How Animal Agriculture Will Survive: Debunking Myths
and Misconceptions About Organic and Backyard Poultry
Wallace Berry
A...
“If a consumer doesn’t want food
produced by “mainstream agriculture” he
or she can buy organic. What’s hurtful is
being l...
Organic Food
1. Demand for organic food is a
market to be served.
2. The customer is always right.
3. The customer deserve...
Claims About Organic
Foods
Safer
Greener
More Humane
More Nutritious/Healthier
Higher Quality
Cheaper
Safer?
No chemicals/pesticides
No antibiotics
No hormones
No GMOs
Cleaner
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-cur...
No Chemicals/Pesticides
Chemophobia
“Chemical” is a "trigger word”: "A stimulus
intended to trigger an emotional rather ...
No Chemicals/Pesticides
Chemicals in organic foods
Studies have demonstrated that non-organic
and organic foods both have...
No Chemicals/Pesticides
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/2013/04/09/how-to-recognize-and-talk-...
No Hormones
The labels “Raised Without Added Hormones“, “No
Hormones Administered” or “No Synthetic Hormones”
indicate th...
No Hormones?
1.9 nanograms of estrogen in implanted beef.
Human child’s body produces = 50,000 nanograms of estrogen per
d...
No Antibiotics
Antibiotic residues in food?
Antibiotic resistance?
Antibiotics and antibiotic
resistance occur naturall...
No GMOs
http://www.livingnaturaltoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/NoGMO.jpg
GMOs?
• All domestic species: crops, lives...
Greener
More Sustainable
Less Carbon Footprint
Organic farming practices use less synthetic pesticides.
But, organic far...
Greener
More Sustainable
Less Carbon Footprint
• Studies results support that organic farming usually supports more
biod...
More Nutritious/Healthier
http://www.thetruthaboutfoodandhealth.com/healtharticles/awarenessribbon-139777.jpg
Reviews of t...
Cleaner
http://www.thetruthaboutfoodandhealth.com/healtharticles/awarenessribbon-139777.jpg
Organic foods, particularly po...
Quality
Subjects in blind taste tests have never
been able to discriminate between
organic and conventional foods
(assumi...
More humane
More humane
Cheaper
Cheaper
Debunking Myths is
Difficult
“Backfire Effects”
1. Familiarity backfire
2. Overkill backfire
3. Worldview backfire
http://...
To debunk a myth, you have to talk about it -
This makes people more familiar with the myth.
Debunking a myth often actu...
Avoiding "Familiarity Backfire":
 Ideally, avoid mentioning the myth altogether while
correcting it. When seeking to coun...
Avoiding Familiarity Backfire
1. Emphasize the Core Facts:
Selective breeding and excellent nutrition allows modern poultr...
Overkill Backfire
Common wisdom is that the more counter-
arguments you provide, the more successful
you’ll be in debunkin...
Avoiding Overkill Backfire
The Overkill Backfire Effect occurs because processing many
arguments takes more effort than ju...
Avoiding Overkill Backfire
Growth trends in commercial broilers
showing gradual improvement:
Worldview Backfire
The third and arguably most potent
backfire effect occurs with topics that tie
in with people’s worldvi...
Worldview Backfire
Presenting information or arguments that conflict
with strongly held views that are central to a person...
Countering Worldview Backfire
Worldview Backfire Effect is strongest among those already fixed in
their views. So there is...
Countering Worldview Backfire
Worldview Backfire Effect is strongest among those already fixed in their views. So there
is...
Thanks!
References
Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S. (2011), The Debunking Handbook. St. Lucia, Australia: University of
Queensland. Novem...
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Dr. Wallace Berry - Agriculture Will Survive Myths and Misconceptions About Organic Or Backyard Poultry

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Agriculture Will Survive Myths and Misconceptions About Organic Or Backyard Poultry - Wallace Berry, PhD, Auburn University Department of Poultry Sciences, from the 2014 NIAA Annual Conference titled 'The Precautionary Principle: How Agriculture Will Thrive', March 31 - April 2, 2014, Omaha, NE, USA.

