Food Ethics

Edited by Andrea Borghini (Università degli Studi di Milano, Università degli Studi di Milano)
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  1. How Animal Agriculture Stakeholders Define, Perceive, and Are Impacted by Antimicrobial Resistance: Challenging the Wellcome Trust’s Reframing Resistance Principles.Gabriel K. Innes, Agnes Markos, Kathryn R. Dalton, Caitlin A. Gould, Keeve E. Nachman, Jessica Fanzo, Anne Barnhill, Shannon Frattaroli & Meghan F. Davis - 2021 - Agriculture and Human Values 38 (4):893-909.
    Humans, animals, and the environment face a universal crisis: antimicrobial resistance. Addressing AR and its multi-disciplinary causes across many sectors including in human and veterinary medicine remains underdeveloped. One barrier to AR efforts is an inconsistent process to incorporate the plenitude of stakeholders about what AR is and how to stifle its development and spread—especially stakeholders from the animal agriculture sector, one of the largest purchasers of antimicrobial drugs. In 2019, The Wellcome Trust released Reframing Resistance: How to communicate about (...)
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  2. Eating as a Self-Shaping Activity.Megan A. Dean - 2021 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 7 (3).
    This paper contends that eating shapes the self; that is, our practices and understandings of eating can cultivate, reinforce, or diminish important aspects of the self, including agency, values, capacities, affects, and self-understandings. I argue that these self-shaping effects should be included in our ethical analyses and evaluations of eating. I make a case for this claim through an analysis and critique of the hypothesis that young women’s vegetarianism is a risk, sign, or “cover” for eating disorders or disordered eating. (...)
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  3. Introduction: Understanding Hunger.Andrea Borghini & Davide Serpico - 2021 - Topoi 40 (3):503-506.
  4. In Defense of Mindless Eating.Megan A. Dean - 2020 - Topoi 40 (3):507-516.
    This paper offers a defense of the practice of mindless eating. Popular accounts of the practice suggest that it is non-autonomous and to blame for many of society’s food related problems, including the so-called obesity epidemic and the prevalence of diet related illnesses like diabetes. I use Maureen Sie’s “traffic participation” account of agency to argue that some mindless eating is autonomous, or more specifically, agential. Insofar as we value autonomous eating, then, it should be valued. I also argue that (...)
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  5. Covert Administration of Medication in Food: A Worthwhile Moral Gamble?Laura Guidry-Grimes, Megan Dean & Elizabeth Kaye Victor - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (6):389-393.
    The covert administration of medication occurs with incapacitated patients without their knowledge, involving some form of deliberate deception in disguising or hiding the medication. Covert medication in food is a relatively common practice globally, including in institutional and homecare contexts. Until recently, it has received little attention in the bioethics literature, and there are few laws or rules governing the practice. In this paper, we discuss significant, but often overlooked, ethical issues related to covert medication in food. We emphasise the (...)
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  6. Nourishing Humanity Without Destroying the Planet.Anne Barnhill & Jessica Fanzo - 2021 - Ethics and International Affairs 35 (1):69-81.
    As part of the roundtable, “Ethics and the Future of the Global Food System,” this essay discusses some of the major challenges we will face in feeding the world in 2050. A first challenge is nutritional: 690 million people are currently undernourished, while 2.1 billion adults are overweight or obese. The current global food system is insufficient in ensuring that the nutritious foods that make up healthy diets are available and accessible for the world's population. Moreover, by 2050, as the (...)
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  7. Fischer, Bob. The Ethics of Eating Animals: Usually Bad, Sometimes Wrong, Often Permissible. New York: Routledge, 2019. Pp. 204. $160.00 (Cloth). [REVIEW]Justin Bernstein & Anne Barnhill - 2021 - Ethics 131 (3):605-610.
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  8. Identity and the Ethics of Eating Interventions.Megan A. Dean - 2019 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 16 (3):353-364.
    Although “you are what you eat” is a well-worn cliché, personal identity does not figure prominently in many debates about the ethics of eating interventions. This paper contributes to a growing philosophical literature theorizing the connection between eating and identity and exploring its implications for eating interventions. I explore how “identity-policing,” a key mechanism for the social constitution and maintenance of identity, applies to eating and trace its ethical implications for eating interventions. I argue that identity policing can be harmful (...)
