But Fear Itself

The facts in any food safety story are far less important than beliefs.  Alfred Hitchcock was a master of scary scenes. He knew a shadow was far more frightening than a well-lit villain. Many consumers subscribe to the theory it is better to be safe than sorry. Generally speaking this is a concept embraced by extreme old age — a state some folk reach before their 15th birthday.  Even so, it is important to research the facts before arriving at a firm conclusion.

Science writers (should) deal with statistics, risk assessment and replicable clinical trials.

Some in the media are in the business of selling “stories.” Storytelling is enhanced with the use of words like danger, contamination, disease, poison and death. The media encourages distrust of authority, and fans the flames of suspicion using pursed lips and pointed fingers.

Note:Every year many hundreds of people are injured by squirrels…to avoid squirrels (and dear deer), drivers crash their car into a tree or oncoming traffic.)

Science writing is a noble profession. To get started you have to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out!