Someone forwarded me Stephanie Mencimer’s essay “You Aren’t What You Eat” (1/21). I thoroughly enjoyed its satirical humor and skepticism. As one who does research on pesticides and also serves in the Cooperative Extension Service, where I do a lot of risk communication, it is very heartening to know that there are consumers out there who are skeptical of the holier-than-thou claims of certain advocacy groups. A substantial number of us skeptics in the academic science community who study environmental chemistry and toxicology for a living are getting sick and tired of the hype and exaggeration surrounding the hand-wringing over chemical technology. Ironically, the more one studies the primary scientific literature, the more one understands how to put the hazards and risks in proper perspective.

I know several of the folks you interviewed for the essay, and it is especially nice to know another writer out there can bring a satirical edge a la Michael Fumento to the discussion table.

By the way, we don’t have any Fresh Fields out here in the desert part of Washington state, but I’m sure if we did I would go to one—for the same reason I watch trashy shows on TV: They’re amusing, and I can objectify about how much better I am than that “lifestyle.” Human nature sure is weird, but it got us this far. One just can’t take oneself too seriously.

Washington State University

Richland, Wash.