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My Generation
The Friday Five: Junk science edition

The Friday Five: Junk science edition

Fact-resistant humans, junk science, words and food, red meat and more: here are five links on the week in food and agriculture.

Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans: Satire at its best. Striking, humorous, truthful, sad. Little bit scary.

Five words you should stop using when you talk about food: This is a great common-sense food piece from the Washington Post, written by dietitian and nutritionist Ellie Krieger. I first heard Krieger a couple years ago when she moderated a Food Dialogues panel in Chicago. I love that she starts the list with "detox." I heard another nutritionist say not long ago that if you have toxins building up in your body, it's a sign your body isn't functioning correctly – i.e., your kidneys and livers aren't filtering properly. Cutting out some random food in a "detox" isn't going to help that.

How junk science has infiltrated the GMO debate in Maine: This is a great roundup of claims both for and against GMO, straight from the great debate in Maine.

Consumers less confident in safety of food supply, more confused: Well, if this headline doesn't sum up all the stories this week – plus some personal conversations I've had – I don't know what does. Worth a read on a Friday, for sure.

Red meat is not the enemy: A great piece from the New York Times blog, The Upshot. I've embarked on a better health journey myself these last few months and have learned that it's incredibly difficult to say, "I'll never eat XYZ again." Nevers are tough to maintain. So is suggesting that a single food is bad for an entire country, like my beloved but much-maligned beef. (I've also learned that I love TRX, but that's another topic for another day.) Give this one a read and see if you don't agree with the conclusion: "Where does that leave us? It’s hard to find a take-home message better than this: The best diet is the one that you’re likely to keep. What isn’t helpful is picking a nutritional culprit of bad health and proclaiming that everyone else is eating wrong. There’s remarkably little evidence that that’s true anytime anyone does it."

And one more! Because I care about news gathering:

Why Facebook's news experiment matters to readers: This is a big deal, and I hope you'll give it a read and consider the ramifications. What does it mean to have an editor curating information? What does it mean to have an agricultural editor curating agricultural information? Is your relationship and trust with that person - and their publication - or with Facebook? From the story: "But news reports, like albums before them, have not been created that way. One of the services that editors bring to readers has been to use their news judgment, considering a huge range of factors, when they decide how stories fit together and where they show up." So it is in your farm magazine…farm website…social media outlet, too. 

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