No way, today the current word of the day is “moussaka”. A British article from a few days ago announced that the preparation of moussaka has the most monstrous carbon footprint of all the dishes. For two days now, Facebook profiles and groups have been flooded with comments about the sinister role of moussaka for climate change and the end of the world.
A small spark, a big fire
Bulgarian moussaka is the most harmful (for nature) European food, because its preparation costs as much as 11,971 grams of carbon dioxide, according to an article in Uswitch. The publication is as authoritative as a flying leaf from a student test – there are no scientific sources, no researchers from a serious institution involved. With great effort the curious reader can read the “methodology” of the study. And from it it is clear that the author has collected recipes from the Internet and spent them through an online calculator for harmful emissions from food.
And since in other latitudes the quoted figures do not mean anything to the mass reader, it is always necessary to provide comparisons in order to gain clarity about the scale of things. For example, if it is written that a rock is 320 meters high, there will always be an addition: “it’s almost as big as the Eiffel Tower.” For moussaka, then, it spewed as much harmful emissions as a car when it traveled 47.6 km.
Whether the calculator has shown correct values can be debated endlessly, or the poor author has chosen to put Bulgarians at the top of the list, hoping that they are lost enough not to read such authoritative publications and their “studies”. Or that they are far enough away from the Island not to be reached. However, the Bulgarians took it that they found the article and waved it like a flag.
The article was published on December 17, but 12 days later it is a top topic among the posts on social networks – personal, group, all kinds. The news in the media was just the beginning. Hypotheses have appeared on Facebook about who and how wants the death of the Bulgarian moussaka and why. They have grown into in-depth analyzes of who and why wants to erase native traditions altogether. Some wanted the author to lock him in a garage with a car running for half an hour to compare the feeling to cooking moussaka.
The Minister of the Environment also had to call to admit whether the government was going to ban moussaka and explain how we would eat this dish in the future, because of the unscrupulous destruction of nature. There were also warnings that we must be ready to cook moussaka with quasi-meat of locusts and pupae.
In short, the frivolous British article gradually became a hit in our country. This is a rather atypical reverberation * caused by the nature of social media. Atypical, because as a rule reverberation is attenuating. But in the case of moussaka, the echo did not subside, but intensified in an area of limited space.
Such reverberation is happening on social networks with a lot of news. Almost every day we see how a statement of, say, a politician or athlete immediately “flares up” on Facebook posts, shared, quoted, commented.
For better or worse, these reverberations are in themselves a source of valuable information. Reflecting the original source, they also have their own radiance: from them come indications of what worries people, what expectations, worries and considerations they have.
And if the government has traditionally perceived the media as a means of propaganda, there are indications that perhaps it can rely on social media as a kind of stethoscope to better hear the perception of the general public. What and why the government will decide on this basis is the subject of other publications that have no place here.
For us as consumers of social networks, however, two questions remain. Do we want to be a mirror surface involved in big reverberations? And what exactly is the signal worth reflecting in order to give it a sequel, to amplify it?
In the case of moussaka, we diligently reflected on nonsense. Not because the author of the article is stupid (on the contrary, he is very smart, he has gained phenomenal readability). And because his very creation is devoid of value and meaning. We reflect something worthless, we give more and more weight to something that does not have its own.
But, by analogy with the tale of the lying shepherd, we risk, intensifying the echo of worthless things every day, that no one will hear us when we have something really valuable to say or spread.
* Reverberation – continuous reflection of sound waves (sound reflection) in an enclosed space or naturally confined space.