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So much of what consumers know about food is wrong


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Most people base their opinions on the safety of conventionally-grown and GMO food on rumors, anecdote and the misinformation that abounds in the popular press.

I have to respond to that last sentence here. I think this is an idea many consumers have about modern agriculture—because farms are larger, more mechanized, and rely on more technology than was the case just 50 years ago food is not as wholesome as it used to be. That’s certainly not the case; in fact, I suspect the opposite is true. Because of improved production and sanitation practices our food supply is safer than it was 50 years ago. It’s not perfect, but we have the safest food supply in history.

Also, if we went back to agriculture of decades ago, a lot of us would be hungry. It is simply not possible to produce the amount of food and fiber we need for today’s population with outdated technology.

Julie Borlaug continues her grandfather’s efforts

We’ve said this before but it bears repeating. We see a significant disconnect between the reality of food production and the perception of how farmers raise fruits, vegetables, grains and meats. I’m gathering up some links to pass along to my friends, links from reliable sources such as the World Health Organization and USDA, to help them make informed decisions about food. I agree with my friend that reading labels is a good idea. We all need to know the calorie count, salt content, cholesterol and the nutrition value of what we eat.

We also should buy mostly from the outside aisles, where the fresh things are, but I don’t think there is anything in a can of green beans that will do me any lasting harm. I also will stop short of preaching. If someone thinks organic tastes better, it probably does, to him. If folks choose to be vegetarian, vegan or eat only nuts and berries, then I have no right to say they are wrong to do so. I would advise them to learn as much as they can about what they eat and not rely on what their neighbors say or what they read in the magazines they find at the check-out counters for nutrition advice.


Also of interest:

Misinformation abounds regarding GMOs

The man that saved a billion lives: Norman Borlaug and GMOs

GMO research again points to safety of biotechnology

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