The only way I can describe my emotions when reading this article, from the American Council on Science and Health, is disappointed.
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Let me give you a brief recap: Netflix declined to make the documentary “Food Evolution” available for viewers to watch.
While Netflix refused to specify the reasons why they won’t carry the film, some speculate that it has to do with their audience. They believe Netflix is aligned with groups who make their money by spreading fear in our food supply and they realize that scientists who subscribe are not likely to cancel their subscription because they don’t agree with the anti-science documentaries that are available for viewing.
Why is this a big deal?
“Food Evolution” is supported by the agriculture community because it shares the facts about how food is grown. Farmers don’t just jump on board with something because it makes their lives easier. They don’t jump on board with something because it is part of some grand scheme to keep consumers in the dark about food production. Farmers jumped on board to support this film because, for once, it showed the truth! Farmers are honest people. They get fired up when groups spread misinformation at the expense of their reputation. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
What does Netflix show?
If you are familiar with Netflix, you know they have carried a fair share of anti-science and anti-agriculture documentaries including “COWSPIRACY,” “What the Health,” “GMO OMG” and “Food, Inc.”
Of course these shows resonate with consumers because they have been lead (led?) down a dark path by extremist groups that make them believe their food is going to kill them. Having no direct connection to agriculture makes these films seem like fact because there is no fact checking or counter message to make sure the story is balanced.
So what do we do?
That is a great question, and the truth is I often find myself wondering what I can do. Wondering what agriculturists can do to stop the spread of misinformation.
I don’t have an answer. I, along with many others I know, are willing to go to great lengths to engage consumers in honest conversation about what happens on the farm. No fluff. No lies. Just honest conversation and sharing the facts about how food is raised and grown.
Do you have ideas on how we can think outside the box to promote a truthful depiction of agriculture when spreading misinformation seems to have become mainstream? I want to know your thoughts!
Sarah Marketon serves as the Director of Communication for Wisconsin Farm Bureau. She is a Minnesota native and an active member of the swine industry, which sparked her interest in helping farmers share their story. She is passionate about answering consumers’ questions about how food is raised and encouraging farmers to engage in those conversations.