Why We Couldn’t Live Without Chemistry

Ever had someone ask you, “What’s the deal with chemistry?” and wondered how exactly you’re supposed to explain it to them? Well, we’re here to help.

As self-professed chemistry nerds, it would be easy to think that we’re a little biased about the subject. Obviously, we love it – that’s why we’re so keen to research into chemistry news and write about it every day. But in spite of our chemistry bias, there’s clearly reason for everyone to love and appreciate chemistry to some level (even if it’s not on ours). Chemistry is all around us – and we literally couldn’t live without it.

Here are just a few of the many reasons why the world wouldn’t exist without chemistry:

There’s chemistry in our bodies

No, the body is not a biology-only subject. Our bodies consist of hundreds of chemical compounds, all of which need to work in tandem to be able to sustain life. Chemical reactions are constantly taking place inside of us, literally helping us to stay alive. Think about the air we breathe in – it contains oxygen, which we need to convert glucose to water, carbon dioxide, and energy. That’s probably the most obvious chemical reaction to give to someone who thinks chemistry is irrelevant to life.

There’s chemistry in your food

Let’s face it, cooking up a recipe is essential performing a series of chemical reactions, whether you’re making a cake or simply adding sauce to a dish to give it a better flavour. When you mix your starting ingredients, these are the reactants in your “experiment”, and combined together, they can give you different products. Creating an exact recipe for a certain taste or texture is exactly the same as conducting lab experiments with a number of different materials, trying out various combinations until you get it just right.

Chemistry is in your day-to-day activities

You probably haven’t put too much thought into the chemical reactions that take place when you shampoo your hair, take a drink of water, wipe down your work surfaces or wash a load of laundry, but they’re there, existing behind the scenes, and nothing would work without them. It’s a shame that we can’t actually see all these reactions taking place, as they’d be pretty fascinating. We’d definitely miss them if they didn’t happen.

Chemistry is in plants and animals, too

Plants and animals are just like us – they rely on chemical reactions to survive. In plants, photosynthesis uses sunlight to produce sugar as a food source. Plants even produce more of these sugars than they need to survive, which is essential for maintaining life on our planet in general. Even the smallest of microorganisms exists for a reason, and if it was taken away, nothing would be able to survive.