Misinformation abounds in Internet age

11/08/2013 11:10:00 AM
Amelia Freidline

I have nothing against organic produce, of course, but I don’t appreciate the EWG’s willful perpetuation of misinformation.

This year there didn’t seem to be as much panic surrounding the EWG’s lists, however — produce industry work from the Alliance for Food and Farming and others seems to have paid off.

From curiosity, I typed phrases like “carrots are,” “spinach is” or “potatoes are” into Google to see what the auto-fill results were. The third suggestion for spinach was “spinach is bad for you.”

I thought maybe that search would bring up stories from the 2006 E. coli outbreak, but instead I found an article on The Healthy Home Economist suggesting we should never eat raw cruciferous vegetables, including arugula, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, radishes and watercress, because doing so would interfere with the proper function of the thyroid gland.

This article also said raw white mushrooms contained suspected carcinogens and that eating raw alfalfa sprouts frequently could contribute to inflammatory arthritis or lupus.

Are any of those statements scientifically sound? I have no idea, and, though I like many of those vegetables cooked, I won’t stop eating them raw, either.

But I’m concerned about consumers who glance at information like this and decide to write off certain produce items altogether for fear they’re endangering their health or that of their family.

On the Internet people can easily find information to substantiate almost any opinion or theory.

Is the correct information about your product or company positioned so consumers are more likely to find it first?

afreidline@thepacker.com

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