Baby Formula, Public Health, and Trust
We're in a communication crisis that won't be solved until we decide that honesty is more important than ass-covering
This is one of those topics that I meant to write about a long time ago, but I never felt like I had the right angle to say anything constructive so I kept putting it off. But ever since it became clear we were heading for food inflation and possible shortages, my mind immediately went to how to prepare for shortages where there isn’t a ready substitute for the missing product.
I’ve been thinking about this for some time.
The formula shortage has been creeping up for months but only recently has it become a major news item. As a major news item, it must of course become an insane partisan topic.
Sadly, the best way to get good information on something like this is to simply ask the question when people are not insane. If you do, people will do helpful things like point you to the WHO’s “Guidelines for Breast-Milk Substitutes in Emergency Situations,” which gives excellent real-world advice for milk substitutes using ingredients that can be easily obtained.
That is how it’s done. In the last 2+ years, we’ve seen public health done well and poorly and I’ve noticed some patterns. This is an outline for how to help people deal with a public health crisis: