Why we should be supporting better food – not just a matter of “opinion”.
/əˈpɪnyən/ Show Spelled[uh-pin-yuhn] Show IPA
a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
the formal expression of a professional judgment: to ask for a second Medical opinion.
My family call me “Princess Opinia” on account of my being “opinionated”. They use this in a derogatory form, which I’m often offended by. I don’t see the things I share with them as opinion (as per definitions 1 and 2), rather information rationalised based on the best scientific sources, that I find concerning (ok I can maybe accept definition 3 – but who should/would really derogate a professional/doctor?). I guess this comes from being a scientist. We don’t (or shouldn’t) “believe”. Rather we “find” (and determine the errors and uncertainties associated with that finding).
Anyway, I’m a little off point, what I wanted to do was share a little bit of found evidence towards my “opinion” on the need to support better farming methods.
Today the BBC published this news article on a new strain of “super bug” MRSA found in Cows in the UK. They cite the likely causes of this development as overuse of antibiotics, prompted by the high production rates farmers must now achieve to make their products economically viable.
My mum is concerned for the dairy farmers, Jon is concerned that there will be no milk for his cornflakes, I am concerned for the cows. Now it seems human health may be impacted too. To clarify, due to pasteurisation this impact would not come directly from milk, but more a risk from the infection spreading as it has done in many UK hospitals.
I struggle to see who is winning with this current state of affairs, except those saving a few pennies (and of course the companies who make the profit). I’m no economist, so it would be interesting for someone to really work through what the real cost to consumers/farmers would be for better farming – once you take in to account the various skewings on the basics of supply and demand by the retailers etc. You can get lost at this point and this is where you dissolve in to opinions about the state of capitalism, consumerist culture, feeding the hungry, over-population, genetic modification, globalisation etc etc. I’m not going to comment on those issues, but bad things are afoot it seems and clearly something has to be done, for the farmers, for the animals and for our health – that is no mere “opinion”.