Category Archives: factory farms

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

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

Things that Matter: Drug Residue in Chinese Pork

You could tell a lot about your average foodie or food-safety advocate by asking them to list food-related issues by level of importance. Some people tend to focus on the latest feel-good trend (e.g., at least some versions of localism) … Continue reading

Posted in activism, agriculture, animal welfare, ethics, factory farms, health, international, meat, safety | 4 Comments

Using, Regulating and Testing for Antibiotics in Milk

Here’s an interesting story about efforts to regulate competitive behaviour in the food industry: By William Neuman, for the NYT: F.D.A and Dairy Industry Spar Over Testing of Milk Each year, federal inspectors find illegal levels of antibiotics in hundreds … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, factory farms, health, milk, regulation, safety | 2 Comments

Children, Food, and Indoctrination

A few weeks back, this video of a precocious kid talking about the ethics of food made the rounds. I wasn’t sure what to say about it. I guess it’s finally time. I don’t like to pick on kids, but … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, agriculture, children, consumerism, ethics, factory farms, farmers, genetic modification, health claims, industrial, kids, local, marketing, meat, organic, values | 4 Comments

A (Uniquely?) Ethical Dairy Farm

When it comes to marketing food these days, few buzzwords seem to carry more weight than that simple 6-letter word, “ethics.” See this story, from the BBC: A new ethical farm opens at Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishnas at Bhaktivedanta Manor … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, animal welfare, ethics, factory farms, religion | 3 Comments

Prince Charles on Impending Agricultural Doom

Prince Charles — heir to the throne of England — has made a hobby of expressing opinions on everything from architecture to nanotechnology. For the most part, he lacks the requisite expertise to expound upon these topics, and so he … Continue reading

Posted in activism, advertising, factory farms

In Praise of Industrialized Food

Check out this piece, by Rachel Laudan, in the Utne Reader: In Praise of Fast Food. (It’s worth noting right up front that the title of the piece is misleading. It’s not a defense of fast food, in the McDonalds … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, ethics, factory farms, fast food, health, industrial, junk food, labour, natural, science, values | 2 Comments

Portable Food Factories

Can the word “factory” ever be used in a food-related context in a way that doesn’t sound like a criticism? Can an chemical company ever produce something that could be welcomed by fans of local, organic agriculture? How about a … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, ecosystems, factory farms, industrial, labour, organic, values