TIME Article Proves People Are Not Interested in Facts

I had a subscription to TIME magazine and I will be cancelling it based on the unfounded rhetoric the magazine has recently published. Writer Brian Walsh penned the cover story entitled, “The Real Cost of Cheap Food.” To say that this one sided article has raised the ire of the agricultural industry would be an understatement. The story is the same old tired rhetoric that corporate America is the one to blame for the number of farms decreasing and that agriculture is responsible for obesity. And guess what, the article also mentions that organic is here to save the day.

In the following interview with the Mr. Walsh on Agritalk, his backstroke is quite evident and bounces all over the place trying to cover his lack of journalistic integrity. In the interview Mr. Walsh admits that he did not get the other side of the story and that TIME chose to run this one-sided story. In the interview (linked above), Mr. Walsh claims in the story that organic production could feed the world if given a chance. Mr. Walsh also claims in the interview organic production is better for you, tastes better and is easier on the land in his opinion”. when the Agritalk host asks him about animal antibiotics, he states his opinion and those of others but dismisses, the opinions of veterinarians in the business. TIME is supposed to be a news magazine not PEOPLE. The story lacks fact and does cause one to draw the conclusion that fact has taken a second seat to sensationalism in all media.
I encourage you to write TIME magazine and express your displeasure with this absolute attack on our industry. It is important that you speak up and not let people outside of agriculture speak for you and about you. Let your voice be heard!!!!

Please read Raoul Baxter’s post on MeatingPlace, discussing the inaccuracies of the TIME piece just in case you think I’m the crazy one.

 

Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of RealAgriculture.com. @shaunhaney

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6 Comments

Megan Oleksyn

Wow… unbelievable! I will also be cancelling my subscription and writing a choicely-worded email to the editor. I am so tired of the organic trend being heralded as a solution, when in fact, it is quite the opposite.

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MAT kinase

If this is the "journalism" that we're in the process of losing in the U.S., it'll hardly make a difference.

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Kevin Serfas

"…….as every farmer knows, if you don't take care of your land, it can't take care of you". I'm not sure what the point of that comment was after a non-educated bash in a somewhat "educated" global magazine. If he would have done a half an hours worth of home work on the piece he would have seen that maybe he could write about how farming practices have changed over the past 20 years, for the betterment of the land. The real problem with the piece is people will once again take it as the gospel truth and not ask questions. I am truely amazed how everything from global warming to obiesity somehow comes back to be caused by farmers. Its about time people start looking at themselves. Its not what they eat, its how they eat that's making America fat. Its not the farmer driving his tractor in the field, its the millions of people in the suburbs driving to work that are fueling Americas need for fossil fuels. Its not agriculture's need for fertilizers and pesticides that are causing all the pollution in rivers in streams Its peoples desire to have the manufacturing sector fill their house, (probably built from unsustainable wood products), with "pretty" things made from chemicals 95% of the population knows nothing about. Farmers are not the ones to blame for the problems of the world. We ARE taking care of the land so it CAN take care of us.

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Anonymous

I have one question to ask the "tree huggers"….if our food is so dangerous and "bad" for us then why is our life expentancy so high, and rising?

What a load of ilk these folks at Time are printing – makes one think about the integrity of reporting in the rest of their magazine

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Anonymous

I believe that cheap food does have some high costs to society, though not exactly as Bryan Walsh describes, nor is organic agriculture the sole answer to the problem.
While the article is flawed and one sided, there are some unarguable societal costs of our food production system, and subsequently room for improvement. I believe that is the true intent of the article: to let consumers know that their demand for the cheapest product comes at the cost of other values or attributes, such as animal welfare, nutrient value, environmental impact (definition varies), etc. I don't see this as a conventional vs organic debate, but more like buying a car, where consumers should be able to pick whatever attributes they like and pay proportionate to the attributes. Such a system allows each consumer to get what they want, and producers to extract extra value from the market. I think the biggest challenge in getting there is the education of consumers to all of the options available and information about where to find them. Further I think biased articles such as this bring us further from that reality, though have stimulated a great deal of discussion about the topic (hopefully in consumer circles as much as ag circles).
In response to the original post, I think it shows Time is not interested in facts. I believe people still care about the truth.

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