Monday, May 21, 2007

agua fresca

Dihydrogen Monoxide. When you look at all the problems (including fatalities) related to it, who would want to create such a potent chemical compound? Let's recap, shall we?
  • You can find it in acid rain.
  • Scientists use it in animal research.
  • Athletes use it to enhance performance. And...
  • Now I hear that big food companies are putting this stuff in baby food, too!!
This dangerous chemical compound is more commonly know as H20. That´s right... water. It´s all true. Think about it.
The first time I came across this information, I was watching a bright, young, college "activist- type" gal with a clipboard collecting signatures to ban all use of dihydrogen monoxide. She got lots of signatures. Was it all a joke? I don´t think so.
I think the people behind are trying to make a point. Just because something has a chemical name, doesn´t mean it is bad. Even if it has lethal potential, that does not necessarily make it bad.
I got to thinking about this when we were talking about how much I hate dandelions. Herbicides (and especially pesticides) have important information on their warning labels, and these things should be taken into consideration BEFORE purchasing or using them. If I put this stuff on my lawn, what would happen if people walk on it? If it is dangerous to mammals, could it be contained or might it be spread by dogs, squirrels, or birds? If I have anything left over, how could I dispose of it? Do I need to wear gloves? Get the picture?
I will not take a stand against the use of chemicals. But whether you´re trying to grow healthier flowers or get rid of ants, you gotta read the warning labels.
Because anything ...EVEN WATER... can be dangerous when it is out of control or misused.


L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, do. Take a stand.

I like how Wendell Berry says we must not despise the small things, because small streams wash into larger ones, and so on. Small destructions add up, he reminds us. So even our little lawn decisions mean A LOT. Fish have cancer; whales have cancer; dogs and cats have cancer. One (and a little more) in three of US have cancer. Is the "beauty" of a dead dandelion really worth it?

Okay. I'll stop now.

spaghettipie said...

I like the questions you pose. At first I was getting concerned that you were turning your blog into some anti-chemical activist blog, but now I see you're alerting people to use their heads, rather than just blinding dumping fatal toxins into their water supplies.

Craver Vii said...

How does the proper use of Scotts Turfbuilder Plus Weed Control cause cancer?

Even So... said...

Rivers of living water...

Pete Juvinall said...

I think Craver is dangerous when he is out of control or misused :).

Unknown said...

Ahh...Hahaha! you got me! Tricky, tricky, that Carver!

L.L. Barkat said...

I would definitely recommend a reading of Living Downstream. Many weed killers are variants on the Agent Orange chemicals. But, really, it's best that a person read about this for him- or herself. Cancer is a complicated topic, as is its initiation in the body.

jazzycat said...

The bright young activist points out a huge problem in America.

That problem is for "activists" to influence policies. They are given way too much trust and creditability. As a former commissioner of agriculture of my state said, “We can have chemical free agriculture and all sit around and starve to death together.”

Craver Vii said...

On the one hand, I don’t want to be like the proverbial “tough-guy” knucklehead who ignores warnings about dealing with rusty nails, asbestos, cold weather, power tools… (The list goes on and on.) People who don’t care to know the truth often wind up earning the unenviable Darwin Award (given to people who do foolish things that prevent them from passing on their genes).

On the other hand, let’s face it… some things are legally approved for consumption because of money and politics. (That’s not being cynical, it’s being a realist.) On top of that, there are manufacturers competing for business who will knowingly deceive in order to make a sale.

As it relates to lawn product, I suppose you could say I’m firmly undecided.

Anonymous said...

Craver -- I appreciate your point about using our heads. I sometimes am more easily duped than I like to admit.

I also think that in our age of information it's actually more challenging to find out what's true about something. With every piece of wonderful information on the internet, there are a hundred bogus sources.

I also am learning that every product that is for sale, even if it's regulated, is not always sold with MY good in mind (or my grandchildren). And, I am learning that there is literally a product for every single thing that ails me. Learning to exercise self control and be a good steward of all my resources means I will actually purchase very few of them.

I LOVED the way you approached this, though. It's especially funny to read back over yesterday's comments now that we know what's going on!

Martin Stickland said...

I am with you on this one Craver, nice rainbow photo by the way!

I hope you are keeping well and I am so sorry that I have not visited for a while!

L.L. Barkat said...

An interesting thread is emerging here... regulation and legality and approval. Many chemicals, while legal, are not "approved" or regulated. The list of such chemicals is in the thousands.

