Report

PEJ New Media Index: Blogs Chew Over Food and Health while Iran Surges on Twitter

  • August 06, 2009

In a week when the mainstream media were focused on the health care reform battle raging in Washington, the blogosphere highlighted two stories that presented a different kind of health debate. Could blue M&M's have some therapeutic properties? And does organic produce offer major nutritional benefits?

On Twitter, the internal turmoil in Iran not only continued to dominate, it reached its highest point in weeks.  

From July 27-31, 39% of the links from blogs and some other social media were aimed at two stories about food, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The top story, accounting for 25% of the links, was about an ingredient not often associated with healing. According to a July 28 report on CNN.com, researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center discovered that a blue dye in the candy M&M's could help reduce damage caused by spine injuries. Researchers discovered the medical potential of the compound Brilliant Blue G (BBG) after doing tests on rats, noting that the only side effect appeared to be that treated animals temporarily turned blue. Another 14% of the links connected to a BBC story that British researchers have concluded that organic produce has little more nutritional value than food that is grown conventionally.

Read the full report Blogs Chew Over Food and Health while Iran Surges on Twitter on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.