Farmscape for November 1, 2017
A University of Alberta Agricultural Economist says accessing credible food safety information on the internet can be quite challenging for consumers.
"Consumer Perceptions of Agriculture" will be discussed as part of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium this month in Saskatoon.
Dr. Ellen Goddard, an Agricultural Economist with the University of Alberta, says consumers want to know about the food they eat.
Clip-Dr. Ellen Goddard-University of Alberta:
There are many many loud voices on the internet that, once you search for information on food production, may get spooled to you through the algorithms that the various social media sites use that may not have the best information but you have to be able to critically assess that.
I think that's where the public is not very knowledgeable about agriculture.
They don't know where to go to look for information and they don't know how to interpret the quality of it when they actually receive it.
I will say though that the work I've done on food safety over the last 10 or 15 years would suggest that they very highly prize information from government agencies such as provincial ministries of agriculture and the federal ministry of agriculture and agri-food on food safety information and they seem to know that that's where to go, also Health Canada.
They seem to understand and value that information.
But if you try to search for information on some provincial government sites about the best technology for agricultural production, it's much harder to find that information.
You can often find that some of the movie stars etcetera who have opinions about these things are easier to find on the internet than some of the more reliable sources.
Dr. Goddard acknowledges the public is much more aggressive these days in searching out information and, if we can make sure sensible information is provided, it will eventually get across.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork