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Nature: not all it's cracked up to be

The other month we tried some Oreo knockoffs from a brand called Back to Nature. The name spawned many jokes: ah yes, nature, where chocolate sandwich cookies grow on trees. Monkeys flinging them at each other, squirrels carrying them off to their nests. A real bitch when you park your car underneath one, though; the filling smears all over the windshield.

Anyway, that brings up the question of whether "natural" is always better for you. In the case of cookies with some heart-healthy fat instead of Crisco, then yes, I suppose it is.

But when I want to know why we need to clear all the dead leaves away from the garden, justifying my laziness by pointing out that forest floors are covered with dead leaves and are quite fertile and happy, the "nature" argument doesn't quite hold up. Yes, forest floors are covered with dead leaves, and as a consequence they are also crawling with bugs, many of which would love to eat more plants, or hey, move into our house. Since that is not acceptable, I become willing to clear the dead leaves. Thus the difference between a garden and the wilderness.

Similarly, I find myself thinking things like: "It's silly that we shouldn't walk around barefoot for fear of putting too much strain on our feet. We were designed to walk barefoot! Our primitive ancestors must have done it all the time!" To which Anthro brain has to answer: "Yes, and look how long they lived. Why, a good 32, 33 years." Ditto for worrying about how the sun, or tooth decay, or sleeping on uncomfortable surfaces, might hurt us. Since I hope to live a good three times what our hominid ancestors did, I will be trusting in science and technology to help.

Luckily science and technology help bring us cookies. Which, in the case of Back to Nature, are really good. Better than actual Oreos, if you can believe it. You win THIS round, nature...


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 11th, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
Stewards of The Garden...not just another animal...
And God placed Adam in the garden, to dress it, etc. Which also means one can make pumpkin pie from pumpkins rather than eating pumpkin raw, for example. Not to mention at least a good pair of sandals, etc., etc. Dude.

Oct. 11th, 2006 05:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Stewards of The Garden...not just another animal...
We would indeed be some helpless naked apes if we didn't have the wits to use the resources nature provided. Imagine a winter without wool or leather. Eek. (Well, or Polar Fleece, but we'd be unlikely to stumble upon that one before wool.)

Sandals--hm, wonder if PETA ever got on Birkenstock's case for using leather? Seems unlikely somehow.
Oct. 12th, 2006 08:40 pm (UTC)
I have occasional fits of "I don't need this! I shall return to my primitive roots! Raarr!" And then I realize that there's a reason we live so much longer now than we once did. Ha. So, you know, flossing and vitamins and stuff is probably a good idea, despite primitive roots and all that.

(Actually, I think we probably need those things because we're so far out of touch with our primitive roots. We wouldn't need vitamins and floss if we didn't consume so much refined sugar and such instead of eating real food, huh?)
Oct. 13th, 2006 05:29 pm (UTC)
Partly true, yeah...but then again, chances of getting your leg mangled by a bear go way up when you return to nature. And then the heavy painkillers start looking good.
Oct. 13th, 2006 05:30 pm (UTC)
Heh heh, there is that also, yes. I'm not sure how civilization came as far as it did without ibuprofen, personally.
Oct. 14th, 2006 05:47 pm (UTC)
Very interesting post, this. :-)

I haven't tried those cookies, but will have to look for them. I'm always in the mood for cookies. LOL
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )