sugar is sucrose and is usually derived from Sugar Cane or Sugar Beets. Sugar and Salt are plentiful and easy to get from these "natural" sources. That said, there is no more difference between NaCl derived from water or rock or in a lab. By definition there are no other molecules present and so NO contamination is possible.
do you realize the extraordinary difficulty (in fact, impossibility) of isolating a 'pure' compound?
you can typically get many clues about the source of a product (natural, synthetic (even which route)) by identifying contaminants.
Charles wrote:By this measure, chemically synthesized compounds are SAFER and MORE STABLE because, unlike naturally extracted compounds, there are no other compounds or molecules hanging around.
Charles wrote:We tend to have a fear of anything we don't understand, but chemical reactions shouldn't scare us.
fear and ignorance are two sides of a coin. no... of an.. infinitely-sided die. of a sphere? ;]
Charles wrote:The key is simply to avoid chemicals that that will hurt us.
note that by saying these things, i'm trying to preferentially promote neither natural nor synthetic.