Understanding Risk

"...the facts about risk are only part of the matter. Ultimately we react to risk with more emotion than reason. We take the information about a risk, combine it with the general information we have about the world and then filter those facts through the psychological prism of risk perception. What often results are judgments about risk far more informed by fear than by facts."

-David Ropeik and George Gray, Risk: A practical guide for deciding what’s really safe and what’s really dangerous in the world around you.

Understanding risk, both actual and perceived risk, is vital to informed decision-making. Acknowledging each person’s unique experiences and emotions will contribute to more effective risk communication. Ultimately, understanding the relative risk of certain behaviors or products related to food safety, health, and nutrition can contribute to responsible decision-making that promotes the enjoyment of our food.