Townsville Twist

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Plankton take one for the team

A friend of mine recently got a brochure in the mail for a fantastic new nutrient drink. It's called FrequenSea and comes complete with marine phytoplankton!

I kid you not, it contains single-celled plants from the ocean. Delicious, especially considering some marine phytoplankton can produce toxins that lead to lovely things like diarrhetic shellfish and ciguatera poisoning, not to mention potent neurotoxins. But anyway, there's lots of them and they're plants right? Gotta be good for you.

Not only does FrequenSea have microscopic organisms, it also contains frankincense. No gold or myrrh unfortunately. I wondered what on earth frankincense could possibly contribute towards the drink's nutritional value, so I looked it up. Turns out it was used a lot back in the days of King Tut as makeup and dye, and in later times in aromatherapy. Oooh, makes perfect sense then. Frankincense away.

Another interesting addition is that of RNA. As any high school biologist would know, RNA is basically half a DNA strand, and there are trillions floating around in your body right now because they are found in cells and used for protein synthesis in EVERY LIVING THING. Sounds to me like somebody added it to the list to make it look like there was more useful stuff in it than there really is. Might as well add "Flagella" to the list, phytoplankton have those too!

Really though, I should give them credit for their advertising technique. They've used convincing and highly scientific statistics:

And here they state the long lives of planktivores:


But wait for it, then they tell you all about their plankton farming:

Sooo... basically they have no idea what they're actually culturing, they just breed 'em, toxic species and all! What's worrying is that they haven't provided a recommended daily intake of marine phytoplankton. What if I exceed it? Will I start photosynthesising? TELL ME!

I don't know if I want to buy this anymore... weeny toxic plants (some with protective plates made of glass), makeup, Noni juice (I have a friend called Noni, this ingredient is particularly disturbing to me)... It just doesn't sit right. What do you think?

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