Friday, January 30, 2015

Headlines Hit Home

I will be the first to admit that the main newspaper I pick up is my local paper. There are often great stories about upcoming events and things that have taken place in our community. Of course, one of the most entertaining sections of the paper is the Sheriff's Report. I also catch "news" headlines in a variety of place: Facebook, Twitter, Fox News, CNN, newsletters and such. I am always surprised how there can be so many different stories about the same situation, event or trend. What makes one person see something in a completely different way than another. I have decided that it come down to a few basic principles:
* marketing
* personal experiences
* personal beliefs
* motives
* effort into unfolding the truth

While doing some reading over the past week the light bulb came on.... I, and I will dangerously venture to assume, and many others don't distinguish between correlation and causation. Ok, I know deep stuff, but it is true! If we look at illness or even food/ eating trends there are 1000's of headlines that scream at us to believe things like "Sugar is Killing us!" "Gluten is Making us Fat" and "Hormones in Food Advance Puberty". All of these headlines trick our brains into jumping on a bandwagon without taking time to ask.... is sugar really causing death (causation) or do some people who consume heightened amounts of sugar and some people die from health issues (correlation) or does gluten in wheat products truly cause obesity (causation) or do many people eat excess amounts of highly processed foods, which are often products containing wheat, and are some people carrying excess/ unhealthy weight (correlation). And to be quite honest, there are and have always been hormones in everything we consume- yes, even the lettuce we grow in our own gardens! I am pretty much an open book. So, I will admit that a few years ago I was shocked to find that all food and plants carried hormones and that I consumed them every day for over 30 years! I was a critic of hormone use simply because I didn't know any better.

Headlines drive me crazy... but there are some fabulous writers and marketers out there! They do their job well. As a mom, farmer, wife of a farmer and a life long learner I am always seeking out new information. I want to make sure that I am making the right choices for my family and for ensuring quality process and product on our farm. All decisions are generally well thought out, some just come a little easier than others. Somethings are complicated and others are not.

I too fall victim to the big bold letters and catchy three to six line phrases that often send our brains spinning and into defense mode. My only resolution to the talented media and marketing experts is to simply ASK QUESTIONS. Have questions about food or things we do in farming and ranching? Ask those who work in those areas each day. If we don't have the knowledge in the area you ask about we will help you connect with people who do!
As for me, I am an open book. I hope to share why I do what I do on my farm and with my family. So the invitation is open.... GATHER YOUR QUESTIONS AND ASK AWAY!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I think we can all get caught up in the headlines, that obviously can get spun any way a person wants them to be. A great way to understand like you said is to simply ask questions.