Here’s a link to a Debunking Handbook that explains how and why that happens.
The more I’ve learned about gardening (for example), the more I’ve come to understand just how pervasive some lies have become.
Just about all the advice I read when I first started gardening was dead wrong. And I can’t help but notice that those instructions so often seemed to be (and often still are) repeated almost verbatim — almost as if everyone was reading from an industry cue card. I guess there is a whole lot of cut and paste thinking going on in this world.
This misinformation wasn’t just from well intentioned but misinformed bloggers and forums — I kept running into the bad advice even from places with credentials like this one.
Telling people to dig deep into clay soil and apply herbicides isn’t harmless. Digging deep and applying herbicides to clay sub soil destroys its texture and kills soil organisms. Not to mention the harm it can bring to all the above ground life that may come in contact that soil. And it creates a situation that turns a new gardener into someone even more likely to continue to be a customer. When they find their plants fail, they have to buy more plants. And they might need to buy some soil and some more herbicide and some snake oil fertilizer … and well anyone can see the cycle that is created here and who actually benefits.
I wish places like the Aggie-Horticulture site would use more of their internet influence to teach people about soil horizons instead or permaculture principles like using small and slow solutions to build and nurture soil. That said, I am pleased to see that when new gardeners do a search today they are more likely to find sound advice but how on earth do we erase the lingering lies?