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Welcome to the Agri-food, Climate Change and Rural Misinformation Research Platform

What do we stand for ?

Online misinformation and disinformation are existential threats to science and society, contributing to science denial and polarization. The recent COVID-19 and political instability drew significant efforts in academia and policy to combat misinformation and disinformation in health and politics. Historically agri-food and rural community has remained no exception to this threat, but it has not received due attention in the scholarly, policy and practitioner sphere.

Curated Resources
Myths Busted
Curated Resources
Myths Busted


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News and Updates 📢

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Uduak Edet Defended Thesis
In August 2023, Uduak Edet successfully defended her Master's thesis titled "The Influence of Information Disorder on Climate Change Adaptation Practices of Farmers in Lagos State, Nigeria". Her research is significant as it sheds light on how misinformation affects the decision-making process of farmers regarding climate change adaptation practices. Uduak has decided to pursue a doctoral degree to further explore this topic.
Misinformation in the Agri-Food Context: A Caribbean Perspective
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Thesis Defense by Hadis Azizi
On December 7, 2023, Hadis Azizi successfully defended her thesis. Her research focused on analyzing global conversations on X (formerly Twitter) regarding climate change misinformation related to agricultural development. She then used the preliminary findings to understand the perception of agricultural advisors about climate change misinformation in her home country, Iran. Her work has provided valuable insights into our initiatives to combat agri-food, climate change, and rural misinformation.
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Dr. Chowdhury Visit Sri Lanka
Dr. Chowdhury participated in the technology stewardship project visit in Sri Lanka led by Dr. Gordon Gow at the University of Alberta from November 10-22, 2023. Dr. Chowdhury is the co-applicant of the project. During his time there, he attended several meetings and discussions related to agri-food misinformation, including a presentation to 300 undergraduate students at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, as well as visits with key stakeholders and knowledge sharing events. The students, faculty members at the University of Peradeniya, and agricultural advisory service professionals from Sri Lanka were all highly interested in learning more about agri-food misinformation and how they could work to address this issue in their country.

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Explore our webinars . Join us for valuable insights and discussions on combating misinformation.

Misinformation Tracking

Want to contribute curated resources towards Tracking Misinformation ? Click on the Contribute button!