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  9. The Pragmatic Pyramid: John Dewey on Gardening and Food Security.Shane J. Ralston - 2014 - Social Philosophy Today 30 (1):63-76.
    Despite the minimal attention paid by philosophers to gardening, the activity has a myriad of philosophical implications—aesthetic, ethical, political, and even edible. The same could be said of community food security and struggles for food justice. Two of gardening’s most significant practical benefits are that it generates communal solidarity and provides sustenance for the needy and undernourished during periods of crisis. In the twentieth century, large-scale community gardening in the U.S. and Canada coincided with relief projects during war-time and economic (...)
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  10. Food Miles, Local Eating, and Community Supported Agriculture: Putting Local Food in its Place. [REVIEW]Steven M. Schnell - 2013 - Agriculture and Human Values 30 (4):615-628.
    The idea of “food miles,” the distance that food has to be shipped, has entered into debates in both popular and academic circles about local eating. An oft-cited figure claims that the “average item” of food travels 1,500 miles before it reaches your plate. The source of this figure is almost never given, however, and indeed, it is a figure with surprisingly little grounding in objective research. In this study, I track the evolution of this figure, and the ways that (...)
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  11. Eating Outside the Box: FoodShare’s Good Food Box and the Challenge of Scale.Josée Johnston & Lauren Baker - 2005 - Agriculture and Human Values 22 (3):313-325.
    The concept of scale is useful in analyzing both the strengths and limitations of community food security programs that attempt to link issues of ecological sustainability with social justice. One scalar issue that is particularly important but under-theorized is the scale of social reproduction, which is often neglected in production-focused studies of globalization. FoodShare Toronto's good food box program, engages people in the politics of their everyday lives, empowering them to make connections between consumption patterns and broader political-economic, cultural, and (...)
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  12. Eating Right Here: Moving From Consumer to Food Citizen.Jennifer L. Wilkins - 2005 - Agriculture and Human Values 22 (3):269-273.
    The term food citizenship is defined as the practice of engaging in food-related behaviors that support, rather than threaten, the development of a democratic, socially and economically just, and environmentally sustainable food system. Ways to practice food citizenship are described and a role for universities in fostering food citizenship is suggested. Finally, four barriers to food citizenship are identified and described: the current food system, federal food and agriculture policy, local and institutional policies, and the culture of professional nutrition organizations.
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Food Law
  1. Public Justification and the Politics of Agriculture.Dan C. Shahar - 2018 - In Anne Barnhill, Mark Bryant Budolfson & Tyler Doggett (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics. pp. 427–448.
  2. Food Labeling and Free Speech.Matteo Bonotti - 2017 - In Mary C. Rawlinson & Caleb Ward (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Food Ethics. Routledge. pp. 127--137.
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  3. Health Labeling.Morton Ebbe Juul Nielsen - 2017 - In Mary C. Rawlinson & Caleb Ward (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Food Ethics. Routledge. pp. 148--157.
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  4. Food Security at Risk: A Matter of Dignity and Self-Respect.Elena Irrera - 2017 - In Mary C. Rawlinson & Caleb Ward (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Food Ethics. Routledge. pp. 103--112.
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  5. Religious Dietary Practices and Secular Food Ethics; or, How to Hope That Your Food Choices Make a Difference Even When You Reasonably Believe That They Don't.Andrew Chignell - 2018 - In Mark Budolfson, Anne Barnhill & Tyler Doggett (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Religious dietary practices foster a sense of communal identity, certainly, but traditionally they are also regarded as pleasing to God (or the gods, or the ancestors) and spiritually beneficial. In other words, for many religious people, the effects of fasting go well beyond what is immediately observed or empirically measurable, and that is a large part of what motivates participation in the practice. The goal of this chapter is to develop that religious way of thinking into a response to a (...)
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  6. The Ethics and Politics of Plant-Based and Cultured Meat.Jeff Sebo - 2018 - Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 13 (1):159-183.
