Bulos on food are everywhere. « The food industry deceives us and poisons us. They play with our health to earn more money« The idea is not new. What is new is the way in which these ideas have dissemination.
Videos, social networks and misinformation are a perfect mix. If we add alarmism to that mixture, what we will have is a message like gunpowder: tremendously explosive and dangerous.
From the wax of apples to the genetic memory of honey
The last time Appearance of the wax wax of apples on Twitter, Miguel Angel Lurueña, better known in networks such as « Oil Gummies », confirmed that the message more than 33,000 had been shared Times in a few hours. Today it is already going for the 46,000 retweets.
The wax they put on the peel of the apple to shine more and get attention. PELEN THE APPLE pic.twitter.com/RLNTJtJmTY
– Gαbяǐeℓα. (@GabiGastiazoro) May 30, 2019
This bulo says that apples are added wax to be more lustrous and be more attractive to the eyes of the consumer. It is not true. Apples, like many other plant tissues, have natural waxes. These consist of the first line of defense of plants against fungi and bacteria, as well as friction and minor injuries. Apples have a lot of wax because we humans have selected them over thousands of years, choosing the most colorful.
Like this hoax, there are hundreds. Another very common is the one that heads the name of the expert in food safety: that jelly beans, or worms, are made from petroleum. Of course, this is not true either. In addition to the fact that we can see the ingredients that all the foods we consume have, it makes no sense to use oil to make sweets whose base is gelatin, or a snack obtained from corn.
All these bulls have their origin in the common stock of where fear drinks. However, there are others even more dangerous because of how fast they have spread due to their video format. In them we can see unsubstantiated claims, like plastic is added to rice to weigh more, or that industrial honey is mixed with syrup (when honey is already a syrup), and that it has a « genetic memory » that makes a hive pattern appreciate When we apply water.
From joke to hoax there is a step
Luckily or unfortunately, a lot of current hoaxes are emerging from a specific channel. This YouTube channel, Blossom, has Aim to make all kinds of humorous or surprising videos, but absurd. In addition to some useful crafts, the vast majority of the material they share is fake but funny, and very well done. The YouTube channel has more than 10 million subscribers for deserved reasons. However, this causes a problem.
Part of the channel’s humor consists of create absurd situations, as if they were real. It is part of the joke. When this comes to food the result is usually the opposite. People take it as something real and turn the joke into an alarm that runs through the networks in a incendiary way.
Not a day without his food bulo. This time, a new video that shows unfounded barbarities and has almost 2M of 30K RT and 55K reproductions ❤️ Let’s see what it is about. I open thread #videochorradas https://t.co/gxH7F2aR4s pic.twitter.com/901ZXoLzxI
– Miguel A. Lurueña (@gominolasdpetro) June 2, 2019
But these do not have their origin only in the (totally legitimate) fear of society that seeks a healthier and better diet. Its origin, as we said, is in completely fictional material, designed to make people laugh or surprise, but not to inform. However, the format plays against the information, and we do not know if it is on purpose or not.
The irresponsibility of misinforming
The main problem is not only in the fact that some accounts and profiles take advantage of this type of videos to create viral but disinformative content. If we get to one of Blossom’s videos without any information, and without reviewing the rest of the channel, we would reach very similar conclusions: « How bad is the food industry. »
This problem is part of the editorial line followed by his videos, which at no time indicate that they are fake. This may be why they are increasingly absurd and obvious, to avoid misunderstandings without having to change their format. However, keep playing bad passes to the information.
It is a very serious error to transmit, even jokingly, this type of alarmist and misinformation messages. The effect is undoubtedly beneficial in terms of numbers, but horrible in terms of human ethics and health. It also highlights the analytical defect that we humans have when we receive mass messages.
Is this channel to blame, whose intention is not to deceive or generate the hoax, for making the material available to anyone? Maybe that is not your intention, although we can throw in the face the little responsible for not indicating the falsity of its premises, for the safety of the consumer. Of course, we cannot take away from ourselves an inherent guilt: why do we believe everything a video teaches us? Maybe it’s time to recover some of our critical thinking.
Images | Unsplash