Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Bridging the Gap Between People and Farmers - why agvocacy and science communication matters


The gulf between farmers and the people they feed is getting dangerously wide | Financial Post:

"realizing that without advocacy a generation that doesn’t know about food production has the power to make running a farm operation nearly impossible.If nothing is done to close this gap and the logic pounding away at this wedge is taken to its limits, farmers will continue to see an increase in agriculture-related policies and laws that have no grounding in the way things really are outside of Canada’s cities; farmers will feel more and more pressure to justify what they do to an audience seemingly oblivious to the fact that farms produce food; farmers will be forced to continue finding ways to diversify and stay afloat while government and other risk-management supports crumble; and more and more cultivated land will be forfeited to development."

Really good points. This is why agvocacy matters. Its not about 'being right on the internet' or dominating a twitter feed. This is also why those interested in the 'free market' need to stay tuned. As food companies voluntarily put out 'free-from' labels and engage in other questionable marketing practices they are nurturing an environment and sentiment that can be energized to pass technologically restrictive laws - that have no grounding in the way things really are - ultimately increasing risk, reducing food security and sustainability on a national and global scale.

This is also challenging in light of research that indicates the challenges of science communication. See: Polarization of Controversial Science and Limitations of Science Literacy

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