Category Archives: public policy

Nudging College Kids to Eat Less

How do you get college freshman to avoid that first-term weight-gain known as “the Freshman 25?” What’s the right cafeteria policy? How do you balance making sure every student gets enough to meet his or her needs, without overfeeding them? … Continue reading

Posted in choice, diets, health, public policy, teens | 1 Comment

When Vegetarianism Was Patriotic

I snapped this picture at MOMA over the weekend: It’s a World War II propaganda poster for the British War Office / Ministry of Food. The caption says, “A vegetable dish made with dried eggs or household milk is as … Continue reading

Posted in ethics, public policy, values, vegetarianism

Global Food Crisis

While many of us in the wealthier parts of the world are busy arguing about just which sub-type of organic lettuce we’re using in our salads, or whether we ought to take an “animal rights” approach versus an “animal welfare” … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, international, public policy | 3 Comments

Wildlife Farming in Vietnam

This is an interesting bit about value conflict. In particular, it’s about the dangers of focusing on “natural” foods, when those “natural” foods are either endangered or en route to being so. Here’s the story, by Rachel Nuwer, for Science: … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, ethics, health claims, marketing, meat, organic, public policy, values, wildlife

Cloning and “Proportionate” Regulatory Response to Risk

Regulation, it perhaps goes without saying, is a tricky business. It necessarily involves a small number of politicians, bureaucrats, and technical advisors devising and implementing rules on a staggering range of activities and products and services. The number of issues … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, cloning, ethics, health, meat, nanotechnology, public policy, regulation

US Government Contradicts Itself in Promoting Cheese

[Addendum (Dec. 14 2010) — it seems the NYT article cited below may have been misleading. See this blog entry here. Thanks to reader Anastasia for notifying me.] I love cheese. Probably too much. If I ate as much of … Continue reading

Posted in health, junk food, marketing, public policy, USDA | 2 Comments

How Good (or Bad) is the FDA?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the target of plenty of criticism. In fact, almost nobody seems to like the FDA — except maybe occasionally when they institute a recall or impose a penalty, and even then there’s almost … Continue reading

Posted in FDA, health, public policy, regulation, safety | 3 Comments

Peter Singer & the Reasons for Protecting Animals

Here’s a recent piece by philosopher Peter Singer, in Forbes magazine: Animal Advocates Surpass NRA In Political Influence. …With wider public support, animal advocates gained serious political clout. By 2015 Humane USA eclipsed the National Rifle Association in the influence … Continue reading

Posted in animal rights, animal welfare, ethics, meat, public policy, values, vegetarianism | 5 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

Cloned Animals, Food, Ethics

I guess it was inevitable. Given Europe’s history of mistrusting genetically-modified foods, you had to know that the idea of cloned foods was going to have a rough time there. Here’s the story, by James Kanter, writing for the NY … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, animal welfare, cloning, ecosystems, genes, public policy, regulation, science | 2 Comments