Trust and Corporate Food

We’re just like you. We’re starved for good information and so that’s what we want to share. And what’s good information to us? Information obtained from results that can be replicated by different people in different places at different times. That’s what science is. It’s the opposite of an opinion. You’re welcome to think you can fly with no wings but gravity will have something to say about that.

When we looked at why people wouldn’t believe a fact that was supported by good science, we realized it often had to do with how much you trust the source. So when we looked for how to ensure that you could trust us, we decided we would avoid any money that could be seen to benefit from us reaching one result or another, meaning we avoided any and all seed and chemical companies associated with genetic engineering.

Obviously those would be some of the first kinds of companies to jump on board an agriculture documentary so we made our lives a lot harder in terms of raising money and we did that for you. Instead we took the longer, slower, harder route and we went to individual farmers. But then the zealous said that those were “corporate farms.” (Do you notice they keep moving the goalposts?)

You know what a “corporate farm” is? It’s one where the parents and kids form a corporation with something like their lawyer and accountant for the purposes of taxes. It’s not like chemical companies bought all the farms.

Still, contrarians then say that we’re shilling for Monsanto because we interviewed them, but that feels like a strange accusation to us. As Michelle Miller, one of our facebook followers, noted in a recent comment, “When someone wants to learn about the new Ford vehicle they purchased, they ask Ford. When someone wants to learn about their Apple cell phone, they contact Apple. So why, is it all of a sudden not okay to ask a seed company about seeds?”  

She makes a good point. Could we really have done a thorough job without interviewing them? And how is interviewing them suddenly supporting them?

Another good question is, why are these accusations never levelled at other big companies with a dog in the race? When the Behaviour Economist Dan Ariely wanted to involve Whole Foods in some “experiments on taste perception, willingness to pay, and on how we get people to eat healthier and enjoy more fruits and vegetables,” he got this as a response:

 

Thanks so much for considering Whole Foods Market for this opportunity…. While the concept is quite interesting and the subject matter is aligned with our stores, we will unfortunately be passing on this opportunity at this time.

Thanks so much for considering us and please don’t hesitate in reaching out to us in the future.


Best regards,

Michael

 

So a place that markets the health of its food wasn’t interested in experiments involving taste perception, price and motivation to eat healthy? Why doesn’t that get attention? Why aren’t people asking them what they have to hide? Why is Whole Foods trustworthy at 15.7 Billion in sales and Monsanto is untrustworthy at 13.5 Billion in sales?

We get that Monsanto is like a skull and crossbones symbol in a lot of people’s heads–it’s that way for us too. But that’s what we need science for–to cut through the confusion generated by baseless opinions–including our own. We can’t mistake our impressions for reality.

In the end, we’re open, we show you all of our sources, and we have no money from anyone involved with the subject matter. If that’s not good enough what would be? At that point you just have to admit that you’re zealous and you’re here to disagree, so please don’t take offence when we won’t waste our time on that. Our facebook page proves we’ll engage with any serious questions, so we won’t let the fearful stop us from finding and sharing common truths that we can all work from. The world needs these answers.

In the end our audience is people like us–we’re the ones who are humble enough to admit we’re not sure and open enough to listen to the science. We know there will always be fearful haters, but we believe there is a quiet majority that is truly interested in good quality information and we’re proud to provide it to you. We do hope you’ll join us for our journey. We promise you’ll learn a lot.