I recently came across an old friend again – many of these internet myths feel like old friends these days!
“Did you know that I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Is Only One Molecule Off Being Plastic?”
I realise that the product in question in the quote is not a cosmetic ingredient, but the comment could easily mutate and be used about any number of substances used in our industry.
The statement about X being “just one molecule off being Y” is yet another stupid piece of “myth-information”.
The following link offers some useful thoughts: Snopes Food Warning
But I don’t feel it makes the point forcefully enough. What this is really trying to say is not “one molecule”, but “one atom” (or possibly a few more). A molecule is a molecule – i.e., a separate substance. This is like saying a cow is one animal off being a sheep!
A good example using the “atom” term is that water is one oxygen atom off being hydrogen peroxide – a bleaching agent that can also be used in explosives. OK – so let’s avoid water!!! The point is that, whilst anything may be “one atom (or molecule) off” being something else – it is what it is and NOT that “something else”. This is an attempt at a sort of “guilt by association”. There is no logic to this whatsoever – it is total nonsense and the people who start these stupid things off are a disgrace to the species! In my honest opinion.