Alan Alda’s new book, “If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating,” was published June 6, 2017. Empathy as a key to successful scientific communications is one of the topics in the book. How does this concept relate to technical issues such as agriculture and food production, and antibiotic use and resistance?
Animals raised for food live in herds or flocks, share water and feed troughs, and seek close contact with one another by licking, laying on each other and even rubbing snouts and noses. This can spread illnesses rapidly. Waiting for animals to show symptoms of an illness before beginning treatment is often too late. Swift action can prevent the spread of disease and result in animals receiving fewer antibiotics than they would have had they not received preventive medication.
An important food safety step is making sure meat is handled properly and cooked to the right temperature. And that responsibility lies with the people preparing the food for the millions of holiday gatherings that take place in homes across the country, including mine.