By: Jania Matthews Date: 6/17/11
The BlogHer Food conference is long gone, yet I can reflect on the experience and agree with other attendees that the conference proved to be a positive and enlightening experience. The topics discussed and the networking opportunities were top notch. The conference was a great way to engage with bloggers who have diverse and interesting perspectives as it relates to food.
It was interesting that not all conference speakers shared my views on food, health, and nutrition. Many had opinions that processed foods should be avoided or eating local and organic food is best—not concepts feasible for all people, right? Yet, bloggers came together and discussed these topics, voiced their differing opinions, and shared a laugh or two. This was all a part of the BlogHer experience. The truth of the matter is that we all have varying viewpoints on food and science.
Bloggers, just like mainstream journalists, researchers and journal editors take a different approach to discussing such topics as nutrition or the safety of foods and ingredients. Many people form opinions based on a particular research study. One person’s opinion can have a huge impact on their reading audience, particularly on blogs. Hence, keeping science in perspective is very important.
Here are some basic guidelines that one should consider when communicating about food, diet, and health topics, specifically when those communications are based on the findings from a research study:
◦Will your communication enhance understanding of diet and health?
◦Have you put the study findings into context?
◦Have the study findings been peer reviewed?
◦Have you disclosed important facts about the study?
◦Have you disclosed all key information about the study’s funding?
Yes, BlogHer was great and I look forward to the opportunity to attend other conferences. There is simply something about the power of women coming together to share thoughts and ideas about food, family, and life that will never get old. Sure, technology will change and blogs may evolve into something totally different, but connecting with people around a topic (food) that has an impact on everyone’s life will always be priceless!