Eeek! Chemicals!

We have all read the scare stories that tell us how many chemicals we are exposed to in X food or Y activity.  No evidence of harm from exposure is given, but the very number of chemicals is used to scare us -- certainly something in there must be bad!

Well, prepare to be really frightened of this common food product:

What they found ...[were] over 4,000 different non-volatile compounds across the different samples, results which he presented today at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. “It’s very complex,” Collins says of the chemistry.

What is he discussing?  Whiskey.  I will add that it also has a lot of dihydrogen monoxide too.


  1. jimkimmons:

    Bring back Prohibition...we must be SAFE!

  2. jimbeaux:

    Even though whiskey contains "a lot of dihydrogen monoxide" I prefer to add additional (chilled) dihydrogen monoxide to my Maker's Mark, especially when I'm in a sipping mood.

  3. sean2829:

    I remember an interview with Dr Bruce Ames (of the Ames Test to screen for chemical mutagenic characteristics). About 10 years after the test was introduced, he was asked if he was surprised by the number of chemicals that failed his test and if he was worried about all the chemicals people were being exposed to. He was not surprised nor terribly worried. It turns out mostly synthetic chemicals got tested because that is all that the government regulated. He went on to say that more than 90% of the carcinogens people are exposed to are naturally occurring compounds.

  4. Joe_Da:

    There are numerous cases of fatlities from inhaling even small quantities of liquid dihydrogen monoxide. there is no reason to be so caviler on such a dangerous chemical.

  5. Joe_Da:

    My preference is to consume the appropriate quantity of dihydrogen monoxide fermented with select varieties of the proper grapes or fermented with acceptable hops and barley.

  6. Matthew Slyfield:

    To all chemophobes:

    Your entire body, every plant, every animal, indeed everything you can smell, taste or touch is made up entirely of chemicals.

    Grow up and get over it.

  7. Matthew Slyfield:

    Ingesting dihydrogen monoxide can also be fatal.

    Very dangerous chemical.

  8. MingoV:

    I doubt that a chemist who says that the chemical composition of whiskey is "very complex" is concerned about toxicity. I'm a chemist, and I consider it interesting and challenging. Toxicologists are a different breed, and far too many of them find ways to "prove" that any chemical they focus on is toxic.

    Aside: Three Most Significant Science Frauds
    #1: Anthropogenic global warming
    #2: Deliberately biased toxicity and carcinogenicity studies
    #3: Deceitfulness about correlation between cholesterol and atherosclerosis

    All three are ongoing.

  9. MingoV:

    The Ames test was not designed to determine carcinogenicity in humans. It is a screening test. A chemical that causes a reaction in the Ames test has to undergo numerous other tests, including exposure of mammals (usually mice or rats) to the chemical. The problem today is that lab mice and rats can be genetically engineered for high susceptibility to different kinds of cancers. Using the right lab animal can almost guarantee cancer from a particular chemical. California is a hotbed of such testing, which is why so many chemicals are labeled as toxic or carcinogenic per California when no other studies world-wide found any problems.

  10. mesaeconoguy:

    “over 4,000 different non-volatile compounds across the
    different samples”

    Obviously, they’re not makin it right.

    True Scotch whisky

    is at least 3 years old lad, and is spelled different than the US version whiskEy (also good). But very different.

    So I’d leik to show ye the differences shoartly, but I’m due far a refill.

    And since I cannugh feind theat, hears the Philosophers song instead, from the Aussie blokes

  11. Nehemiah:

    Bourbon or Scotch? Please not Scotch.

  12. Nehemiah:

    Here is a 4th, that the first life on Earth sprang forth from inert matter due to some random event. The latest is that first life actually occurred on Mars and traveled here on a meteor.

  13. epobirs:

    New studies indicate that environmental exposure to chemicals has achieved such a level of saturation that all of the human and animal subjects tested were found to be composed entirely of chemicals.

  14. jhertzli:

    Dihydrogen monoxide? It's an essential nutrient that is frequently depleted in food processing. It is almost 90% oxygen by mass, which clearly shows its importance for oxygenating tissues. As for the depletion, for example, organic grapes have over five times the percentage of dihydrogen monoxide compared to genetically-modified raisins. The paleo diet might also reflect the importance of this nutrient. Sugar and wheat flour have almost no dihydrogen monoxide at all.

    ... and don't get me started on citric acid ...