Scary news can come from sketchy sources

Food reporting can be tough.

The safety of food is very important in our society, and that can be exploited.

In all but a small number of communities across North America, tap water is safe to drink. Even so, we bought $2.49 billion in bottled water last year in Canada, nearly all of that in places where tap water is safe.

It takes a lot energy to bottle, haul, refrigerate and process the waste from that consumer habit. On a sustainability scale there is no excuse for it, other than consumer preference and the fact that it is handy.

However, it is marketed on how clean it is, implying that competing products, such as tap water, are something less. People don’t always use their logic to make purchases.

We have established safe amounts for most pathogens and chemicals found in our world and set levels that are determined by our own researchers to be safe. You and I employ large teams of great scientists to ensure that those standards are met and maintained.

Then why is it so easy for a very few non-science folks to knock over that applecart? Leverage, that’s how.

The media, of which we are a part, call into question many things about our world that are important to all or some of us. They can be used as a tool to create change: some good, some bad. The quality of the tool is what should be important to society.

Cheap tools are dangerous on the farm. Cheap information tools are dangerous to the farm and the global food supply.

Last week, the New York Times, hardly a cheap tool, appears to have been used like one in a story about very small amounts of glyphosate in a popular ice cream.

Good scientists have called the story out for its content, provided in the form of a very limited study by a small but determined anti-commercial agriculture group with a catchy name: the Organic Consumers Association.

Like a Ben and Jerry’s gourmet ice cream, the story has some good ingredients mixed with a slurry of stuff that some folks will be fond of and others find not to their liking. Generally too much of this isn’t good for us.

Overall, a few hours after consuming, most folks will find the Times story wasn’t good value, not unlike expensive ice cream, and it left a stain.

You can read it online here.

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  • Glen Peter Osborne

    but was there a chemical in the ice cream? who is mis-
    informing who?

  • Glen Peter Osborne

    are you a GOOD journalist? with a catchy job description?|

  • old grouchy

    I very much enjoy the hypocrisy in the original article. I don’t think people really understand parts per billion. For example at the level reported in the ice cream – – – compared to people that would mean that there were about 10 people in the earth needed – – – and you better find them fast. Most of the test used are not accurate at the levels of looking for single digit parts per billion (or less). In an unrelated technical field I was taught that to accurately talk about a measurement you need to be able to measure to 0.2 to 0.1 times that level to use the measurement. So for these tests, one value given was to x.xx parts per billion a capability to measure to thousandths of a part per billion – — yet the tests struggle to achieve a consistent single digit parts per billion.
    Oh well – – – logic and fact are seldom present when one deals from hysteria.
    (I’m not advocating for Roundup rather pointing out the hypocrisy of the much higher levels of other ‘stuff’ that are allowed into our lives and food!)

    • Harold

      Your comment is relative to outside of the body only. What is the measurement of a singular bacteria, gene, or DNA. DNA is one part per what? Parts per billion
      of glyphosate in the body are what to what?
      For what you call hypocrisy, i call it absence of fact.

      • old grouchy

        Sorry – – I will continue to call it hypocrisy – – – – how many people that are rabidly anti-ge or gmo smoke, tobacco or roach? Do you drive a vehicle – – – you are polluting your own air (and mine) and I’ll stop there but there are a load more where those came from!

        • Harold

          No need to apologize, you can call it what you want, but a small mind (hypocrite) grows larger with facts and fact evidence. Often times it is the small minded who use the term hypocrite the most. They believe that to be justly seen; their very use of the word hypocrite places them on a higher plane of knowledge, above another person, when in fact they themselves have no depth of understanding.
          Do I drive a vehicle? It is interesting how you blame-shift to another powerless person who is not responsible for today’s many realities and human being necessities. Perhaps you believe that it was the powerless that stood in the way of the electric engine and other Auto innovations that would have hurt the oil companies and the government’s ability to tax. Perhaps you believe that the powerless are responsible for the carbon and the carbon tax that they now pay. Perhaps it didn’t occur to you that the carbon tax is the fat cat “green energy” set up tax and then future tax that the government cannot collect yet. (all from your pocket) If there were someone laughing at us powerless, I wonder who it might be? I am sure that you have more blame-shifting to the powerless and that there is “a load more where those came from”, but I would suggest that you more fully examine the “load” source instead.
          In my opinion, you are powerless and only a faith servant to your stance on GMO crop because you do not have access to any original documents held in the companies that you support. There is no corporate openness or transparency that you can hang your own hat upon. You want to call those who wish to see and examine those documents rabid; it called science. Science is an open-ended term that means; the study of. Study is the continuance of, and is never a closed or private door. It is not “anti-GMO” – it is examine GMO, and I am sure that you got that anti-GMO “load” from somewhere.

  • Kissing optional

    It makes me ‘feel’so much better ( not scared?)than when ‘bad’ scientists preform massive amounts of testing with their end analysis already a predetermined result. Especially when they operate under a bland brand name such as bayer or monsanto
    Just how much glyphosate is the right amount to put into ice cream?
    And if I have a glyphosate beer and a dish of glyphosate ice cream, how long before I can eat more glyphosate bread?