    JEFF SEBO | : In this paper I examine several of the moral and political questions raised by new kinds of meat. I begin by discussing the risks and harms associated with industrial animal agriculture, and I argue that plant-based meat and cultured meat are promising alternatives to conventional meat. I then explore the moral, conceptual, social, political, economic, and technical challenges that stand in the way of widespread adoption of these alternatives. For example, whether or not we achieve widespread (...)
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  7. Edible Insects – Defining Knowledge Gaps in Biological and Ethical Considerations of Entomophagy.Isabella Pali-Schöll, Regina Binder, Yves Moens, Friedrich Polesny & Susana Monsó - 2019 - Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 17 (59):2760-2771.
    While seeking novel food sources to feed the increasing population of the globe, several alternatives have been discussed, including algae, fungi or in vitro meat. The increasingly propagated usage of farmed insects for human nutrition raises issues regarding food safety, consumer information and animal protection. In line with law, insects like any other animals must not be reared or manipulated in a way that inflicts unnecessary pain, distress or harm on them. Currently, there is a great need for research in (...)
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  8. Against the Autonomy Argument for Mandatory GMO Labeling.Jonathan Herington - 2018 - Public Affairs Quarterly 32 (2):85-117.
    Many argue that consumers possess a “right to know” when products contain ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms, on the grounds that it would protect consumer autonomy. In this paper, I critically evaluate that claim. I begin by providing a version of the “consumer autonomy” argument, showing that its success relies on ambiguities in the notion of autonomy. I then distinguish four approaches to autonomy and articulate the circumstances under which they would support active disclosure of a product property. I (...)
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  9. Cancer From Beef: DES, Federal Food Regulation, and Consumer Confidence by Alan I. Marcus. [REVIEW]Suzanne Junod - 1995 - Isis 86:688-689.
  10. Genetically Engineered Animals and the Ethics of Food Labeling.Robert Streiffer & Alan Rubel - 2007 - In Paul Weirich (ed.), Labeling Genetically Modified Food: The Philosophical and Legal Debate. Oup Usa. pp. 63--87.
    The current debate about labeling genetically engineered (GE) food focuses on food derived from GE crops, neglecting food derived from GE animals. This is not surprising, as GE animal products have not yet reached the market. Participants in the debate may also be assuming that conclusions about GE crops automatically extend to GE animals. But there are two GE animals - the Enviropig and the AquAdvantage Bred salmon - that are approaching the market, animals raise more ethical issues than plants, (...)
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  11. Nanotechnologies and Novel Foods in European Law.Daniela Marrani - 2013 - NanoEthics 7 (3):177-188.
    Food is a big business in the EU and nanofood products are beginning to be placed on the market. It is still unclear whether the absence of minimum regulation at a global level promotes or prevents the growth of a market in nanofood. However, the development of an adequate risk management policy in relation to food safety is a key concern for consumers. Importantly, the European Parliament in its 2009 Resolution on “Legal aspects on nanomaterials” called for more in-depth scientific (...)
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  12. Evaluating Equity Critiques in Food Policy: The Case of Sugar‐Sweetened Beverages.Anne Barnhill & Katherine F. King - 2013 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 41 (1):301-309.
    Many anti-obesity policies face a variety of ethical objections. We consider one kind of anti-obesity policy — modifications to food assistance programs meant to improve participants' diet — and one kind of criticism of these policies, that they are inequitable. We take as our example the recent, unsuccessful effort by New York State to exclude sweetened beverages from the items eligible for purchase in New York City with Supplemental Nutrition Support Program assistance. We distinguish two equity-based ethical objections that were (...)
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  13. I Marchi Di Origine E I Miraggi Del Nominalismo Legislativo.Andrea Borghini - 2008 - Rescogitans 2008.
    È una credenza diffusa che i marchi di origine (DOCG, DOC, DOP, IGT, IGP e PAT, rispettivamente: di origine controllata e garantita; di origine controllata; di origine protetta; indicazione geografica tipica; indicazione geografica protetta; prodotti agroalimentari tradizionali) siano di grande utilità sia per i consumatori che per i produttori: certificando l’origine e il metodo di produzione di un prodotto, essi ne garantiscono una certa qualità di fronte al consumatore. Ma è proprio così? Che cosa giustifica l’introduzione di un marchio di (...)
