A Kansas State University professor has said that media may be hyping the benefits of organic food.
Doug Powell, an associate professor of food safety, is the co-author of "Coverage of organic agriculture in North American newspapers: Media-linking food safety, the environment, human health and organic agriculture."
Using the content analysis technique, the 618 articles collected were analysed for topic, tone and theme regarding food safety, environmental concerns and human health.
"Organic agriculture was often portrayed in the media as an alternative to allegedly unsafe and environmentally damaging modern agriculture practices.
That means organic was being defined by what it isn't, rather than what it is," Powell said.
The findings indicate an uncritical press, he said.
Analysis of articles over time, among media outlets and by topic, allows for understanding of media reporting on the subject and provides insight into the way the public is influenced by news coverage of organic food and agriculture, Powell said.
The study is published in the British Food Journal.