• Martin Gagnon

Quinoa: The Tale of Many Truths

Pick one of the following true statements:

Quinoa is really nutritious and high in protein.

Buying quinoa improves the income of poor farmers in South America.

High demand for quinoa makes it more expensive for Bolivians and Peruvians to eat their traditional food.

Quinoa farming is having a serious environmental impact on the Andes.

Now how does the statement you picked make you feel about eating or buying quinoa?

Using these truthful statements on the negative and positive facts or effects of quinoa sales, Hector Macdonald illustrates how competing truths shape our opinions, behaviors and beliefs. Macdonalds book, Truth: How the Many Sides to Every Story Shape Our Reality, is filled with colorful examples of how our mindsets and actions are likely to be determined by which competing truth we are presented with. "Whether intentionally or unintentionally, other people regularly steer us towards particular facets and interpretations of the truth. Competing truths shape reality. If we care about the influences that drive us to buy a product, support a politician, or fight for a cause we need to understand how competing truths work." writes Macdonald. 

With this as his essential mission in the book Macdonald breaks his book down into what he calls the four classes of competing truths. Macdonald then goes on to address the communication tactics (omission, misleading statistics, etc.) that "Advocates and Misleaders" use to sway peoples perceived reality and influence their mindsets. 

Nearly finished this fascinating reading, I urge people to check this book out from their local library. It is one that reminds you life and truth is not always as simple as we imagine. 


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