Aug. 19, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.
FRANK TILLEY for The Victoria Advocate
Most folks that you talk to nowadays have questions about their food, where it comes from and how it is produced.
We have become an urban society. It’s incredible to me how much inaccurate information is on the internet and social media sites.
In 2016, 63 percent of Americans were getting all of their news from Facebook and Twitter. More than three-fourths of Americans were getting medical information from a routine Google search.
In a food integrity survey, when asked about concerns on life and current events, rising health costs ranked highest, being cited by 71 percent of consumers. Another eight concerns ranked at 60 percent or above. Of those eight, six involved food. These included:
Keeping health care affordable
Safety of food
Affordability of food
Safety of imported food
Being assured that food is actually what is listed on the label
Having enough food for people in the U. S.
When asked who are the “most trusted sources about food-related issues, the following responses were given:
69 percent said family doctor
65 percent said family
57 percent said university scientists
56 percent said dietitians
56 percent said friends
54 percent said nutrition advocacy groups
53 percent said farmers.
Less than 50 percent of consumers thought the most trusted source was state regulatory agencies, grocery stores, restaurants, or food companies.
Fifty-five percent think the food system is “moving in the right direction” but 22 percent think it’s “on the wrong track.”
Unfortunately, your family doctor knows very little about the health and safety of food and most likely can’t provide any information about where the food comes from or how it is produced. Physicians are trained to treat the human body for illness. For true information about food nutrition, you would be wise to solicit the professional advice of a registered dietician, nutrition specialist or comparable person.
Food production and safety are very hot topics on news sites. People are questioning the safety of everything of food and are demanding to understand how and why food is produced a certain way.
Glad there is interest in food production and safety. People do need to be educated.
However, I caution you to be wary of false science supporting a certain agenda. There is plenty of sound, peer reviewed science on a variety of food science topics in multiple locations that you can review.
For more information about finding good sources of information, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 361-575-4581. I am a Path to the Plate Champion for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension and would love the opportunity to discuss food production.
Matt Bochat is a County Extension Agent – Ag/Natural Resources Victoria County Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.