Hell to the no! Chemical-free chemistry kit

Ensuring that your kids are going to receive the best possible education means money. The most of the people are not able to earn that much from their daytime job and therefore they are looking to have another source of income such as the Orion Code.

@JenLucPiquant shared this WTF kid’s chemistry kit/oxymoronic children’s toy on twitter:

No, your eyes do not deceive you.  Yes, it is a chemistry kit with no chemicals.  Let’s dig deeper by looking at the kit’s description.

  • Crystals… of what?!?!  There are NO chemicals in the kit!  Is the 10 & up set supposed to create matter from nothing?
  • I have a PhD in analytical chemistry and I’m at a loss as to how to do chromatography with NO chemicals.  At. A. Loss.
  • Growing plants.  Surely, that is chemical-free?  No, actually, it’s not.  Soil alone is teeming with chemicals and critters.  The chemical water will be required.  In fact, there is a lot of biochemistry in growing stuff and all of that biochemistry takes chemicals.
  • It is a mystery how you can have slime and gook without chemicals. Boston’s Museum of Science show’s just how easy it is to explore slime chemistry, but it takes chemicals like glue, water and borax.
  • Bubbles?  The kit contains soapy water?  FALSE ADVERTISING!  That’s water (a chemical), likely a surfactant (another chemical) and probably other stuff (also chemicals).

Of course this kit contains chemicals!  The kit also contains the ridiculous label “no chemicals”, making it another indication that the “chemical-free” craze is firmly in the crazy zone.  Right along with “all-natural” and “organic”.   The problem with “chemical-free” was expertly discussed by  @deborahblum over at Speakeasy Science.

Folks, let’s be literal for a moment.  If we don’t use chemicals on our gardens, we won’t even be able to use H20 on the plants. And if we restrict ourselves to only chemical-free food we’ll be, um,  dead.  Starvation tends to do that, you know.

@deborahblum makes a brillant suggestion…

Let’s resolve to give up the ridiculous, the misleading, the this-is-simply-not-possible-so-just-let-it-go phrase “chemical-free”.

Yes, let’s.  Our kid chemists don’t need the confusion and neither do we.


JAYFK Editor-in-Commandant

Editorial Materials and methodsm This sarcasm-laden post was produced after examining the chemistry kit in question.  A Pimm’s Cup was enjoyed during production.