Another interesting thread is the role of chemicals in agriculture. While people may debate whether it's worth using them to produce certain quantities of food, there are underlying issues that are discussed less but may be equally important.... like how farmers have significantly higher cancer rates than the general public, as well as more birth defects and miscarriages (particularly if the babies are conceived during "application" season). Also, atrazine, a popular chemical, seems to be responsible for the emergence of transsexual frogs (sounds funny maybe, but frogs are good predictors for what's happening in the ecosystem as a whole).

I must say I appreciate that you've taken this on, Craver. (Did you mean to?) The problem may seem as simple as a few yellow lawn flowers, but it is surprisingly complex.

Craver Vii said...

Transsexual frogs should be funny, except that you have to wonder whether the thing that caused it has any affect on humans.

Last night, I went to my local library and reserved a copy of Living Downstream.

Oh, and it's not so much about hating dandelions, as it is about loving a full, rich, beautiful, healthy lawn.

There is a gargantuan gap between not using any manufactured chemicals at all and blindly accepting everything. I'm still trying to find my place in that great big gray area.

Llama Momma said...

Transexual frogs? Seriously?

Craver Vii said...

It seems that was big news in April of 2002.

Google "atrazine" and "frogs" or click:
here or here
or here
or here, etc.

I'll ask Mrs. Craver if she's interested in that cassette rack you were talking about at Charity's place. She has a whole bunch from when she used to sing with accompaniment tapes.

Deborah Gamble said...

I'm sorry, did LL Barkat really call dandelions yellow lawn flowers? Salad leaves I'd go along with, but yellow lawn flowers??

Llama Momma said...

Yeah! A possible home for the cassette racks! I'll even email you a picture...

Anonymous said...

Wow, I get sidetracked at the office and all manner of bizarre stuff is happening over here!

So I'm wondering...

Can you find Craver in acid rain?
Do scientists use Craver in animal research?
Can Athletes use Craver to enhance performance?
And... should someone add Craver to baby food?

I'm wishing I could add Craver to my lawn. Because otherwise I have to add myself. And that sometimes makes my back hurt.

Anonymous said...

Also, hat's off, Craver. This was a good little exercise to remind people how important logic is. We are quick to assume causation where none exists.

So water is in all four elements. Well, duh. Water is in everything.

So Christians were responsible for many atrocities in the west in the middle ages. Well, duh. Most people in the west in the middle ages were Christian.

Anonymous said...

Last post. I'm not trying to make light of atrocities. People have done bad things in the name of Jesus, but we should blame Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Darn it! I meant to say we should NOT blame Jesus.

L.L. Barkat said...

Deborah... oh, I got a chuckle. Here's the thing...

Craver and I have a dandelion discussion fairly often. I was just afraid to use the word dandelion. But now here I've done it.

Dandelions... the edible flower that needs no chemical applications to feed a family of four. Best thing? Get the kids to harvest them. Amazing what they'll eat when they are the harvesters (yeah, they picked plantain and oxalis the other night and they ate it up like it was gourmet. These are two other lawn plants you'd know if you saw them.)

Dandelions. Dandelions. Dandelions. [is that better?]

Craver Vii said...

(smiling calmly)

Craver Vii said...

You're not buying the smiling comment are you?

Okay, that wasn't true. I wasn't smiling; I fell off my chair, kicking and screaming because of the flagrant use of the "d" word.

Somebody get me a paper bag... I'm hyperventilating.

23 degrees said...

Craver, If it is any consolation, our yard has enough dand...oops, yellow lawn flowers to feed us for a year, all us, each one of us: the ENTIRE blogosphere.

We actually discussed our coarse of action at dinner as 12 rogue dand...oops, lawn flowers burst through the screen door and demanded feed (with no weed.)They eventually backed down, because they were, um, yellow.

Our current plan: We are gonna take off from the planet surface, get a safe distance and nuke the whole yard from space. Or, hit them with one Weed and Feed application and then go organic: goat, horse, LL Barkat.(You were crackin' me up earlier, Laura!)

Who was the person that labeled these flowers as weeds, anyway? Makes you wonder where the "norm" comes from. I wonder if anyone has a yard only of dandelions? (except Craver)(sorry man, had to go for it)

Let us know what you end up doing!

L.L. Barkat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
L.L. Barkat said...

Okay, so I finally decided to do a post of my own on the whole lawn care issue. Of course, I linked here (three times!!)

Oh, and Earthaxis, I've been looking for a side job. Too bad the commute to your lawn would be A Little Too Long. Thanks for thinking of me and the goats though.

L.L. Barkat said...

Oops, I was talking to 23 degrees. But I accidentally addressed him by his blog address. (Now, that seems problematic when people start calling us by a blog address!)

23 degrees said...

LL, I hope you chuckled on the organic comment, if not I apologize.

Just read the post before this about how you cook and make tea from these guys—very cool. Loved the "drinking from one-cup" comment.