More presentations at http://www.trufflemedia.com/agmedia/conference/2014_niaa_how_animal_agriculture_will_thrive

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Dr. Wallace Berry - Agriculture Will Survive Myths and Misconceptions About Organic Or Backyard Poultry

  1. 1. How Animal Agriculture Will Survive: Debunking Myths and Misconceptions About Organic and Backyard Poultry Wallace Berry Auburn University Poultry Science Department Auburn University Auburn, AL Berrywd@auburn.edu NIAA Omaha 2014 - Berry http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/12/quarantine-of-backyard-chickens-why- and.html http://seattletimes.com/html/picturethis/2013043103_thenewchickendebatecagefreeandorganicorother.ht ml
  2. 2. “If a consumer doesn’t want food produced by “mainstream agriculture” he or she can buy organic. What’s hurtful is being led down a path that suggests there’s something wrong with all the food they’re buying currently...” -Doug Chorney, Keystone Agricultural Producers NIAA Omaha 2014 - Berry
  3. 3. Organic Food 1. Demand for organic food is a market to be served. 2. The customer is always right. 3. The customer deserves factual information. 4. Educating the customer is a good thing and necessary. 5. Providing context is key in the case for modern agriculture.
  4. 4. Claims About Organic Foods Safer Greener More Humane More Nutritious/Healthier Higher Quality Cheaper
  5. 5. Safer? No chemicals/pesticides No antibiotics No hormones No GMOs Cleaner http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious- wavefunction/2013/04/09/how-to-recognize-and-talk-to-a-chemophobe/
  6. 6. No Chemicals/Pesticides Chemophobia “Chemical” is a "trigger word”: "A stimulus intended to trigger an emotional rather than a rational response. People believe that organic = no chemicals Not true. Organic production uses pesticides, fungicides (Rotenone anyone?) Over 20 pesticides allowed in organic production. Many potent pesticides and bioactive chemicals occur naturally - alkaloids like nicotine, caffeine, opioids. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/2013/04/09/how-to-recognize-and-talk-to-a-chemophobe/
  7. 7. No Chemicals/Pesticides Chemicals in organic foods Studies have demonstrated that non-organic and organic foods both have very low or no synthetic pesticide residues. However, organic production often uses much more of the "organic" pesticides Greater impact on environment Higher levels of intrinsic toxic compounds as crops respond to pest damage. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/2013/04/09/how-to-recognize-and-talk-to-a-chemophobe/
  8. 8. No Chemicals/Pesticides http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/2013/04/09/how-to-recognize-and-talk-to-a-chemophobe/
  9. 9. No Hormones The labels “Raised Without Added Hormones“, “No Hormones Administered” or “No Synthetic Hormones” indicate that no synthetic hormones were given to animals. Federal law prohibits the use of hormones on hogs and poultry. The use of any hormone free label on pork and poultry products is intended to mislead consumers into thinking that the product is different and therefore r of a higher price. USDA requires that use of these labels on pork or poultry include the disclaimer: “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in poultry/pork.” https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/consumer-labels/labels-that-tell-you-a-little/ http://us.123rf.com/450wm/jpldesigns/jpldesigns1212/jpldesigns121200089/17071486- no-hormone-100-natural-food-label-illustration-isolated-on-white-background.jpg
  10. 10. No Hormones? 1.9 nanograms of estrogen in implanted beef. Human child’s body produces = 50,000 nanograms of estrogen per day. Adult human female (non-pregnant) = 480,000 nanograms of estrogen per day. One birth control pill = 35,000 nanograms of estrogen. 225 nanograms of estrogen in potatoes, 340 nanograms of estrogen in peas, 520 nanograms of estrogen in ice cream, 2,000 nanograms of estrogen in cabbage, 11,250 nanograms of estrogen in soy milk, 170,000 nanograms of estrogen in soybean oil ....based on a 3 ounce serving size.
  11. 11. No Antibiotics Antibiotic residues in food? Antibiotic resistance? Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance occur naturally Antibiotics being phased out
  12. 12. No GMOs http://www.livingnaturaltoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/NoGMO.jpg GMOs? • All domestic species: crops, livestock, pets are genetically modified − Selective breeding − Natural mutation − Induced mutations • Genes swapped between species naturally. • GMO species reduce inputs and environmental degradation.
  13. 13. Greener More Sustainable Less Carbon Footprint Organic farming practices use less synthetic pesticides. But, organic farms use their own chemicals that are still ecologically damaging, and refuse to endorse technologies that reduce or eliminate the use of these all together. Example, organic farming’s stance against genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
  14. 14. Greener More Sustainable Less Carbon Footprint • Studies results support that organic farming usually supports more biodiversity • Does not have a positive impact per unit of production. • Organic milk, cereals, and pork all generated higher greenhouse gas emissions per unit of product than their conventionally farmed counterparts – although organic beef and had lower emissions in most cases. • In general organic products required less energy input, but more land than the same quantity of conventional products.
  15. 15. More Nutritious/Healthier http://www.thetruthaboutfoodandhealth.com/healtharticles/awarenessribbon-139777.jpg Reviews of thousands of research articles have found no evidence for nutritional superiority of organic foods. "Food is Food"
  16. 16. Cleaner http://www.thetruthaboutfoodandhealth.com/healtharticles/awarenessribbon-139777.jpg Organic foods, particularly poultry, re often touted as being bacteriologocally cleaner. Recent studies have found that at best, organic poultry is no cleaner than conventional poultry and may actually have a higher rate of contamination and may harbor more antibiotic resistant bacterian
  17. 17. Quality Subjects in blind taste tests have never been able to discriminate between organic and conventional foods (assuming similar conditions of strain, post harvest processing, ripeness, etc).
  18. 18. More humane More humane
  19. 19. Cheaper Cheaper
  20. 20. Debunking Myths is Difficult “Backfire Effects” 1. Familiarity backfire 2. Overkill backfire 3. Worldview backfire http://www.testically.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/backfire-gun-300x211.jpg Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S. (2011), The Debunking Handbook. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland. November 5. ISBN 978-0-646-56812-6. [http://sks.to/debunk]
  21. 21. To debunk a myth, you have to talk about it - This makes people more familiar with the myth. Debunking a myth often actually reinforces it in people’s minds! To test for this, people were shown evidence that debunked common myths about vaccines. Afterwards, they were asked to separate the myths from the facts. When asked immediately after reading the research, people successfully identified the myths. When asked again 30 minutes later, people actually scored worse for believing the myth than before they read the evidence. Debunking reinforced the myths! Familiarity Backfire Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S. (2011), The Debunking Handbook. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland. November 5. ISBN 978-0-646-56812-6. [http://sks.to/debunk]
  22. 22. Avoiding "Familiarity Backfire":  Ideally, avoid mentioning the myth altogether while correcting it. When seeking to counter misinformation, the best approach is to focus on the facts you wish to communicate. Not mentioning the myth is sometimes not a practical option. In this case, the emphasis of the debunking should be on the facts. Headlining your debunking with the myth in big, bold type is the last thing you want to do. Instead, communicate your core fact in the headline. Your debunking should begin with emphasis on the facts, not the myth. Your goal is to increase people’s familiarity with the facts. Familiarity Backfire Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S. (2011), The Debunking Handbook. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland. November 5. ISBN 978-0-646-56812-6. [http://sks.to/debunk]
  23. 23. Avoiding Familiarity Backfire 1. Emphasize the Core Facts: Selective breeding and excellent nutrition allows modern poultry to grow quickly and efficiently. 2. Core Facts Reinforced Narrative: Starting in the 1920's, poultry breeders began concentrated efforts to breed birds that grew faster and more efficiently, with a greater proportion of meat to bone. Coupled with research that determined the nutritional requirements of the bird, steady incremental improvements have resulted in the large breasted, fast growing birds of today. 3. Now Mention the Myth: A persistent myth about commercial poultry is that growth hormones and steroids are responsible for fast growing chickens. 4. How the Myth Persists and Alternative Explanation Many poultry companies, food outlets, and organic producers perpetuate the myth by advertising that their chickens do not get hormones. This is an intentional effort to mislead consumers into thinking that competitors poultry is less wholesome. Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S. (2011), The Debunking Handbook. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland. November 5. ISBN 978-0-646-56812-6. [http://sks.to/debunk]
  24. 24. Overkill Backfire Common wisdom is that the more counter- arguments you provide, the more successful you’ll be in debunking a myth. It turns out that the opposite can be true. When it comes to refuting misinformation, less can be more. Generating three arguments, for example, can be more successful in reducing misperceptions than generating twelve arguments, which can end up reinforcing the initial misperception (2). Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S. (2011), The Debunking Handbook. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland. November 5. ISBN 978-0-646-56812-6. [http://sks.to/debunk]
