Showing posts from January, 2016

A True Story of Food and Family

The story is real.    The names have been changed to protect the innocent from frivolous public records requests. I have a colleague that is one of the world’s experts in food safety.  He is an encyclopedia on foodborne disease.  He knows how to safely handle food.  He understands foodborne toxins. This guy knows about genetic engineering.  In short, if you want to understand food and food risk, you talk to this guy. We’ll call him “Steve”. It was Thanksgiving, 2015, and Steve and his wife joined the family at her mother’s house for a traditional dinner.  Among the family members in attendance was his brother-in-law, an accomplished concert pianist who is widely recognized for his expertise. We’ll call him “Richard”. As the family took their places at the table and began to pass the dishes, Richard took the opportunity to comment on the items on the table. “That turkey is oozing with antibiotics and hormones, you’re crazy if you eat it,” Richard said. Steve jumped


Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.  -- Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. King would not be proud of me.  I'm not proud of me. My decision to disappear from an important discussion was made from misery and expediency, pragmatism and convenience. I experienced many pressures to seek silence, from evil people and friends alike. Much of it was being sick of fighting. Some of it was the threats and hate. Much of it was being tired of reading about myself on posts with thousands of likes and shares-- knowing that what I was reading was not true. The time off was valuable in that it taught me to refocus. Teaching the science of agricultural innovations is not going to happen in discussions with Vani Hari, Mike Adams, Nassim Taleb or Jeffery Smith.  These folks have empires built on misinformation, and accepting science harms their brands.  The changes will not come from rehashing tired fables spread by lazy or corrupt journalists that want