Kavin Senapathy: Correcting Food Misinformation and Alarmism
By Patrick Cavanaugh, Deputy Editor
Kavin Senapathy, science communicator/advocate and contributor to Forbes Magazine, among others,is tightly focused on her goal to debunk miscommunication about human health, as well as genomic, food, and genetic engineering. Senapathy stated, “There is this culture of alarmism,” about food safety and food misinformation versus the science-based reality of our food safety management. “The alarmism and fear is so amplified, people don’t realize how very safe we are right now.”
Senapathy gets her facts from the source, “I speak to as many scientists as possible, and I know how to read and dissect a scientific paper. I know there is a very important difference between cherry picking from one study to support a bias, and looking at the weight of scientific evidence,” she said.
“I also talk to farmers and I’m learning more about the hands-on practices,” Senapathy said. “California farmers produce a wide variety of fruits and vegetables,” she said, “and we all should be eating more of them.”
“I think a lot of the fear and misinformation take away from the message of eating the right things,” continued Senapathy. “Thinking, ‘I should avoid MSG, I should avoid GMOs or xyz additive,’ really detracts from the most important message—that we should be eating less unhealthy things like sodium and saturated fat, and not too many calories,” noted Senapathy. “We should be eating lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains.”
And though she lives in Wisconsin, Senapathy says she is amazed by how many fruits and vegetables are available, even in the wintertime. “I can go to the grocery store in February and come home with grapes, strawberries, bananas, and all kinds of fruits and vegetables,” Senapathy said. “You know, we should marvel at the bounty of this more often.”
She’s quick to thank farmers for feeding her family and those of everyone, everywhere. “We forget—with all the fear and misinformation in social media—that our food supply is more abundant and safer than it has ever been,” she noted. “We should all be appreciative and thankful for that.”
Bayer Advocacy Forum Narrows Gap Between Public and Food Production
Food system, science and agriculture experts gather to discuss the convergence of food and the future of agriculture
NEW ORLEANS, La. Advancing the conversation about the best ways to sustainably feed a growing population is the overarching theme for the 2016 AgVocacy Forum, sponsored by Bayer CropScience. Representatives from agriculture and consumer media will hear from thought leaders in science, nutrition and sustainable food production at the invitation-only event TODAY.
Formerly “Ag Issues Forum,” AgVocacy Forum continues a decade-long tradition of bringing together a diverse mix of people, experience and opinions to exchange ideas and philosophies that help shape and influence modern agriculture. This year’s event shines a spotlight on how being an “AgVocate” may help bridge the growing divide between consumers and those involved in food production.
“There are many challenges facing today’s food producer and perhaps none more important than building trust with consumers,” said DavidHollinrake, vice president, marketing & portfolio management, Bayer. “We assembled experts at AgVocacy Forum to spark dialogue and bring focus to the steps needed to educate and engage a public that is increasingly detached from modern agriculture.”
Award-winning author and registered dietician, Carolyn O’Neil, kicked off the Forum last night with a keynote address sharing her insights on consumer preferences driving food trends. The program also featured 12-year-old Braeden Mannering who, while attending the “Kids’ State Dinner” at the White House, was challenged by First Lady Michelle Obama to “pay his experience forward.” Braeden’s response was to create Brae’s Brown Bags (3B), which battles food insecurity by providing healthy snacks to homeless and low-income individuals.
Additional guest speakers include:
Kavin Senapathy, author of The Fear Babe: Shattering Vani Hari’s Glass House and regular contributor for Forbes.com
Dan Dye, CEO of Ardent Mills, a joint venture among Cargill, ConAgra Foods and CHS
Josiah Zayner, CEO of The ODIN and former NASA bioscientist
Charles Baron, co-founder and vice president of Farmers Business Network, a crowd-sourced program for data-driven agriculture
AgVocacy Forum is being skillfully moderated by Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University and a former CNN correspondent, anchor and Washington D.C. Bureau Chief.
In conjunction with the event, the Bayer Foundation has made a $10,000 donation to the Orleans Parish 4-H chapter and will work with the chapter to install a Feed a Bee pollinator garden at Ben Franklin Elementary.
Watch a live stream of the AgVocacy Forum at www.agvocacyforum.com, and join the conversation by following @bayer4cropsus and using #AgVocate. Be sure to look for blog posts on the event at www.cropscience.bayer.us/news/blog.
Bayer is committed to bringing new technology and solutions for agriculture and non-agricultural uses. For questions concerning the availability and use of products, contact a local Bayer representative, or visit Crop Science, a division of Bayer, online at www.CropScience.Bayer.us.
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Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen.
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