08 July 2009

The latest from the Web

There is an article in the Los Angeles Times that delves into the ethical dilemmas of food blogging, using a popular social networking food Web site in L.A. as the case study. In this particular instance, a site harshly critiqued a restaurant based upon an anonymous tip that the restaurant was passing off low quality food items as more expensive fare and ignoring health regulations. The allegations turned out to be false, but the damage was already done in the blogosphere.

The right of free speech comes with a burden of responsibility that was ignored in this case. Libel attorneys must be licking their chops waiting to squeeze every last bit of juice out of Eater L.A., and if they can estimate damages that include a closed restaurant caused by misinformation, it's an open and shut case that would result in a substantial windfall. I applaud the efforts of the food bloggers who created a Food Bloggers' Code of Ethics, but I'm curious as to how this toothless code with limited adherents would improve the quality or the nature of restaurant coverage. I'm curious if anybody else has any opinions on this, or if people see food blog ethics as a non-issue.

From the department of research that validates my world view comes the American Dietetic Association's findings that vegetarian diets are healthful and useful in preventing and treating certain types of disease. So your poor pleas that not eating meat would kill you will now fall on deaf, scientifically sound, healthy ears.

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