Category Archives: agriculture

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

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

Monsanto Wins on Sugar Beets

By Karen Gullo, for Bloomberg: Monsanto Wins Reversal of Order to Destroy Sugar Beet Plants Monsanto Co. and the U.S. Agriculture Department won reversal of a judge’s order to destroy genetically modified sugar beet seedlings planted last year, a federal … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, biotechnology, ecosystems, ethics, genetic modification, GMO, law, USDA

Caution on “Green” Claims for Organics

A major UK farmers’ organization is cautioning those of its members who grow organic foods against leaning too heavily on claims that such foods are more environmentally-friendly than non-organics. Here’s the story, by Caroline Stocks, for Farmers Weekly Interactive: Organic … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, environment, farmers, organic | 1 Comment