When I saw that the Bullshit episode last night was going to be on Organic Food, I stayed up to watch it in the hopes that it would provide the same insightful, research-driven observations that they had consistently presented in most of their episodes. Instead, I was treated to a sensationalist pastiche that probably had DuPont and Monsanto executives drooling over the media attention that they couldn’t buy; or did they?
I wouldn’t go so far to suggest that the production company was paid off to do this episode. However, Penn and Teller did choose the hard right-wing Hudson Institute to establish some of the “hard facts” in the episode.
The Hudson Institute is practically run by agri-business and Republicans, which you’ll see if you click on the bios of their board of trustees. Their representative was responsible for the one truly cringe-worthy moment in the show, which was when they were attesting that all meat came with “natural hormones”. Ummm… not so much. The meat industry has long been injecting meat with hormones to make it grow faster, a fact even agri-business won’t try to refute.
Also, the couple they chose as “representative” of those who ate organic foods wasn’t exactly the best face they could have put on the movement, although that was to be expected if they were to get ratings for the show. Where were the Harvard professors, the computer analysts, the everyday joes who eat organic?
I was expecting more science and frankly, less bullshit. There are genuine concerns about the Organic Food industry that they could have honed in on, such as why don’t more organic dairies use glass packaging, what is the real carbon cost of organic food imported from Mexico, etc.
Instead, we were treated to an episode that belonged on Fox News rather than on Penn & Teller’s usually highly regarded show.