Why Are Food Research Topics So Difficult to Discuss?

Peter Balsells


We all need food to live, and sometimes we humans live to eat. Food is one of the necessities that none of us could survive for very long without, but why is it so difficult to do food research?

Do the Experts Understand Their Own Research?

Experts are constantly giving advice about the benefits of having food knowledge and warning about not doing research when it comes to the foods we eat and serve our families. But all too often, finding the right information about food is easier said than done. Experts sometimes disagree, so lack of consistency in the conclusions leaves many of us consumers confused. There’s so much conflicting information on food subjects that it’s hard to keep up with it all.

Keep in mind that some of the differing conclusions among food researchers can be attributed to advancements in science, leading to new ways of understanding how the things we eat affect us. Then there are experts who have a die-hard position on their own hypothesis and cling to it for dear life.

This just adds to the mess and goes against the very premise of the scientific method, which is to challenge a question or problem to see if it provides proven facts through testing. Unfortunately, if a theory becomes lucrative, the chance of the expert changing their stance on the matter is unlikely. This is usually the case even if there’s increasing evidence to support that the theory may be wrong.

Can you Trust Food Research Studies?

Some studies use sensational headlines to get us to pay attention. When you take a closer look, you realize that these types of studies often have one thing in common—They misrepresent causality (the relationship between cause and effect) and relationship (the way two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected) when it comes to analyzing the information gathered in these studies.

Quite often, consumers don’t read past the headlines such as ‘this new food reduces heart attacks by 40%’. Instead of diving deeper, most of us take the headline at face-value and believe it as truth. A few days later, a new study comes out that completely contradicts the findings in the study published the week before.

Finally, we have the portion of confusion that gets added to the pile when food studies are sponsored by the very industries that stand to benefit the most if people thought one way over the other concerning certain types of foods.

The Final Takeaway

Every food research study published isn’t poor quality, it can be hard to separate the good from the inadequate. This only makes it more difficult for us as consumers to make clear decisions and gain accurate food knowledge.

Maintaining a healthy amount of skepticism and taking food studies with a grain of salt can help us navigate the conflicting evidence out there. The Everything Food Quality Score gives you fact driven nutrition and ingredient information so you can make your own informed food choices.

Published On:
April 01, 2019

Peter Balsells



CEO of Everything Food, Inc.

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