Emotion more than science but both needed | Blog | Blog | Feedstuffs FoodLink

As you all know, over the past month I have been on a quest. This quest involves our local weekly entertainment paper. All I am asking this paper to do is their job, report the facts about all types of agriculture. Surprisingly, this quest is not easy. But I have learned a great deal, I’ve gained lots of new followers on this blog and even better, I have column ideas!!!

Typically, I’m a huge believer in science. But I wasn’t always like this. Before I earned my bachelor’s (of science!) degree, I was that girl that would do almost anything to get out of taking a science class (unless it was an animal science, those were ok). Once I was in college and realized that all science related to each other, whether it is animal science or inorganic chemistry, I sucked it up and learned! Science is freaking cool, and super beneficial when used for good.

But I do understand the “science is scary” mentality. It’s like riding a new horse on a new ranch, the potential for disaster is everywhere. However as you become a better and more confident rider, and your horse settles into its surroundings, you can appreciate the beauty of your ride. Science is the same way, the more you learn about it and the more you understand it, the more you can appreciate and use it.

Our real life, next door neighbor wrote in to the editor of the paper I have been questing with. Now oddly enough, I believe this neighbor and I are very similar. We both want access to a safe, sustainable and healthy food supply. We both are pasture based. We are both multi-generational producers. However I think I am more pro-science, and they are more pro-emotion. Here I’ll post their letter and let you decide for yourself.

Letters for April 19, 2012 Chico News & Review

I’m not going to comment about the content of their letter (Although I do find it worth noting that FLTB is not a way for the meat industry to cover shoddy practices. It’s a way to safely use the whole carcass, therefore increasing our sustainability). If you are curious about the claims she makes and want information to refute or affirm her claims, let me know, I would be more than happy to provide peer reviewed, science based information. Ms. Albrecht’s letter was an excellent reminder to me that emotion will probably always triumph over science, therefore providing me with inspiration for this month’s column. Is it possible for agriculture to find a balance between science and emotion?

(Click on this picture and it will take you to my column) http://www.feedstuffsfoodlink.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=124ECF05FDF84451B3E79A337664CA3C&nm=Blog&type=Blog&mod=View+Topic&mid=67D6564029914AD3B204AD35D8F5F780&tier=7&id=C7EBCDD3664247DB80AB070528FD8E1A


Filed under Ag, Beef, Feedstuffs Foodlink, food, Media, Ranch life, Rants, Uncategorized

5 Responses to Emotion more than science but both needed | Blog | Blog | Feedstuffs FoodLink

  1. Good read. Science VS emotion will always play a role.

  2. Mike Compston

    Peer reviewed scientific findings must be used to sustain and expand the understanding of the production, processing, and distribution of food. We in the industry must grow exponentially in the use of social media to get this information into the minds of all those on a quest for confidence in food.

  3. Great post, Meg. I live here in beef country (Alberta, Canada). It is a strange mix: multi-generational producers, some with more traditional approaches to production but then clashing with more urbanesque (right word?) attitudes towards food/food production. Sometimes you can even be in the room with beef-producing vegans! It’s not unusual to run into a soy-based-latte-sipping grizzled cowboy at Starbucks… then see that same chap at yoga the following evening. We live in interesting times as ag-advocates. As a social scientist (working every day with ag scientists & previously working in industry), I struggle to balance what I see as a necessity for science in all facets of life (I agree with Mike, above) with day-to-day relations with folks (friends and family) in my community; those that seem to fear or negate the science (“Food Inc.” is dying a very slow death around here). I struggle with my words (which can also be chalked up to my life as an academic), on how to express myself and my opinion in a way that best conveys the value of science.

    The truth of the matter is, though, is that science is science and belief is belief. As my husband said this morning, “Perceptions are everything.” You can’t fight feelings with facts. It’s a battle you will never win. And perhaps ‘feeling vs fact combat’ is not the answer here. Perhaps finding some common middle ground. I am optimistic. No matter what side of the debate we sit on, we have the luxury of social media at our fingertips to express our opinions and insights… We call all learn from each others’ stories.

    Sorry for the long winded comment. Did I mention that I was an academic? LOL!

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