Defend the Icky
We are taught from an early age that we shouldn’t touch or mess with icky things. Oddly, the word icky is just fun to say, I am more surprised that we don’t embrace it. But that is neither here nor there… sorta… kinda…
Or maybe I am trying to hard to find a way to open this piece.
Here’s the thing. We have gotten so far removed from what goes into the things we eat and drink that when we hear about the process we get a little bit scared. Or worse we find it a little icky. The thing is, we have put ourselves into a position that we are now open to misinformation and boogeymen. People are using our lack of knowledge to scare us.
There has been an article floating around the internet for well over a year now. I won’t link it, I refuse. The evil machinations of the woman who wrote it don’t deserve anymore of our thoughts. But I will say this, it is through our own lack of understanding and knowledge that we have allowed this woman to gain any kind of foothold.
The basic ingredients of beer are common knowledge. This doesn’t mean that everyone will know what they are, but it is possible to easily find out with little more than a cursory internet search. Water, Hops, Yeast, and Malt; there is no huge victory in finding out this information.
I know, you want to know how icky comes into play. Here’s the thing, for thousands of years there have been certain practices in food and beverage production that are for lack of better words, icky. They aren’t wrong or harmful, but they are one of those things that we don’t see in our day to day consumption of these products.
Every now and then we get some dogooder who thinks they know what is going on. They find it their moral duty to protect everyone else from these icky practices. Sometimes they want to outright ban something they find distasteful other times they feel it their duty to force a producer to change their ways.
A good example recently came when the health department wanted to ban the use of wood shelves in the production of cheese. The idea seems sound, wood can not be sanitized like stainless steel. Thing is, cheese has been made this way for hundreds if not thousands of years. Many times the bacteria is part of the process. See, we have been told for so long that all bacteria is bad for us. In our war against bacteria we are killing the stuff that is actually a strong part of our existence. (the fight against the icky)
Anyway, like I said, I won’t link to her article. But the “Food Babe” wrote an inflammatory piece about what is in our beer (remember water, yeast, hops, and malt). In the time this article has been circulating we have had some good, informative articles come out to combat the original.
Take some time read these articles and gain some knowledge.
Maureen Ogle “What’s in your beer or the dangers of dumbassery”
Chad Polenz “Did the ‘Food Babe’ really beat the major macro breweries”
Trevor Butterworth “Quackmail: Why You Shouldn’t Fall For The Internet’s Newest Fool, The Food Babe.”
Yes, I am focusing on beer for this. But this problem goes beyond what we drink. In the battle against fearmongers our greatest defense is to learn the truth. Find information from credible sources. Find the processes that have gone into the creation of our food for generations.
Time for a pint…