The bastardization of the word "Natural."

I'm going to do something very cliche here and I'm going to start off a piece of writing with a definition of a word. Natural (adj): existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind: carrots contain a natural antiseptic that fights bacteria | natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Okay, now that I've settled that I'd like to say how upset I am when companies treat people like they're idiots.  Not only with the advertising but with the very substance of the products themselves.

For Christmas I was given a basket of Lush cosmetics items from a very generous and thoughtful family member.  Now, I understand I am not the average consumer- I do a lot of research and so I understand more than others what is good and what is extremely NOT good.  I had heard of Lush before and by name alone was excited to receive such a lovely gift.  However the waft of intense "natural" fragrance when I opened the box alone was enough to tip me off- natural schmatural.  I put on the lip balm and it started stinging my lips and not in the good, normal way.  I took a closer whiff of one of the other items and I got an instant headache.  So I did the next thing I knew to do.  I read the ingredients on the labels.

On the back of what these people have the audacity to call "natural" is Sodium Laureth Sulfate topping the list (in case you don't know it is a very dangerous and highly irritation chemical.  Far from giving "healthy shining hair" and "beautiful skin", soaps and shampoos containing SLS can lead to direct damamge to the hair follicle, skin damage, permanent eye damage in children and liver toxicity) and then a slew of other multi-syllabic lab concoctions with several FD&C colors to boot.  All of this simply boils down to a lot of bad with a clean, fresh scent.  So, what the heck?!?!?!

I know natural means jack to companies nowadays, trying to get in good with the green movement, eco-friendly people, vegans, celiacs, and more aware consumers like my husband and I but these products were the grossest misinterpretation of natural I have seen in a long time.  They had this great brochure with pictures of bees and avocados and apples and that's all great, but when you put 12 known toxic chemicals and carcinogens in a lip balm, natural is not the first word that comes to mind.

I wish I could post the exact ingredients up but to be honest, I threw it away.  I could have given it back to the gifter or to a few friends I know that use Lush, but frankly, I couldn't sleep at night knowing someone was ingesting that through their skin by way of me.

While shopping at Whole Foods earlier, I walked past the aisles in the middle (I mostly shop on either side of the store) and I picked up things that boasted "all natural ingredients" or "wholesome" or "100% pure" only to find crap on the back label.  Take Johnson's Natural Nourishing Baby Shampoo in its creme colored bottle with green top- what's the first ingredient?  Sodium Laureth Sulfate.  Even the organic label is misleading.  I've said it 100 times but I'll say it again- an organic marshmallow is still a marshmallow.  Skippy Natural peanut butter is still a non-organic shit peanut butter.  Organic gummy bears with the word "nutritious" printed on their box never means they are not sugar bombs.

I hope more consumers wise up.  Marketers, advertisers and corporations have completely bastardized the natural world and people have to know this and respond.