In What Way Are Moon Drops Whole Foods?
I just stopped in at a Whole Foods supermarket to grab some granola for breakfast tomorrow. A little bit of grain, a bit more sugar, plus a bit more fat seemed like it would be the perfect combination of apparent health with delicious flavor. I’m not too hung up on health, really.
What I am hung up on is honesty in commerce. The name Whole Foods makes a certain promise to customers – that the store will sell products that are made from complete, recognizable natural sources, not from natural resources that are industrially broken down into their constituent chemical components, then recombined in manufacturing plants into products that have a long shelf life.
I was surprised, therefore, to see Whole Foods selling little boxes of what it calls “Moon Drops” on shelves by the checkout counter.
What are Moon Drops? Well, they aren’t little drops of the Moon, fallen to earth and collected by organic gardeners, that’s for sure.
Moon Drops are made by machines in factories by a company that calls itself Historical Remedies. They’re pills sold as a “sleep aid”. Taking pills seems like a rather unholistic method of achieving sufficient sleep, in comparison to exercise, good diet, and relaxing bedroom design, but then, Moon Drops do have Arsenicum album as their main ingredient, so who am I to judge?
When I saw Arsenicum album on the Moon Drops label, I was reassured. Arsenicum album sounds like it’s some kind of herb, you see, and many herbs do have sedative qualities.
When I got home, I decided to find out more. I looked up Arsenicum album… and discovered that it isn’t an herb at all.
Arsenicum album is an extract of arsenic – sort of. It’s made by heating metal ore to high temperatures, to obtain the deadly element, which is then ground into a powder and diluted, over and over again, with lactose, until not even one molecule of arsenic is likely to remain in any given dose. Then, Historical Remedies adds in a few other ingredients, and makes its Moon Drop pills out of them.
What are some of those other ingredients? Among them is Coffea Cruda? It’s unroasted coffee beans. Yes, Historical Remedies puts coffee, a stimulant, into its supposed sleep aid pills.
Neither Arsenicum album nor Coffea Cruda in pill form have ever been shown in any scientific study to provide any health benefit at all to human beings. Once, a homeopathic practitioner performed an unblinded study on mice, which he claimed showed some liver response to Arsenicum album in mice – but serious scientists don’t accept the validity of unblinded studies, because they have been shown to be highly vulnerable to researcher bias.
So, the Whole Foods supermarket is selling industrially manufactured fake medicines, promising to bring health benefits that haven’t been supported by any empirical research.
In what way does that match the promise of whole foods?