Recent Additions
“Greenwashing” is Rampant in Carbon Offset Markets
“Greenwashing” is a term used to describe actions that are marketed as environmentally friendly but are not in reality. A subtle example of greenwashing is the depiction of nature scenes on single-use plastic water bottles that harm the environment, in an attempt to lure additional customers. Another example could be rewarding a landowner for conserving carbon-sequestering forestland that was not in danger of being harvested anyway. However, the intent of most carbon programs that issue carbon offsets, and entities who purchase carbon offsets is very much the opposite of greenwashing. Carbon programs utilize third-party verification and adhere to internationally recognized standards. They also use technology and methods that are subject to stringent scientific peer review in order to build trust with their clientele, and to award carbon credits that are verifiably real and quantifiable, among other essential characteristics. It is in their best interest to be trustworthy, as trust from carbon credit generators and buyers is paramount in building a functional and profitable market to draw clients from in the long run.
Carbon Offsets
We need to set 2050 climate goals for our company.
Amazon has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2040. Tesco plans to do the same by 2050. LG Electronics by 2030. More than 100 countries are thinking along the same wavelength. Long-term goals are good, and some goals have been met through carbon offsets. But planning 20 years ahead isn’t mandatory in the fight against climate change (and it isn’t realistic for 99% of companies). Even the definition of net-zero is questionable. Instead of trying to look 10 or 20 years into the future, set targets within a smaller time frame — one that you can realistically work towards. Only 27 out of 250 of the biggest corporate emitters have set goals for 2030 as opposed to 2050. Big picture goals are important, but to stay accountable and make progress, these short-term goals are crucial. I would recommend making goals for every year, every three years or whichever shorter interval suits your goals best. Create smaller targets within each category, whether that’s a reduction in carbon emissions, water, solid waste or another area. Most importantly, focus on tracking this progress in a measurable and shareable way. You can set a target to lose 10 pounds by the end of the year, but without regular weigh-ins, how do you know if you’re making progress?
Carbon Offsets
Our actions won’t affect the impacts of climate change.
Small actions can equal big results. Toshiba installed 35,000 movement sensors to control elevator operations, lighting and air conditioning at their business base, helping them cut their CO2 emissions in half. Who would have thought automatic lights could save the Earth? It’s easy to point fingers and rid yourself of responsibility. But this is the equivalent of “he started it," “I did better than her" or “everyone else is doing it." Basically, it’s a child’s excuse. No matter the size, location or focus of your company, your actions to mitigate climate change are worth something. Consider your supply chain and vendors. See if supplies and resources can be sourced more sustainably, focusing on their origin or raw materials. Look at policies that you can implement within the company, such as recycling initiatives or donating portions of your revenue to climate initiatives. If individuals can save hundreds of pounds of CO2 at home, so can your company by investing in eco-friendly resources. As 99% of businesses in the U.S. are considered small businesses, so don’t count yourself as insignificant. Smaller companies may have a smaller impact on the climate than bigger ones, but their close-knit relationship with consumers may yield more of an impact in aggregate. Start a conversation with your customer base around sustainability and the choices they make. Use your position to educate and influence.
Carbon Offsets
We have eco-friendly initiatives in place, so we’ve done our part.
You’re recycling, you’ve partnered with more eco-friendly suppliers and you’re setting realistic goals. You’re done, right? Almost. By gathering and analyzing data around these actions, you can share and improve on your actions. Just 9% of companies surveyed by the World Economic Forum actively used data tools to collect, analyze and report on their environmental, social and governance (ESG) progress. And considering how many metrics and areas there are to report on, the challenge is understandable. But not impossible. The benefits of collecting and reporting on ESG data are three-fold: demonstrating your progress to peers and stakeholders, benchmarking progress and setting more accurate targets. But where to start? Companies need to look for technology solutions that can do a job no human can: large-scale data management. Start by identifying the categories of environmental factors you need to consider. This could include solid waste, water and the impacts of any transport, facilities or services you use. Think of your suppliers, or for online services, your providers. Even data centers have an impact. Instead of looking at each category separately, find a tool that can merge your data for a more comprehensive approach. Bringing your data together to conduct a more holistic analysis means you’ll be able to present more comprehensive results. Also, instead of lengthy reports, look for more easily understandable ways of summarizing and engaging stakeholders with your ESG data.
Carbon Offsets

Curated Literature Database

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Recent Additions

Food, culture and identity in Germany's Century of War
The book is focused around food and food insecurity in Germany during the first, second and cold war times. Chapter 8 specifically discusses "Postwar Food Rumors: Security, Victimhood, and Fear"
Benbow, Heather Merle; Perry, Heather R.
Research on the Online Spread of Rumors about the Quality and Safety of Agricultural Products in the New Media Era Using an Improved SEIRS Model
The study is focused around rumors regarding the safety of agriculture produce in China, in light of the increased use of online media. the authors refer to the terms netizens and rumor fermentation, which provides hints about what is considered important within the study, that is the quick development of fake information online among active internet users and how important it is to understand the networks behind their dissemination. the results are based on data simulation.
Zhang, Qunxiang ; Fang, Huilan ; Yao, Peng ; Zhang, Haibin; Pancioni, Luca ; Luca Pancioni
Climate, Chaos and Collective Behaviour : A Rising Fickleness
The book is comprised of 11 chapters with each one presenting a specific case study, where the principles of chaos theory are linked to social science. It focuses on two disciplines, mass psychology and collective behavior sociology, on topics related to climate change and collective behavior, which are very much linked to communication matters.
Van Ginneken, Jaap
Oh, the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide
The article discusses the results of an experiment conducted with the aim of studying people’s response to pessimists who use “Junk Science” to spread fear among the general public. The survey collects answers from 50 people about the chemical dihydrogen monoxide (water). After the participants were given a brief about the chemical 43 said it should be banned from use, six were undecided and one only knew that the chemical was water.
Nathan Zohner

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Website Owner: Ataharul Chowdhury. Copyright 2023.

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