Organic Food

One of the worst junk science trends in recent years is for grocery stores and restaurants to claim that they serve "clean food." Obviously, the not-so-subtle message is that everybody else is serving poison, so to be safe, you better eat their food. It's well past time to put aside the snobbish notion that eating clean, local, organic food makes you a superior, healthier human.
Like an Obama birther, the Times' Eric Lipton will continue spouting conspiracy theories about the biotech and chemical industries despite the evidence. This will ensure that his boss's wife, who serves on the board of Whole Foods, remains wealthy.
The reality is simple: In the developed world, you have very little to fear. We live our lives in good health and safety, and much of that is attributable to the wonderful advances of science and technology.
The New York Times smeared a company at the request of an organic food lobby. Instead of behaving like responsible, skeptical journalists they chose to act like a PR firm. Such is the state of affairs at America's self-appointed "Paper of Record."
John Mackey of Whole Foods, which sells products at a 45% markup over other stores by claiming that its food is cleaner and healthier and holier, is adorably complaining about investor greed and propaganda.
By demonizing biotechnology and conventional agriculture, Whole Foods has profited handsomely. But with its recent financial struggles, it would be nice if the sales downturn was the result of Americans waking up to the fact that the chain has been lying to them for years.
We are being confronted with very important questions about the anti-GMO movement and Mr. Ruskin, an anti-GMO activist who operates the website U.S. Right to Know. Are anti-GMOers also anti-vaxxers?2 If not, then why do they take money from anti-vaxxers?
RT is Russia's propaganda outlet in the U.S. and around the world, which broadcasts "news" that advances the agenda of President Vladimir Putin. Ruskin heads U.S. Right to Know, which insists on GMO labeling as a way of scaring Americans about food safety. And USRTK gets a ton of dough from a group which is known to propagandize for RT.  
From telecommunications and transportation to healthcare and entertainment, cutting-edge technology serves society well. But not when it comes to food. Oh no. We don't want technology anywhere near that. Neanderthal know-how is perfectly fine, thanks. What's behind that bizarre thinking?
Food Safety News has reported that Whole Foods has shut down all three of its regional kitchens because the FDA "discovered a long list of 'serious violations,'" some of which resulted in surfaces being contaminated with Listeria.
What do consumers think about organic or genetically modified foods? Demographics don't seem to make a difference, but according to a recent survey "food ideology" does.
Asking hard questions is one of the true delights of being a science journalist. People's assumptions, understanding of the facts, and inherent biases should be subjected to scrutiny. Therefore, I like to think of myself as the science version of HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur -- that is, without the international name recognition and striking good looks.