When social media runs amuck, what’s the best way to counter it? Baking & Snack contributing editor Theresa Cogswell, principal, BakerCogs, recently added a stroke of sanity to the azodicarbonamide (ADA) or so-called “yoga mat” issue raised by Internet bloggers, social media posters and food industry critics who demonize processed foods.

During an interview with National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” Ms. Cogswell noted a food chemical that has non-food uses shouldn’t automatically be seen as dangerous. In the story that’s archived on NPR’s web site, she said, “An assumption that it’s bad for you” is just not accurate.

Still, such negative coverage has the industry listening and taking action, although in hindsight, it should have been more proactive than reactive.

“Food companies are not willing to put their brands at risk,” noted Ms. Cogswell during her presentation about clean-label formulating and processing during the American Society of Baking technical conference where she highlighted the ADA dispute.

“Many of the tools in our ingredient toolbox are affected by this trend,” she continued. “Clean label is not a cost-neutral solution. The bowl cost isn’t going to stay the same.”

Sometimes the noise on social media is just noise. Other times, it’s not. Quieting such a debate is not easy, but often a rational voice can help put it in perspective. For the rest of the story, check out Theresa’s column in the June issue of Baking & Snack magazine.