The United States was once considered an agricultural nation, but these days, most people are two or three generations away from the farm. Fewer than two percent of Americans live on farms, and many don’t understand where their food comes from, how it’s grown, or how it’s processed.
A new effort at Michigan State University is trying to change that. The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is leading an initiative called Food @ MSU.
“There’s a lot of misinformation and probably pseudoscience out there,” said Sheril Kirshenbaum, a fellow with Food @ MSU and the executive director of Science Debate. Kirshenbaum co-authored a recent survey that revealed Americans' lack of knowledge about genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). The survey, she said, “is an example of a science literacy challenge.”
GMOs are often vilified, but scientists say they are reliable and safe, and could be essential in a world with a larger population, less water, and less space to grow food.
That’s where Food @ MSU can help.
“We want to have a broader conversation about food,” Kirshenbaum said. The study, which will be conducted annually, will reveal trends in Americans’ changing attitudes about food that will guide the conversations hosted by Food @ MSU.
Listen above for the full conversation.