Category Archives: agriculture

Ethics of the World’s First Synthetic Burger

So, the world’s first synthetic burger has been cultured, minced, fried and consumed. (Mark Post, the scientist who conceived of and grew the synthetic burger, had announced a year and a half ago his near-term intention to produce and test … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, animal rights, animal welfare, biotechnology, ethics, factory farms, meat, natural, science | 4 Comments

Bigger Birds

Innovation isn’t always good for everyone. See this blog entry about how artificial insemination has allowed the turkey industry to triple the average size of a turkey over the last 50 years: Give Thanks? Science Supersized Your Turkey Dinner. (The … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, animal welfare, breeding, factory farms, meat, science

Corporate Dilution of the Meaning of “Organic”

A few days ago there was an exceptionally interesting article in the NY Times on the corporatization of organic foods. See Has ‘Organic’ Been Oversized?, by Stephanie Strom. The story outlines the controversy over the composition of the US board … Continue reading

Posted in Additives, agriculture, certifiction, organic, regulation

Could GMO Technology Make Tomatoes More Authentic?

The LA Times ran an interesting piece a couple of days ago about Why supermarket tomatoes tend to taste bland. It turns out, according to new scientific research, that the hybridization carried out by tomato breeders over the last several … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, biotechnology, genes, genetic modification, GMO, natural, values

Ethics of Eating Meat

A recent Toronto Star piece on the ethics of eating meat quotes me, briefly, on the topic of lab-grown meat (something I’ve blogged about before). The main point of the article, however, is to make an attempt to marshall a … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, animal rights, animal welfare, choice, health, kids, meat, nutrition | 3 Comments

Who Wants Test-Tube Meat?

Sonja Puzic, for CTVNews.ca, asks: Would you eat meat grown in a test tube? When a Dutch scientist declared last month that he could have the world’s first lab-grown hamburger on the grill by October, the Internet was abuzz with … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, animal welfare, biotechnology, genetic modification, GMO, industrial, meat, science, synthetic meat, values

The Complex Politics of Food Ethics

Here’s a useful short piece by James McWilliams, writing for The Atlantic: Meat: What Big Agriculture and the Ethical Butcher Have in Common I’ve repeatedly argued that supporting alternatives to the industrial production of animal products serves the ultimate interest … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, animal rights, animal welfare, ethics, meat, values

Backyard Chicken Ethics

As far as food goes, you can’t get much more “local” than raising chickens in your own backyard. But many cities forbid the practice. Zoning laws generally prescribe where you can and cannot raise animals for food. But such laws … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, kids, law, local, urban farming, values | 2 Comments

Is Smaller More Ethical, or Less?

The food world’s fascination with small-scale production of bespoke edibles shows no sign of waning. See, for example, this piece by Emma Sturgess, for The Guardian: From small seeds grow big ideas There are David and Goliath battles in all … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, ethics, factory farms, farmers, industrial, sustainability, values

If you ate today, thank a farmer…and…?

Surely you’ve seen this bumper sticker: “If you ate today, thank a farmer.” That’s fine advice — farmers (of various kinds) play a key role in food production. But it’s also pretty narrow advice. It would be more accurate to … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, ethics, farmers | 4 Comments