ACDC News – Issue 07-14

Focus on food and morality.

A fascinating array of topics takes front stage for the 2007 Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, which features the theme, “Food and Morality.” This annual symposium is an educational charity that brings together writers, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, scientists, chefs and others.  This year they address the study of food in history, its place in contemporary societies and related scientific developments.  Here are a few of the papers being proposed for the 2007 Symposium that is scheduled for September 8-9 in Oxford, England:

  • “Virtuous food – selling ‘conscientious production’ as moral imperative”
  • “Scientists and food: moral, immoral or amoral?”
  • “The moral economy of meat in Australia”
  • “Perspectives on the first iron biofortified rice in the Philippines”
  • “Ideology of fasting in the Reformation Era”
  • “Main themes in the theology and practice of modern Christian vegetarians”
  • “What stories tell children about responsible food behaviors”
  • “An ethical consideration of pet food”

Information posted at:

Ten red flags of junk science.

We have added to the ACDC collection an article from the European Food Information Council that identifies 10 red flags of junk science.  The Council suggests being careful if the information contains:

  • Recommendations that promise a quick fix
  • Dire warnings of danger from a single product or regime
  • Claims that sound too good to be true
  • Simplistic conclusions drawn from a complex study
  • Recommendations based on a single study
  • Dramatic statements that are refuted by reputable scientific organizations
  • Lists of “good’ and “bad” foods
  • Recommendations made to help sell a product
  • Recommendations based on studies published without peer review
  • Recommendations from studies that ignore differences among individuals or groups

Title:  Nutrition news: reading between the lines

“Courage comes in many flavors,”

Said community newspaper editor Laurie Ezzell Brown in accepting a special award during April.  She offered that perspective when she and her family were honored with the Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, tenacity and integrity in rural journalism. This award to the Ezzell family and The Canadian Record of Canadian, Texas, was presented by the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at a banquet in Lexington, Kentucky, during a National Summit on Journalism in Rural America.

Ezzell Brown cited examples of how complex small-town newspapering can be and how local citizens sometimes display stand-up courage. Two generations of Ezzells have edited the weekly Record since 1949.  Nominators reported that members of this family have “held local, state and national politicians accountable, fought political extremism, opposed unwise military adventures and helped protect the environment, often against organized and violent opposition.”

Title: Courage comes in many flavors

You can see related articles at:

A snapshot of what Americans know and feel about avian influenza.

A report we have added from the Food Policy Institute, Rutgers University, highlighted findings of a mid-2006 nationwide survey among American consumers.  Some of the findings:

  • Most Americans (93 percent) indicate they have heard of avian influenza.
  • Still, most “don’t know much” about it.
  • They hold conflicting beliefs about recognizing and preventing it.
  • They “aren’t very worried about illness with avian influenza,” yet “most report greater perceived risk specifically associated with the consequences of eating chicken infected with avian influenza.”
  • More than 90 percent say they currently eat chicken; most consider chicken products in the U. S. safe to eat.
  • “Many Americans are unlikely to eat chicken if the avian influenza virus is found inside the U.S.”

According to Institute Director William K. Hallman, results of the study suggest that much of the American public does not yet have the information needed to make informed choices about purchasing, preparing and consuming poultry products should avian influenza emerge in the United States.

Title:  Avian influenza on people’s minds
News release posted at:

Full research report posted at:

Want to see how a football can help catch goanna?

Three young Aboriginal film makers (ages 9-13) from rural Western Australia were honored recently for producing a video about hunting goanna.  This brief video, entitled “Papinmaru” (goanna), was honored as “most impressive achievement” in an international Lonely Planet video competition.  It “shows the boys making a slingshot from the insides of an old football and talking about the chase, the best bits to eat, traditional names and why they like getting out of town.”

You can see the video at > “The next Spielberg”

Title:  Aboriginal youngsters talk across the desert
News release is posted at

Preparing information professionals to serve rural communities.

What kind of studies can help information professionals serve marginalized and rural communities throughout the world?  A recent article in Webology identified the types of knowledge, skills and experiences such persons need, within and outside the formal information studies curriculum.

Title: Information professional
Posted at:

Communicator activities approaching

August 22-25, 2007
Annual conference of the Association of Food Journalists in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA.  Information:

September 5-9, 2007
17th Annual Conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists at Stanford University, Stanford, California USA.  Information:

September 8-9, 2007
“Food and morality.” Theme of the 2007 Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, England.  Information:

September 17-23, 2007
51st World Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists in Tokyo and elsewhere, Japan.  Information:

What a delightful world it would be.

We close this issue of ACDC News with a thought from a 1906 column, “Burba’s Barbs,” published in Agricultural Advertising:

“What a delightful world it would be if every man could elect the other fellow’s reading matter.”

Do you have thoughts, examples or suggestions related to any topics featured in this issue? 

Please send them to us by return e-note.
Get in touch with us:

  • When you cannot locate information you need about communications, as related to agriculture, food, natural resources and rural affairs in any part of the world.
  • When you see in this collection interesting items you cannot find, locally or online. Tell us the titles and/or document numbers.  We will help you gain access.

And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique collection.  We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Com Documentation Center, 510 LIAC, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or electronic form at

Best regards and good searching.

July 2007

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