- Chris MacDonald is a Toronto-based ethicist, professor, speaker and consultant.
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Category Archives: environment
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
Food Eco Labels vs Legislation
When is choice good? Do labels do enough to help us make good choices? When is legislation required? Should legislation facilitate good decisions, or force them? See this story, by Harry Wallop, for the Daily Telegraph: Food eco labels not … Continue reading
Posted in certifiction, choice, environment, ethics, labeling, regulation, values Comments Off on Food Eco Labels vs Legislation
Endangered Dinner DNA
Earlier this month, the print version of Popular Science ran a really interesting story on using genetic technology to fight the traffic in endangered species. Here’s the web version: Is Your Dinner Endangered? DNA Detectives Investigate In the ongoing campaign … Continue reading
Posted in endangered species, environment, fisheries, genes, international, regulation, science Comments Off on Endangered Dinner DNA
What’s the Point of Urban Farming?
Some people’s enthusiasm for urban farming is downright infectious. See, for example, this article: Will Allen and The Urban Farming Revolution, by Ethan Zuckerman. Will Allen is redefining farming. His farm is a set of greenhouses in a corner of … Continue reading
Posted in activism, agriculture, aquaculture, ecosystems, environment, farmers, kids, labour, values 2 Comments
Meat Production and Utopian Fantasies
Meat production is perhaps the big ethical issue in the realm of food. Not that long ago, vegetarianism and veganism were the domain of hippies and university undergraduates, but not any longer. Now that the ecological impact of meat production … Continue reading
Posted in consumerism, ecosystems, environment, farmers, meat, public policy, vegan, vegetarianism 5 Comments
The world of GM foods is apparently reinventing the spaghetti western. In Italy these days, the debate over GM has turned into a wild-west-style battle between vigilantes. Here’s the story, from Elisabeth Rosenthal, writing in the NYT: In the Fields … Continue reading
Battery Cages, Animal Welfare, and the Environment
Seemingly simple issues seldom are, especially when it comes to food ethics. Sometimes what seems like a simple question of needing to “change how we think” or to “stop corporate greed” or “get back in touch with our food” turns … Continue reading
Posted in agriculture, animal welfare, environment, ethics, values Comments Off on Battery Cages, Animal Welfare, and the Environment
Organic Pesticide Food Labels?
When organic foods are produced using organic pesticides, should consumers be told so by means of labels? Many people think “organic” means that no pesticides have been used, but strictly speaking that’s false. “Organic” actually means that no synthetic pesticides … Continue reading
Posted in agriculture, environment, farmers, labeling, organic, safety Comments Off on Organic Pesticide Food Labels?
Ethically speaking, does vegetarianism need to be an all-or-nothing thing? The current issue of Time has this piece on the topic: Weekday Vegetarians Part-time vegetarians, a.k.a. flexitarians, choose what to eat and when. The popular Meatless Monday movement, which began … Continue reading
Posted in activism, animal welfare, environment, ethics, vegetarianism 2 Comments
Safety of Louisiana Fish & Shrimp
In the wake of the BP oil disaster, the fisheries off the Gulf Coast are doubly important. They’re a big source of jobs for folks in the Gulf states, and the health of the shrimp and fish there is an … Continue reading
Posted in ecosystems, environment, ethics, fisheries, regulation, safety Comments Off on Safety of Louisiana Fish & Shrimp