  25. 25. Avoiding Overkill Backfire The Overkill Backfire Effect occurs because processing many arguments takes more effort than just considering a few. A simple myth is more cognitively attractive than an over-complicated correction. The solution: 1. Keep content simple and easy to read. 2. Use simple language, short sentences, subheadings and paragraphs. 3. Avoid dramatic language and derogatory comments that alienate people. 4. Stick to the facts. 5. End on a strong and simple message. 6. Use graphics. Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S. (2011), The Debunking Handbook. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland. November 5. ISBN 978-0-646-56812-6. [http://sks.to/debunk]
  26. 26. Avoiding Overkill Backfire Growth trends in commercial broilers showing gradual improvement:
  27. 27. Worldview Backfire The third and arguably most potent backfire effect occurs with topics that tie in with people’s worldviews and sense of cultural identity. For those who are strongly fixed in their views, being confronted with counter- arguments can cause their views to be strengthened. Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S. (2011), The Debunking Handbook. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland. November 5. ISBN 978-0-646-56812-6. [http://sks.to/debunk]
  28. 28. Worldview Backfire Presenting information or arguments that conflict with strongly held views that are central to a person's sense of identity may strengthen those views. 1. Confirmation bias: Seeking out information that confirms preconceived views. 2 Disconfirmation bias: Ignoring information that runs counter to preconceived views. Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S. (2011), The Debunking Handbook. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland. November 5. ISBN 978-0-646-56812-6. [http://sks.to/debunk]
  29. 29. Countering Worldview Backfire Worldview Backfire Effect is strongest among those already fixed in their views. So there is a greater chance of correcting misinformation among those not as firmly decided about hot- button issues. 1. Outreach should be directed towards the undecided majority rather than the unswayable minority. 2. Information can be presented in ways that reduce the usual psychological resistance. For example, when worldview-threatening messages are coupled with "self affirmation", people become more balanced in considering pro and con information. "Yes, considering the remarkable growth rate of modern chickens, and all the news about athletes using steroids, no wonder people assume hormones are used in chickens." Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S. (2011), The Debunking Handbook. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland. November 5. ISBN 978-0-646-56812-6. [http://sks.to/debunk]
  30. 30. Countering Worldview Backfire Worldview Backfire Effect is strongest among those already fixed in their views. So there is a greater chance of correcting misinformation among those not as firmly decided about hot- button issues. 1. Outreach should be directed towards the undecided majority rather than the unswayable minority. example: Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. 2. Information can be presented in ways that reduce the usual psychological resistance. For example, when worldview-threatening messages are coupled with "self affirmation", people become more balanced in considering pro and con information. example:"Yes, considering the remarkable growth rate of modern chickens, and all the news about athletes using steroids, no wonder people assume hormones are used in chickens." 3. Information can be made more acceptable by “framing” it in a way that is less threatening to a person’s worldview. example: Gains in efficiency and productivity reduce the amount of feed, energy, and waste and that contributes to "sustainability". Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S. (2011), The Debunking Handbook. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland. November 5. ISBN 978-0-646-56812-6. [http://sks.to/debunk]
  31. 31. Thanks!
  32. 32. References Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S. (2011), The Debunking Handbook. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland. November 5. ISBN 978-0-646-56812-6. [http://sks.to/debunk] http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/2011/07/18/mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture/ Are Organic Foods Safer or Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives? A Systematic Review. Crystal Smith- Spangler, MD, MS; Margaret L. Brandeau, PhD; Grace E. Hunter, BA; J. Clay Bavinger, BA; Maren Pearson, BS; Paul J. Eschbach; Vandana Sundaram, MPH; Hau Liu, MD, MS, MBA, MPH; Patricia Schirmer, MD; Christopher Stave, MLS; Ingram Olkin, PhD; and Dena M. Bravata, MD, MS. Ann Intern Med. 2012;157:348-366. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/2013/04/09/how-to-recognize-and-talk-to-a-chemophobe/ https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/consumer-labels/labels-that-tell-you-a-little/

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