Of late there have been headlines all over the place gloating that organic food isn’t any better for you than non-organic food, which gives everyone who is skimming the newsfeeds the impression that scientists have “proven” that the benefits of organic food is just a bunch of hippie hyperbole. Of course, if you read the study (or even the whole article) you can quickly see that the Stanford study was clear in the fact that organic food significantly reduces your exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria and pesticide residue, a plus in anyone’s book. The results of the study showed (as other studies have also shown) that munching on conventionally grown food increases your consumption of pesticides by more than 80% … and that these nasty-ass pesticides have been linked to all kinds of cancers as well as a ton of environmental and health damage. The headlines are 100% misleading sensationalist drivel. Y’all, this kind of thing drives me batshit.
The “truth” is clearly not important to whoever is designing the newsfeeds. As long as the title is sufficiently exciting to serve as “click-bait” so people will look at it on line and drive up the hits on the site, the editor and/or reporter didn’t care less if people are actually given factual data. This is a HUGE problem in the media today. They don’t care if they serve bullshit as long as a lot of people eat it. However, piss-poor reporting has real consequences. It can even effect people’s health, so the gobbledygook passed off as news is not just bad journalism – it’s fokking dangerous.
What chafes my ass the hardest is the fact that the reporters who write those articles plainly knew what the study really said. The same damn article that trumpeted the idea that organic food is no healthier for the consumer than conventional produce doubled back on itself in the second paragraph by pointing out that, “organic options may live up to their billing of lowering exposure to pesticide residue and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, researchers from Stanford University and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System found.” I see what you did there, asshat reporter who let that title spew misinformation for the sake of more attention.
I also hate that in most reports there was no critical examination of the study. The reporters didn’t bother to do even a little cursory research. If they had, they would have noticed that the study had ignored the European findings that organic foods were about 12% more nutritious than conventional foods. What? It doesn’t count if they did the experiments in Britain? Shenanigans, I say.
This kind of yellow journalism isn’t helping the American public grasp wider scientific truths. No wonder so many of my fellow citizens think that creationism is a kind of science and that dinosaurs and people lived together.