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Food Science and Technology
  1. Jonathan Rees. The Chemistry of Fear: Harvey Wiley’s Fight for Pure Food. 320 Pp., Illus., Notes, Index. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2021. $34.95 (Cloth); ISBN 97811421439952. E-Book Available. [REVIEW]Deborah Fitzgerald - 2022 - Isis 113 (1):200-201.
  2. MEAT MAY NEVER DIE.Carlo Alvaro - 2022 - TRACE 8:156-163.
    The goal of ethical veganism is a vegan world or, at least, a significantly vegan world. However, despite the hard work done by vegan activists, global meat consumption has been increasing (Saiidi 2019; Christen 2021). Vegan advocates have focused on ethics but have ignored the importance of tradition and identity. And the advent of veggie meat alternatives has promoted food that emulates animal products thereby perpetuating the meat paradigm. I suggest that, in order to make significant changes toward ending animal (...)
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  3. Viral Queerings, Amplified Vulnerabilities.Marietta Radomska - 2020 - In Jussi Koitela & Yvonne Billimor (eds.), Rehearsing Hospitalities Companion 2. Berlin: pp. 155-172.
    From Editors' Introduction: "With our invitation to turn over (re-turn) hospitality in these times Marietta Radomska’s response combines her own research within the emerging field of Queer Death Studies6 with a detailed reading of the coronavirus disease pandemic. In her essay, “Viral queerings, amplified vulnerabilities”, Marietta seeks to subvert normative and simplified understandings of our present. Following the thread that the pandemic affects some bodies more than others, Marietta highlights how “the exploitation and degradation of nature mixed with intensifying socio-economic (...)
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  4. Who Owns the Taste of Coffee – Examining Implications of Biobased Means of Production in Food.Zoë Robaey & Cristian Timmermann - 2021 - In Hanna Schübel & Ivo Wallimann-Helmer (eds.), Justice and food security in a changing climate. Wageningen Academic Publishers. pp. 85-90.
    Synthetic foods advocates offer the promise of efficient, reliable, and sustainable food production. Engineered organisms become factories to produce food. Proponents claim that through this technique important barriers can be eliminated which would facilitate the production of traditional foods outside their climatic range. This technique would allow reducing food miles, secure future supply, and maintain quality and taste expectations. In this paper, we examine coffee production via biobased means. A startup called Atomo Coffee aims to produce synthetic coffee with the (...)
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  5. Food and Technology.David M. Kaplan - 2017 - In Mary C. Rawlinson & Caleb Ward (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Food Ethics. Routledge. pp. 38--47.
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  6. Investigating the Elasticity of Meat Consumption for Climate Mitigation: 4Rs for Responsible Meat Use.Sophia Efstathiou - 2019 - In Eija Vinnari & Markus Vinnari (eds.), Sustainable Governance and Management of Food Systems: Ethical Perspectives. Wageningen, Netherlands: pp. 19-25.
    Our main research question is how pliable Norwegian meat consumption practices are. However it is not any type of elasticity we are interested in. We are specifically interested in the scope for what we dub the “4Rs” of responsible meat consumption within existing food systems: 1. Reducing the amount of animal-based proteins used 2. Replacing animal-based protein with plant-based, or insect-based alternatives 3. Refining processes of utilization of animal-based protein to minimize emissions, loss and waste 4. Recognising animal-based protein as (...)
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  7. A Latin American Perspective to Agricultural Ethics.Cristian Timmermann - 2019 - In Eduardo Rivera-López & Martin Hevia (eds.), Controversies in Latin American Bioethics. Cham: Springer. pp. 203-217.
    The mixture of political, social, cultural and economic environments in Latin America, together with the enormous diversity in climates, natural habitats and biological resources the continent offers, make the ethical assessment of agricultural policies extremely difficult. Yet the experience gained while addressing the contemporary challenges the region faces, such as rapid urbanization, loss of culinary and crop diversity, extreme inequality, disappearing farming styles, water and land grabs, malnutrition and the restoration of the rule of law and social peace, can be (...)
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  8. Lab‐Grown Meat and Veganism: A Virtue‐Oriented Perspective.Carlo Alvaro - 2019 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 31 (135):1-15.
    The project of growing meat artificially represents for some the next best thing to humanity. If successful, it could be the solution to several problems, such as feed- ing a growing global population while reducing the environmental impact of raising animals for food and, of course, reducing the amount and degree of animal cruelty and suffering that is involved in animal farming. In this paper, I argue that the issue of the morality of such a project has been framed only (...)
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  9. The Ethics and Politics of Plant-Based and Cultured Meat.Jeff Sebo - 2018 - Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 13 (1):159-183.
    JEFF SEBO | : In this paper I examine several of the moral and political questions raised by new kinds of meat. I begin by discussing the risks and harms associated with industrial animal agriculture, and I argue that plant-based meat and cultured meat are promising alternatives to conventional meat. I then explore the moral, conceptual, social, political, economic, and technical challenges that stand in the way of widespread adoption of these alternatives. For example, whether or not we achieve widespread (...)
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  10. On Appeals to Nature and Their Use in the Public Controversy Over Genetically Modified Organisms.Andrei Moldovan - 2018 - Informal Logic 38 (3):409-437.
    In this paper I discuss appeals to nature, a particular kind of argument that has received little attention in argumentation theory. After a quick review of the existing literature, I focus on the use of such arguments in the public controversy over the acceptabil-ity of genetically-modified organisms in the food industry. Those who reject this biotechnology invoke its unnatural character. Such arguments have re-ceived attention in bioethics, where they have been analyzed by distinguishing different meanings that “nature” and “natural” might (...)
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  11. Examining the Use of ‘Natural’ in Breastfeeding Promotion: Ethical and Practical Concerns.Jessica Martucci & Anne Barnhill - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (9):615-620.
    References to the ‘natural’ are common in public health messaging about breastfeeding. For example, the WHO writes that ‘Breast milk is the natural first food for babies’ and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a breastfeeding promotion campaign called ‘It’s only natural’, which champions breastfeeding as the natural way to feed a baby. This paper critically examines the use of ‘natural’ language in breastfeeding promotion by public health and medical bodies. A pragmatic concern with selling breastfeeding as (...)
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  12. GMOs: Non-Health Issues.Daniel Hicks & Roberta L. Millstein - 2016 - In Paul B. Thompson & David Kaplan (eds.), Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics (Second Edition). Springer. pp. 1-11.
    The controversy over genetically modified [GM] organisms is often framed in terms of possible hazards for human health. Articles in a previous volume of this *Encyclopedia* give a general overview of GM crops [@Mulvaney2014] and specifically examine human health [@Nordgard2014] and labeling [@Bruton2014] issues surrounding GM organisms. This article explores several other aspects of the controversy: environmental concerns, political and legal disputes, and the aim of "feeding the world" and promoting food security. Rather than discussing abstract, hypothetical GM organisms, this (...)
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  13. Agroecology as a Vehicle for Contributive Justice.Cristian Timmermann & Georges F. Félix - 2015 - Agriculture and Human Values 32 (3):523-538.
    Agroecology has been criticized for being more labor-intensive than other more industrialized forms of agriculture. We challenge the assertion that labor input in agriculture has to be generally minimized and argue that besides quantity of work one should also consider the quality of work involved in farming. Early assessments on work quality condemned the deskilling of the rural workforce, whereas later criticisms have concentrated around issues related to fair trade and food sovereignty. We bring into the discussion the concept of (...)
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  14. French Women Don’T Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure. [REVIEW]Michelle Kelly - 2005 - Colloquy 9:169-170.
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  15. A Handbook Of Food Processing In Classical Rome: For Her Bounty No Winter. [REVIEW]Robert Curtis - 2008 - Isis 99:167-168.
  16. Genetically Engineered Animals and the Ethics of Food Labeling.Robert Streiffer & Alan Rubel - 2007 - In Paul Weirich (ed.), Labeling Genetically Modified Food: The Philosophical and Legal Debate. Oup Usa. pp. 63--87.
    The current debate about labeling genetically engineered (GE) food focuses on food derived from GE crops, neglecting food derived from GE animals. This is not surprising, as GE animal products have not yet reached the market. Participants in the debate may also be assuming that conclusions about GE crops automatically extend to GE animals. But there are two GE animals - the Enviropig and the AquAdvantage Bred salmon - that are approaching the market, animals raise more ethical issues than plants, (...)
