Welcome to my new ‘Food Ethics’ blog

This is a new blog about ethical issues that arise in growing, shipping, processing, selling, regulating, and eating food. Food is a hot issue these days — that is, people are talking (and writing) a lot about what kinds of foods we should be producing and eating. But as far as I can tell, there aren’t many blogs dedicated specifically to sorting through the full range of ethical issues (or normative issues more generally) in a non-partisan way. This blog aims to help fill that gap.

I do not foresee long analytical blog entries. Rather, I expect to post excerpts from recent news stories, along with very brief comments and an invitation for others to comment.

Among the sorts of topics I envision tackling in this blog:

  • Is organic agriculture better, ethically, than ‘industrial’ agriculture?
  • Should genetically modified foods be labelled?
  • Is eating local better, ethically?
  • Just how far should companies be expected to go in ensuring their food products are safe?
  • Should fast-food companies and cola companies be held responsible for the obesity epidemic?
  • Is reducing the ‘carbon footprint’ of food something best left to the market?
  • Should health-related marketing claims about food nutrition be treated like claims about pharmaceuticals?
  • Should the growing of certain kinds of crops be subject to government subsidies?
  • Are there convincing reasons for or against human use of animals for food?
  • Do we worry too much about food, or not enough?

By way of self-introduction, I’ll start by saying that I’m a philosopher (that’s what my Ph.D. is in, and that’s what I teach). But you’ll find that this blog strays into economics, public policy, and environmental science, as the need arises and as my expertise permits. I’ve published a bit on food ethics (in particular, about the labelling of GM foods.) I also recently taught an course on food ethics (which used James McWilliams’ book Just Food as its main textbook (along with a bunch of scholarly articles). I write two other blogs: The Business Ethics Blog (my main blog), and the Biotech Ethics Blog. I also love to cook and to eat, and I love good wine and good single-malt scotch.

About Chris MacDonald

I'm a philosopher who teaches at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, Canada. Most of my scholarly research is on business ethics and healthcare ethics.
This entry was posted in animal welfare, ecosystems, genetic modification, local, organic, regulation, safety, subsidies. Bookmark the permalink.