Herbal Placebo

Little known fact: If you combine multiple items which do nothing… they still do nothing!


And the product will be off the shelves in no time.

If it said “fat-free,” it would make even more money…

(via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal)

  • muggle

    Ain’t that the truth?

    One that always kills me these days is all the organic food. Like we can even get food that hasn’t been affected by air, soil and water pollution. So pay twice as much and kid yourself about the purity of local soil it’s planted in and water it’s watered with.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Hell, I can improve on that:

    http://i49.tinypic.com/ycjs0.png

  • http://sa.mu/el samuel

    you forgot the best part, when you hover over the red button on SMBC’s page, it displays:

    http://zs1.smbc-comics.com/comics/20100101after.gif

  • http://redheadedskeptic.com Laura

    Get Jenny McCarthy to endorse it, and it will make millions!

  • http://primesequence.blogspot.com/ PrimeNumbers

    So true it’s not funny. Well, it is funny, and true.

  • Tyler Nothing

    Makes me think of Tim Minchin’s song: If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out (Take My Wife). Well, kinda song I guess. But still this reminds me of it.

  • The Other Tom

    I want to know if Herbal Placebo is cruelty free, dolphin safe, and naturally low in cyanide.

  • Epistaxis

    “Developed by a school teacher!”

    Hemant, you could be making a lot more money.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Does a placebo do nothing by definition or does it cause a psychological response? It does do something, just not what a medicine would do.

  • http://3harpiesltd.org/ocb Judith Bandsma

    My favorite in the store “organic” lettuce…grown hydroponically. So, ‘organic’ means no chemicals and hydroponic means only chemicals and water.

    The only true thing that could be on the label (but isn’t) MIGHT be ‘pesticide free’. But even that raises the question of “if it isn’t on the label, then isn’t it likely that the plants were sprayed?”

  • D

    I’m a bit weirded out by this post and the ensuing comments… since when did opposition to organic/natural/healthy eating and living become the latest atheist trend? Years of careful reading and research into what’s best for my family’s health, down the drain – and yet another reason we don’t ‘fit in’ at ‘freethought’ groups.

    Between opposition to abortion and insistence on feeding my children the purest, safest foods possible – I’m starting to feel like I should hand in my atheist credentials or something. Next thing you’ll be telling me that marriages with a big age difference aren’t valid either (while passionately defending gay and interracial marriage).

    Does anyone above have any actual scientific evidence to back up the ‘all herbal and/or organic products are useless and meaningless’ statements?

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Yes.

    Scientists in the UK who systematically reviewed research from the last 50 years concluded that from a nutritional point of view, organically produced foods are no better than conventionally produced.

  • D

    @MikeTheInfidel:

    there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority

    I don’t choose them because I believe they are more nutritious. I choose them because my review of the currently available literature indicates that they are ‘safer’ (in particular, I am concerned about animal products and the effects of artificial hormones and antibiotics), more humane (again, in the case of animals), and better for the environment.

    However, he also added that it is difficult to arrive at firm conclusions without good quality, large scale longitudinal research, something which the study authors also said. And he added that we don’t have enough good research on the long term effects of pesticides on human health.

    It’s not just about nutrition. Also, this is an area in which there hasn’t been a vast amount of good-quality research. It’s an area where there is a lot of room for valid differences of opinion.

    I think the bigger point is that one of the reasons that most atheists don’t belong to a group, or participate actively in the wider ‘atheist community’, is that there is often just as much restriction on true ‘free thought’ as there is in most religious groups. It also confuses me that the consensus of people here seems to be that Atheist must = Liberal – yet most of the liberals I know are fanatical about organic food and alternative medicine!

    Also, @Judith Bandsma:

    I have a container of organic hydroponic nutrient mix under my kitchen sink. It’s liquid compost – not ‘chemicals’ – except in the broader sense that everything, including our bodies, is composed of chemicals.

  • muggle

    D,

    Honestly, no, I don’t. I’ll give you that. I don’t care if you spend twice the money on organic. It’s your money. Do what you want with it. But whenever I hear organic pushed, all I can think about is the state of pollution in the world today. It’s just too prevalent to escape.

    As I said our air, water and soil are so largely contaminated, how can anything, even if you grow it yourself be contaminant free?

    Seriously. To guarantee it, you’d have to guarantee the air, soil and water that grew it would also be and it just can’t be done.

    That’s my unresearched conclusion. Your mileage may vary.

    And anyone’s welcome to show me up. Show me some evidence that organic means free from contaminents that regular groceries aren’t.

    As Judith says, basically it means they haven’t used pesticides but given that pesticides are in the ground water and soil, good luck find some garden patch to grow pesticide-free veggies.

    This is, however, the best I found with a quick google:

    http://pmep.cals.cornell.edu/facts-slides-self/facts/pest-gr-gud-grw89.aspx

  • D

    Honestly, no, I don’t. I’ll give you that. I don’t care if you spend twice the money on organic. It’s your money. Do what you want with it. But whenever I hear organic pushed, all I can think about is the state of pollution in the world today. It’s just too prevalent to escape.

    The question is: is the answer to this, ‘well, we’ve already got some pollution, so it’s too late, we’re screwed, let’s just throw more pollution on top of it’? Is this answer we have for religious arguments (remember, a common argument in favor of religious belief is that ‘most’ people have it in some form or another).

    Yes, there is a LOT of pollution in the soil, air, and water – but it is more concentrated in some areas than others and that is because people continue to apply potentially dangerous chemicals to their crops instead of practicing responsible – organic or as close to it as possible – farming. Industrial pollution plays a major part too – I used to live in an area with heavy industrial contamination, and I have no doubt that it played a major role in most of my family members who lived in that area throughout their lives, developing cancer (the ones who weren’t born with worse problems, that is). I’m glad to have moved away and nothing could make me move back, particularly now that I have young children. If I did live there, I don’t think I would bother with organic home gardening. As it is, I am privileged to live in an area that is relatively ‘clean’, and I grow/raise my own food as much as possible.

    As I said our air, water and soil are so largely contaminated, how can anything, even if you grow it yourself be contaminant free?

    Seriously. To guarantee it, you’d have to guarantee the air, soil and water that grew it would also be and it just can’t be done.

    That’s my unresearched conclusion. Your mileage may vary.

    I can’t guarantee that the food products that I grow or buy are free from any and all contaminants, in the same way that none of us can guarantee that there are absolutely no gods anywhere in (or outside) the universe). We do seem to all agree that the likelihood of such gods existing is so small as to be virtually impossible, though – and we call on those who assert the existence of god(s) to provide proof of their existence. Similarly, I do the best I can to provide my family with uncontaminated foods, and I would challenge anyone who rudely proclaims that all organic/natural food/herbal products are utter nonsense, to provide me with reasonable scientific proof that their assertion is valid. I don’t just buy anything that says “Organic! Natural! Herbal! Homeopathic! Lite! Tasty!” etc off the shelf, accepting all claims on labels to be unquestionable truths; just as I don’t accept the teaching of any religion without first looking at the literature and deciding for myself whether it is reasonable or not.

    This discussion, plus a great many others on this site and other atheist sites, is really making me question the ‘atheism is a religion’ claim. I had always scoffed at it before (as a near-lifetime atheist, but uninvolved in the ‘atheist community’). Now, I wonder. There seems to be a complete set of tenets that are ‘accepted’ as ‘reasonable’ and not subject to further debate (abortion on demand, gay rights, socialism/communism, vote Democrat, etc), and recently ‘opposition to organic/natural lifestyles’ seems to be among them. (This is especially interesting to me, as previously the only opposition to organic farming that I had heard, was from Quiverfull-type Christians who claimed that it was evil because it would place limits on human population, whereas ‘conventional’ farming could ‘feed the world’ and support an unnaturally-high population level.)

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    For me, it’s not a matter of accepting tenets and refusing to debate. It’s that it isn’t even important to me. I just pick my battles.

  • http://medsavailable.com MedsAvailable

    Herbal products are also helpful in some ways. They have been doing miracles for years. Using of herbs should not be questioned because it is seen used by the Chinese for centuries.


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