Scientific? Reports

Another Repost from my College Aggies Group – Blog Prompt #6

Today, there are many conflicting reports about animal agriculture, health, the environment, and the nation’s food supply.  It is often hard to understand which scientific report is correct – many organizations have biases and agendas.  So do you think consumers have lost their trust in science, and if they have, how would you propose we show them how to trust animal agriculture and modern practices?

Where were you the 29th of November, 2006?  On that date that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization released their publication Livestock’s Long Shadow.  It is a grueling 390 page publication that slams animal agriculture.  Many new scientific reports do not paint a good/nice picture of animal agriculture.  When looking at any reports don’t forget to look at the agenda behind the group publishing it and if they have any biases.  For example, last week I was working on an English paper and was looking for research to support the other side of my argument.  The only publications to support the other side were published by politicians.  One in particular had a forward by a British MP [member of Parliament].  Now they may know a little about the subject, but they are hardly qualified to author a publication on a scientific matter with no support.  The publisher and possible biases are key to being able to read further into reports to see if the publishing group wants it [the report] to say anything biased.  Many farmers are willing to acknowledge your concern, see your point of view, and the explain theirs.  Some reports fail to acknowledge the other side, saying that theirs is the only way and it is key to realize when this is happening.

I don’t feel that as a society we have lost faith in science.  Rather, I think that we turn to it ever more, looking for a new solution to another problem.  I think the void lies in the fact that we mistake opinion for fact because the work is published and looks all appealing and easy to read.  The real “meat” of the data is published in peer-reviewed journals that are very hard to read due to scientific language.  They rarely are published in books to go to your local library.  To be able to better educate more people to the real aspects of real farm practices and facts, it is important that we continue to engage them in multiple mediums [social media, direct contact, traditional media (letters to the editor), etc.].  Also, I feel that it is important that we continue to acknowledge their points of view, concerns, and questions but be able to provide them with the real facts behind the subject no matter how it could affect us.  We are all in this together, and without them [consumers] there is no us.  Teamwork is one of the biggest things we learned in elementary school, and rightfully so.  It is huge.  Take Apple for example; if only one person worked to make the next iPhone, would they really be able to improve it all that much?  When they release a new product there are no less than four people, who represent all the different departments who have worked on it, present the innovations they have achieved.  I feel that working hand-in-hand with the consumer is the way to the future the next, iSteak!

Until next time, Go BEEF!

-Zach

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