Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Ethical Man's foodie canards

 Will it be food for thought or a steaming
pile of bullshit from the BBC's Ethical Man?

One man's meat is another man's poison, they say. Food, it's one of my favourite subjects and here is the summing up to an excellent webpage by Caroline Stacey of the BBC , no less; which talks about what kind of food will have the lowest envronmental impact.

"Only when several similar foods have their carbon footprint measured can shoppers choose their foods accordingly. Until then, shopping locally for what's grown locally (and, preferably, organically) and in season, may be the only guarantee that the food we buy is doing the least possible damage to our environment."

It's informative it's balanced , it's to the point journalism  . Unlike the efforts of Justin Rowlatt who has this to say :

"Organic food, for example, is often more carbon intensive to produce than super-efficient industrial agriculture; locally produced goods can sometimes have a higher carbon foot print than imported goods."

His statements may well be factual , but they are highly misleading because the big picture (as evidenced by Caroline Stacey's excellent article ) is the opposite of the facts presented by Rowlatt. He is essentially relying on anecdotal evidence to put his point across. And a highly partisan point it is too - here's his lead in :
"I noticed early on in my year of living ethically that all sorts of the advice you get from greens has little if anything to do with tackling global warming. "
So Justin has found a couple of paradoxes in the real world which he puts to use as a propagandist for industry to suggest environmentalist advice is misguided. And he calls that living ethically. Some might consider it to be less than charitable to point out to the BBC's Ethical Man that quoting out of context is not normally considered ethical journalism.  But Hengist McStone thinks not. Justin Rowlatt , BBC's so called ethical man you are the energy industry's shill !

Postscript: I am putting together a complaint on these lines which will go out as soon as the BBC respond to some of my as yet unanswered correspondence

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