YES!! Can I get an amen? Ahem, sorry for my excitement, I guess I got a little ahead of myself. I’ll explain. In a December 23 article in the Life Section of USA Today, author Liz Szabo asks if celebrities are crossing the line on medical advice.
Jenny McCarthy says the pediatrician who vaccinated her son is “guilty for his autism.” Lance Armstrong raises money for cancer, and advocates policy changes instead of certain treatments to help patients. Suzanne Somers touts alternative cancer treatments that experts say have been debunked for years.
I think it’s safe to say that celebrities cross the line in many areas, but an especially important one being giving medical advice. I have no idea why someone would proceed with a treatment or take a side in a medical argument with a celebrity as opposed to any medical physician. Sadly enough, it happens. Physicians have legions more knowledge and years of practical experience to draw upon as opposed to celebrities who casually make statements without realizing their influence.
Another area that celebrities cross the line too often is the agricultural arena, an area many of you know I hold near and dear. Using the same logic as above, why would the American public take advice or consider the totally uneducated and inexperienced opinion of a celebrity (or politician) in issues pertaining to production agriculture? I think most people with average intelligence understand that it is wiser to seek medical advice from a doctor as opposed to a celebrity. Why then do these same people not make this parallel here? If I wanted to know what war was like, I’d ask someone who has been in the trenches. If I was considering switching careers from education to baking, I’d ask a pastry chef or someone who’d started their own small bakery.
If I wanted to know how a cow was slaughtered, I’d ask someone who has done it. In seeking the truth though, I would try to postpone making hasty decisions regarding my opinion until I fully understood the process. Instead of sighing and thinking about all the blood involved in harvesting an animal, I’d ask questions about the process. Why is it done this way and not that? What safety issues have been taken into consideration? If I wanted to know about vegetable production, I’d find a farmer and ask them about the chemical products they apply. How do you calculate the rates? How is it absorbed? What are the products designed to do? Are they safe, and would you feed them to your family?
I am willing to bet that American farmers and ranchers would be more than willing to share information with you regarding their production methods if they were simply asked. May this be admonishment for my fellow food producers – take the time to share what you do with people. Put a face on the American farmer. May this also be a wakeup call for those of you take advice from the wrong people, including celebrities. Go to the source, find a professional and wait before you form an opinion.