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Ilya
2007-Oct-31, 03:09 PM
As I was putting a teabag into cup, I read on the label "Decaffeinated naturally". What exactly is that supposed to mean? Decaffeination is an artificial process, so by definition it is not "natural". As far as I am concerned the only tea leaf or coffee bean "decaffeinated naturally" is one which grew without caffein. Such do exist (coffee, anyway -- don't know about tea) -- they have gene for caffein removed. However, I suspect that most people who care about "natural" labels do not consider such coffee "decaffeinated naturally".

Moose
2007-Oct-31, 03:21 PM
I'm guessing it's market-speak for "we didn't load it with caffeine like we did all of our other products, but "natural" sells, so we'll happily claim credit for something we didn't do".

01101001
2007-Oct-31, 03:33 PM
The Net knows all...

From somewhere Google yielded, to a prompt of "decaffeinated naturally", several items along the lines of:


Parkside Coffee uses only beans that are naturally decaffeinated using a water process rather than chemical solvents.

Wikipedia: Decaffeination :: Swiss water process (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decaffeination#Swiss_water_process) -- though that might be applicable to coffee beans and not tea leaves. But, you know how marketing is.

Ilya
2007-Oct-31, 03:52 PM
H2O is not a chemical?

Swift
2007-Oct-31, 04:10 PM
H2O is not a chemical?
Of course it is, at least to a chemist. I guess you could argue that water is a naturally occurring substance, as opposed to a solvent like methylene chloride (see the wikipedia article on decaffeination (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decaffeination)). For similar reasons, I have also seen the term naturally decaffeinated applied to decaffination by supercritical carbon dioxide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supercritical_carbon_dioxide).

Peptron
2007-Oct-31, 04:10 PM
But H2O is a natural chemical! (But then so is H2SO4.)

Moose
2007-Oct-31, 04:13 PM
[paraphrased]
The chemist passed away today,
The chemist is no more;
For what he thought was H2O
Was H2SO4.

Noclevername
2007-Oct-31, 04:14 PM
In Corporate-Speak, "chemical" has the connotation of something synthetically made. It's used as a buzzword, just like "natural".

Noclevername
2007-Oct-31, 04:14 PM
In Corporate-Speak, "chemical" has the connotation of something synthetically made. It's used as a buzzword, just like "natural".

triplebird
2007-Oct-31, 04:55 PM
In Corporate-Speak, "chemical" has the connotation of something synthetically made. It's used as a buzzword, just like "natural".

And "chemical"=bad, while "natural"=good

mike alexander
2007-Oct-31, 06:18 PM
Back in high school a friend of mine noted that "all natural" could be construed to mean "contains no transuranic elements".

Noclevername
2007-Oct-31, 06:24 PM
I'd like to see a product labelled "As natural as Death".

Ilya
2007-Oct-31, 06:26 PM
"All-Natural Arsenic!"

Swift
2007-Oct-31, 06:55 PM
"All-Natural Arsenic!"
When someone makes claims about the benefits of "all natural", I like to point out that rattlesnake venom is natural too. :D

Gillianren
2007-Oct-31, 07:23 PM
And of course, there's the whole "organic" food thing.

Noclevername
2007-Oct-31, 07:34 PM
And of course, there's the whole "organic" food thing.

Mmmm, carbon-based molecules. Taste that CHONy goodness.

Van Rijn
2007-Oct-31, 09:04 PM
Back in high school a friend of mine noted that "all natural" could be construed to mean "contains no transuranic elements".

I like it, but even that's debatable, since there is (for instance) a little natural plutonium.

mike alexander
2007-Oct-31, 11:36 PM
He was an English major.

But even if not strictly true, it is certainly right, if you get my drift.

Maksutov
2007-Nov-01, 08:15 AM
I have piquins growing in a pot on my Wurlitzer. Perhaps I should market those chiles as being "organic".

Concerning decaffeinated naturally", isn't that what happens with all unaltered coffee and tea? In short, the human metabolism naturally decaffeinates the ingested coffee and tea and transfers the caffeine to the bloodstream.

mugaliens
2007-Nov-01, 04:40 PM
Natural. Hmmm...

Isn't the poisen from certain frogs natural?

But common household aspirin is not natural, but is man-made...

Beware labels! Know what you're really ingesting.

By the way, "naturally decaffinated" cofee is as safe as could be. Probably safter than pure coffee, as caffein can, given certain predisposed medical conditions, lead to complications.

Swift
2007-Nov-01, 06:50 PM
But common household aspirin is not natural, but is man-made...

Well, semi-natural. Salicylic acid is a naturally occurring substance, found in willow bark (and some other plants), and has been used since ancient times as a pain reliever. The problem is that it is very bitter. A derivative, acetylsalicylic acid, is much less bitter. The company Bayer came up with a better process to make this, and the rest is history.

Good wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspirin)

Noclevername
2007-Nov-01, 07:16 PM
We also use the fruit of the Tylenol Tree. ;)