Aaren’t our current farming practices sustainable? If so, how to make them sustainable? Academic freedom allows researchers to pursue their work unhindered by outside influence, but it is also abused by militant scholars who promote unscientific ideas. How do you protect well-meaning scientists without allowing marginal voices to promote nonsense? Alternative health proponents have a new villain in their sights: acA naturally occurring compound in plants called oxalate. Is it really as bad as they claim? No.

Join geneticist Kevin Folta and GLP contributor Cameron English on Episode 200 of Science Facts and Fallacies as they break down this latest news:

In order to feed a growing world population, we need to increase crop yields while reducing the inputs and environmental footprint of farming, says risk assessment expert Dr David Zaruk. The Brussels-based researcher has put forward a 10-point plan which he says will help policy makers avoid “an increasing number of famines, food insecurity, migration and social conflict” that could arise if the leaders of the The European Union and elsewhere continue to promote large scale organic farming, which is embraced for reasons of virtue, not for science. An important question remains: will the plan actually work?

Here’s the dilemma: academic freedom ensures that scientists can pursue their research where the data leads. Unfortunately, this concept has been abused by academic activists, who use the credibility of their institution to promote ideas that are downright harmful. Paradoxically, some schools have refused to defend researchers who are doing good work while allowing fringe voices in the academy to vocally deny the benefits of vaccination and proclaim that harmless pesticides cause autism, among other claims. scientifically dubious. Is there a way to preserve academic freedom and prevent militant academics from spreading nonsense?

Gluten, carbohydrates, sugar, sucralose, fats, salt, dairy products and many more. The list of foods and the nutrients they contain that are believed to harm us seems endless. Now, alternative health gurus like Joe Mercola want to add another food bogeyman into the mix: oxalate. A natural plant compound, oxalate plays an important role in the formation of kidney stones. Patients prone to kidney stones are sometimes encouraged to avoid oxalate-rich foods. However, there is very little evidence linking oxalate-rich foods to the litany of health problems they are now responsible for causing.

Listen to the podcast here: https://tinyurl.com/33kj5wvh

Kevin M. Folta is a teacher, keynote speaker, and podcast host. Follow Professor Folla on Twitter @kevinfolta

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