More Ramblings from a Los Angeles Programmer

June 23, 2008

Don’t take my word for it (again)

Filed under: daily life, debunking — Tags: , — Josh DeWald @ 5:45 pm

Time for another installment of “don’t take my word for it” where I talk about random things I hear that I have subsquently looked up because I think they are complete nonesense. But as the title says, don’t take my word for it. For all you (or I) know, the sites I’m using as reference are also full of it.

Victim 1..

The numbers on the bottom of plastic containers tell you how safe they are for re-use.

Umm… no. They don’t. They are known as “resin ID“s and are really a notice for recyclers so they know what type of plastic is in use and what processing to perform to make it re-usable. In general you should not microwave plastic that is not explicitly marked as “microwave safe” but otherwise, re-use to your heart’s content. And seriously, use some common sense… is the FDA really going to allow for “single use, but then toxic” plastic containers for food?

Sucralose (packaged as Splenda) is made from chlorine and will kill you.

Again… no. I won’t be able to fully convince everyone, because there are a lot of sites out there that have done zero actual research and so will go on about how deadly this stuff is. Yes, it does have chlorine atoms in it (but hey, so does table salt). It is basically glucose where some of the hydrocarbons have been replaced by chlorine. The best information I found was on Wikipedia, as usual. From there you can link to whatever. The FDA has approved it, 2-year studies have been done (obviously that is not really long-term) and there truly is no evidence that the chlorine will break out and kill you (known as dechlorination). Your system simply does no break it down that way. Additionally, Splenda is actually 95% dextrose, with only a small amount of sucralose (as it is 600 times as sweet as sugar).

In the interest of those paranoid people out there, here are a couple of links featuring other opinions. Before you get all excited about that guy being an MD, check this and this out . Please ignore stuff that says “man-made chlorine”. Umm… chlorine is an atom not a compound.

That said… I have had amazing success getting rid of ants with it. So do what you will with that information. That also was a highly uncontrolled experiment and I am not convinced that the ants weren’t already on their way out of my house.

Just to reiterate, I try to use common sense and lots of Googling to prove that I am right. That does not mean that I am in fact correct, maybe there is an giant conspiracy to kill us with plastic and sweeteners. I’m pretty sure we are doing a perfectly good job with fast food and cigarettes.

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2 Comments »

  1. I like the theory though. Do the bottles auto-decrement after each use?

    Comment by Stuart — July 21, 2008 @ 3:30 am

  2. Yeah, exactly.

    Was just thinking more now… let’s say that it _was_ dangerous. Clearly it is not a part of every person’s knowledge that they supposedly are… so are they really going to do this by hiding some little number underneath it?

    I suspect they would instead have giant wording (and problem skull and crossbones if toxic) that says: DO NOT REUSE ME

    Comment by Josh DeWald — July 21, 2008 @ 2:59 pm


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