These days it seems like everyone is a journalist.
With the rise of fast news, there are a lot more people writing articles for online news sites that have absolutely no training or education in professional journalism. You can find these blogs or articles on sites like Buzzfeed, Gawker or Reddit and they usually do not have any links to research or support for their claims. What they do have is a catchy headline and some random memes to grab your attention. Yet somehow these pieces are getting read, a lot.
What you should know; these articles are total trash and need to be regarded as such.
I’m really curious as to why millennials are sourcing their information from total crap shoots such as the aforementioned sites. After all, most of us are university or college educated and have been well-taught how to source credible information from peer-reviewed articles. Remember those? Articles that were wrote and validated by actual experts in their fields.
Most of the papers and reports we put together required us to use credible sources. Wikipedia wasn’t acceptable then and it sure still isn’t now.
I understand how consumers must feel—who do you trust? Where do you go for credible, unbiased information? With the rise of fake news and pseudo-journalism, how can you be sure that what you’re reading is truthful?
I know that consumers are curious to learn more and more about their food and where it comes from, but what’s the best way to go about doing this?
Tips For Getting Answers
- Go straight to the source.
You have questions, farmers have answers.You have questions about farming? Why wouldn’t you go straight to the farmer? Farmers are honest, hardworking people and they genuinely want people to know more about where their food comes from and how it is produced. Only 2% of Canada’s population is involved in farming—that leaves a whopping 98% with no direct connection to the farm. This leaves room for a huge knowledge gap and now kids are growing up in a world where they have absolutely no connection to the farm like generations past.
There are so many farmers on social media. Try following #ontag (stands for Ontario Agriculture) on Twitter and you will be bound to find some of the great folks that own and work on farms in Ontario.
- Do some digging. Look for objective sources
Instead of reading whatever articles pops to the top of your Google search, go a bit further and look for information from credible sites. Many activist organizations are using search engine optimization quite wisely and you will find that when you type some like ‘dairy farming’ into Google, some pretty ridiculous content pops up from Mercy for Animals or HSUS. Do yourself a favour and go beyond this hyper-inflammatory junk and find actual answers.
- Check who the author is
Like with the point above, a quick check on the author will give you insight as to what their slant may be. It’ll also tell you how much or how little they know about the subject they are claiming to be experts on.
I know it’s not convenient to take the extra time to look up something more in-depth and spend a bit of time digging around online, but think about the reason WHY you are doing it. For an aspect of your life that that plays such a major role–we’re talking food here–you owe it to yourself to get the real facts and make educated, fact-based decisions.
And on that note, here’s a site that I know and trust. Check it out: Best Food Facts