From the Editor’s Desk: Science wins out
Editor-in-chief Andy Hanacek uses the recent media coverage of the measles outbreak as an example of how the media and consumers react positively to scientific research that counters popular opinion.
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Andy Hanacek:Hi, I'm Andy Hanacek, editor-in-chief of the "National Provisioner" magazine.
Overprotective, stay-at-home, soccer mom Andy Hanacek:And I am overprotective, stay-at-home, soccer mom Andy Hanacek, and I believe just about everything I hear or see online or on TV.
Andy Hanacek:Because I pay attention to logic, common sense, and science-based facts, I can plan a family trip to Disneyland and not worry about the measles.
Soccer Mom Andy Hanacek:And, I'm spending my lunch updating my list of do not eat items, because the food babe and PETA and activists said not to eat them.
Andy Hanacek:I know this country has a scientifically backed, ultra safe food supply. Therefore, I can enjoy a lot of meat and poultry products that are healthy, wholesome, and very responsibly-raised.
Soccer Mom Andy Hanacek:And I listen to everything celebrities, bloggers, and activists have to say online. They're not trying to exploit my family for the almighty dollar. Oh look, this website right here says meat has the same elements as cast iron pipes. How are my kids' tummies going to digest...
Andy Hanacek:Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop this, stop the tape. Stop the playback. Let's hope that consumers are not like that me right there -- gullible, easily misguided, and overly dramatic. As the Disneyland measles outbreak has been all over the news lately, I couldn't help but think of you guys in the meat and poultry industry and how you have been battling with this type of consumer in this sort of crisis.
Before I go any further, let me just say this is not at all about whether you should vaccinate your kids or not. I am definitely not stepping in that pile of stink. However, it is about the public reaction to the outbreak. The industry can take this outbreak and the developments around it as a small glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, consumers get it that science, not cynicism, is a worthy cause to support.
The way I see it is this. The majority of the media in this particular case seems to be citing traditional science. The thing about that is it's something that the protein industry has always struggled to get the media to support when it comes to meat and poultry production. It's always about what the activists have to say or what the misinformed have to say. It's always about a gut feeling and not science.
For any of you who have seen this video before, I've said over and over and over and over and over again so many times I've lost track that you should be spreading the positive news about the industry out in the public space. The general response to the Disneyland measles outbreak goes to show you that there can be a positive reaction to any educational outreach you might be doing. It shows that there is a capability for a herd mentality to follow logic as opposed to misinformation.
When it comes to the outbreak moving forward and measles from Disneyland in general, stay tuned. Take a lot of notes, not necessarily on measles or vaccination but on the reaction of the public. The tidal wave of support, which side does it go to? How often? How long? Take notes on that. Continue your educational efforts so that consumers like overprotective, stay-at-home, soccer mom Andy Hanacek get their facts straight before they form their opinions.
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