Problem: The Spreading of Major Myths through Social Media
This is a response to a recent blog post by Food Tank, (which also asks for input, and see my comment there). It's called: "118 Twitter Feeds Every Food Activist Needs to Follow."
The problem with these online sources comes when they spread false information. That's my concern. In fact, I follow a number of these sources for that very reason, to correct their farm bill (ie. farm subsidy) myths (and other myths), in order to help the food movement to stop their unknowing support for agribusiness, (and then, ill-informed bashing of farmer victims). My blogs, which are mostly of this nature, can be found here, top center, as "Brad Online."
(Note: My recent video has proven to be one of my more effective efforts to explain how this happens. It's fairly simple. Here's the original, for comparison. So I recommend this comparison, as an introduction, for anyone who has no idea of what I'm talking about. On the paradigm question also see: "Hidden Farm Bill Pie," 10 data pictures of the farm bill.)
Here's my list of 25 FROM THE LIST who typically SPREAD MYTHS about the biggest part of the farm bill (and it's global implications). (Note: some do it only occasionally, but are big food movement leaders.) In almost all cases, this is directly against their own values. To find examples, go to your favorite search engine and search: "THEIR NAME HERE" and "farm subsidies." You can also add my name ("Brad Wilson") to the search, as I've created a large number of reviews of this problem, in blogs, videos, and blog/video comments. They have some great values, and some great information on other topics, even as they lead the movement to side with agribusiness against some of their biggest goals.
(Here's my list of 25, as numbered in the list that is cited above.)
1. Alice Waters – @AliceWaters
4. Andy Bellatti – @andybellatti
5. Anna Lappe – @annalappe
6. Ann Cooper – @chefannc
17. Center for Science in the Public Interest – @CSPI
20. Civil Eats – @CivilEats
37. Food Day – @FoodDay2013
40. Food MythBusters – @FoodMythBusters
45. Frances Moore Lappe – @fmlappe
46. Global Development – @GdnDevelopment
47. Grist – @grist
51. HuffPost Food – @HuffPostFood
52. HuffPost Green – @HuffPostGreen
62. Ken Cook – @EWGPrez
68. Marion Nestle – @marionnestle
69. Mark Bittman – @bittman
70. Michael Pollan – @michaelpollan
74. Naomi Starkman – @NaomiStarkman
83. ONE – @ONECampaign
85. Oxfam International – @Oxfam
86. Paula Crossfield – @civileater
99. Slow Food USA – @SlowFoodUSA
93. Roger Thurow – @RogerThurow
104. Tom Colicchio – @tomcolicchio
106. Tom Laskawy – @tlaskawy
It's rare to encounter responses to my feedback from these sources, and some have blocked dialogue. Naturally I welcome additions and corrections.
The following 3 twitter feeds tend to be quite reliable sources on the biggest farm bill issues:
44. Food & Water Watch – @foodandwater
54. Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy – @IATP
113. Wenonah Hauter – @WenonahHauter
Their occasional efforts to fix the myths do not seem to have been successful, perhaps because they haven't been strong enough to really register with this key audience (that "already knows" so much that "just ain't so").
Another might be:
64. Lavida Locavore – @LocavoreBlog,
as Jill Richardson's book, Recipe for America, is better, (on what a farm bill is and how it works), than almost all other food movement sources (regarding my concerns), and she had some helpful blogs on this in years past. More recently, however, she's called for ignoring the farm bill. Unfortunately, while family farm activists, (who worked on these issues for 5 decades prior to the rise of the food movement,) know just what she's getting at, I don't think her book, for example, is really transformative to a food movement audience (for the same reasons as above re. IATP, FWW).
On Twitter see me at: @FarmJustice (twitter) Cf. #FarmJustice #FoodLeaders
PS: Much of the best information on these (the biggest) farm bill issues is pre-internet (off line). For a list of key online sources on the specific concerns that I raise here, (including key reports and fact sheets at IATP and Food and Water Watch,) see my Farm Bill Primer (list of links) and Food Crisis Primer, here: