- Chris MacDonald is a Toronto-based ethicist, professor, speaker and consultant.
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Category Archives: science
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
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 Comments Off on Bigger Birds
Who Wants Test-Tube Meat?
Sonja Puzic, for CTVNews.ca, asks: Would you eat meat grown in a test tube? When a Dutch scientist declared last month that he could have the world’s first lab-grown hamburger on the grill by October, the Internet was abuzz with … Continue reading
Posted in agriculture, animal welfare, biotechnology, genetic modification, GMO, industrial, meat, science, synthetic meat, values Comments Off on Who Wants Test-Tube Meat?
Would You Like Your Synthetic Meat GM or Non-GM?
This news story is not exactly news. We already know that synthetic meat is under development in various labs around the world. But it does raise a fresh issue or two. By Harriet McLeo, for Reuters: South Carolina scientist works … Continue reading
Posted in animal welfare, biotechnology, ethics, genes, GMO, industrial, meat, natural, science, synthetic meat, values 9 Comments
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
Water-Efficient Maize and Alternative Models for GM Seeds
Yesterday’s blog entry (“In Praise of Industrialized Food”) pointed out that we shouldn’t discount entirely the value and potential of mass-produced food simply because so much of the mass-produced food currently available leaves much to be desired, nutritionally. Today’s is … Continue reading
Posted in agriculture, biotechnology, ethics, farmers, genetic modification, GMO, science Comments Off on Water-Efficient Maize and Alternative Models for GM Seeds
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
Salmonella in Eggs, Rabies in Dogs
It’s good to have the occasional reminder that food safety is an issue everywhere. See this item, by By Donald G. McNeil Jr. for NYT Health: Vitenam: With Rabies Deaths on the Rise, a Menu Item Gets a Closer Look. … Continue reading
Posted in health, international, meat, safety, science Comments Off on Salmonella in Eggs, Rabies in Dogs
Health Foods, Junk Foods — All Processed
Nestlé (the food manufacturing giant based in Switzerland) has just announced its plan to expand into the realm of health food. According to the NYT: Nestlé announced the creation of Nestlé Health Science as well as a research body, the … Continue reading
Posted in health claims, industrial, junk food, nutrition, science 3 Comments
Should Grandma Drink Bottled Water?
Here’s a thought about health warnings related to foods and food packaging. A few months ago my grandmother told me she had stopped drinking bottled water. Why? Because she had heard on the news that there are chemicals in plastic … Continue reading