Laura Maynard: Science, food and drugs
I had never read Dr. Joanne Stolen’s column until last week, when the headline caught my eye: “Unscientific: Consumers need to be better educated on things like organic food and vegetarian diets.” Right on! But she presented pretty unscientific arguments denouncing vegetarianism and organically grown food, and advocating for large farming operations and genetically engineered crops.
This week I read Dr. Stolen again, warning us of the danger of overusing antibiotics, leading to antibiotic resistant bacteria. Right on again! But while she stressed that it’s important for people to take all of their prescribed antibiotics, she didn’t mention that most (according to a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists, 84 percent) of the antibiotics used in this country are given to livestock.
Like Dr. Stolen, I believe that “science provides hope” for human beings here on the planet, but not if we deliberately ignore the connections between the dots. Meanwhile, I’ll keep making my unscientific food choices, probably paying a bit more for food that tastes good, makes me feel good, and doesn’t come wrapped in too many layers of plastic.
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