‘Chemophobia’ podcast with Sam Howarth

Click to listen to the podcast via Soundcloud

In a debut podcast, Sam Howarth discusses with chemophobia research-enthusiast and chemistry teacher, James Kennedy, the evolution of fearing chemicals and the people who are driving it behind the scenes.

Sam Howarth is a self-taught nutrition and fitness enthusiast – a fanatic learned through trial and error over 3 years of research and over 10 years of personal struggles with food and body image.

In the podcast, we talk about chemophobia, its origins and the money that keeps it alive.



3 thoughts on “‘Chemophobia’ podcast with Sam Howarth

  1. Hi I would like to get something clarified please:) When you speak of chemophobia, that relates directly to processed food doesn’t it? I guess its all about word and term useage and I am just trying to get a handle on all this, and find it all fascinating reading the literature on the topic from a scientific view.Which i think is very important for the public for health and monetary reasons. Are we being fooled by the proponents of cutting down on processed foods, therefore, in our diet? I for one, base alot of my food-buying decisions on fresh is better than processed, so I would love to hear further clarification on all this please. I know there are all sorts of arguments about eating fresh for vitamins etc, but just how “bad” is it to be eating processed foods at all?For example, some health advocates say to cut out processed foods if we want to be healthy and slimmer. What correlation is there, if any, between eating processed foods and having poor health?And if we eat alot of fresh food, is it ok to eat processed as part of our diet also?


    1. Fascinating points, Mary! Clearly, fresh food is better for your health – the flavour, texture and nutrient content tends to be higher in fresh food. The act of sourcing, cooking and eating fresh food is an important part of being human. Even the strongest opponents of the ‘all-natural’ skincare movement enjoy eating freshly-prepared food over processed junk!

      Part of what lures us all towards fresh food is our innate love of nature called ‘biophilia’. However, in the case of cleaning products, medicines, lotions and agricultural chemicals, it’s more important to have a product that’s safe and effective than just ‘natural’. It’s not always true that a ‘natural’ product is the safest and most effective choice.

      Foods are an exception, though. We generally want our food to be fresh (i.e. have vitality/resemble something living). We can enjoy the health benefits of iron-fortified cereal and vitamins added to our milk – but we still want these things to be ‘fresh’.

      HOWEVER… ‘natural’ and ‘fresh’ are completely different concepts! Almost nothing we eat is natural – it was crafted by thousands of years of artificial selection/ selective breeding.


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