Seven things you need to know

Did you see it?

Everybody is looking at it. You need to see it.

“It” is nothing. It is click-bait online. It is marketing-hype about pseudoscience in place of real research. It wants your time, your money or both.

It either doesn’t carry much weight, or none at all.

The media has gone through an evolution of sorts. News and information was new and informative. Professional journalists would spend their careers looking after those two things.

The odd journalist or media brand would make money by sensationalizing the new or important, but there was a basic value associated with the product. It was generally not misleading, instead leaning toward the time-sucking side: accidents, celebrities doing almost anything and sports.

The best-known Sun Media newspapers thrived on leading with bleeding or partially clothed folks from their local communities, and a group of columnists that weren’t afraid to take far-to-the-right positions on just about anything.

Magazines got into the game by telling you there were seven things you needed to know about almost anything. It didn’t matter whether or not there were really only three or 30 things. By telling us that we needed to know, they made us want to know.

But when it comes to agriculture and food, this is where the power of the ungoverned internet allowed everyone to have their own printing press, TV and radio station.

In theory it is freedom. Thousands of new sources of information, unrestricted by a bunch non-doer editors and reporters deciding what is important. The barrier to enter the media is no longer millions of dollars. Anyone can get into the game.

It’s kind of like if farm equipment and land were suddenly free and anybody could instantly become a farmer. Getting a good crop or herd of animals takes more than access.

It spawned the Food Babe, Vani Hari, who is a pseudoscience preacher of the gospels according to natural, non-chemical and uncomplicated. Based on half-science she created legions of followers who have adopted her non-information as their own truths.

Old adages such as “don’t believe everything you read or hear” and “consider the source” of the message have never been more true.

I have five things you need to know about that.

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