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  17. Alimentary Agony: Allergy and the Gut.Sidney T. Bogardus & Sumner C. Kraft - 1996 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 39 (3):394-404.
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  18. The Spirit of the Soil: Agriculture and Environmental Ethics.Paul B. Thompson - 1994 - Routledge.
    The Spirit of the Soil challenges environmentalists to think more deeply and creatively about agriculture. Paul B. Thompson identifies four `worldviews' which tackle agricultural ethics according to different philosophical priorities; productionism, stewardship, economics and holism. He examines current issues such as the use of pesticides and biotechnology from these ethical perspectives. This book achieves an open-ended account of sustainability designed to minimise hubris and help us to recapture the spirit of the soil.
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  19. 11 Scientific Controversies in Food Biotechnology.Piet Schenkelaars - 1993 - In René von Schomberg (ed.), Science, Politics, and Morality: Scientific Uncertainty and Decision Making. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 17--221.
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  20. Nanotechnologies and Novel Foods in European Law.Daniela Marrani - 2013 - NanoEthics 7 (3):177-188.
    Food is a big business in the EU and nanofood products are beginning to be placed on the market. It is still unclear whether the absence of minimum regulation at a global level promotes or prevents the growth of a market in nanofood. However, the development of an adequate risk management policy in relation to food safety is a key concern for consumers. Importantly, the European Parliament in its 2009 Resolution on “Legal aspects on nanomaterials” called for more in-depth scientific (...)
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  21. Paul Pojman (Ed): Food Ethics, Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, Boston, Massachusetts, 2012, 199 Pp, ISBN 9781111772307 David Kaplan (Ed): The Philosophy of Food, University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 2012, 320 Pp, ISBN 9780520269330. [REVIEW]Daniel Hicks - 2013 - Agriculture and Human Values 30 (4):657-658.
    Both of the books reviewed here are anthologies edited by philosophers, intended for use in undergraduate “ethics of eating” classes taught under the auspices of philosophy departments; I review them as a teacher of such a class. The Pojman anthology is rather outdated, and not recommended. The Kaplan anthology, by contrast, would be a valuable starting point or addition to such a class, though it could not carry the class on its own.
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  22. Anti-Genetic Engineering Activism and Scientized Politics in the Case of “Contaminated” Mexican Maize.Abby J. Kinchy - 2010 - Agriculture and Human Values 27 (4):505-517.
    The struggle over genetically-engineered (GE) maize in Mexico reveals a deep conflict over the criteria used in the governance of agri-food systems. Policy debate on the topic of GE maize has become “scientized,” granting experts a high level of political authority, and narrowing the regulatory domain to matters that can be adjudicated on the basis of scientific information or “managed” by environmental experts. While scientization would seem to narrow opportunities for public participation, this study finds that Mexican activists acting “in (...)
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  23. Evaluating Equity Critiques in Food Policy: The Case of Sugar‐Sweetened Beverages.Anne Barnhill & Katherine F. King - 2013 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 41 (1):301-309.
    Many anti-obesity policies face a variety of ethical objections. We consider one kind of anti-obesity policy — modifications to food assistance programs meant to improve participants' diet — and one kind of criticism of these policies, that they are inequitable. We take as our example the recent, unsuccessful effort by New York State to exclude sweetened beverages from the items eligible for purchase in New York City with Supplemental Nutrition Support Program assistance. We distinguish two equity-based ethical objections that were (...)
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  24. The Agrarian Vision: Sustainability and Environmental Ethics.Paul B. Thompson - 2010 - University Press of Kentucky.
    Agrarian political philosophies since ancient Greece stress the role of agriculture in forming political solidarity and civic virtue. More recent transformations suggest a way to conjoin these elements of what makes a polity politically sustainable with environmental sensitivity and literacy.
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  25. The Emergence of Vitamins as Bio-Political Objects During World War I.Robyn Smith - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (3):179-189.
    Biochemists investigating the problem of the vitamins in the early years of the twentieth century were working without an object, as such. Although they had developed a fairly elaborate idea of the character of the ‘vitamine’ and its role in metabolism, vitamins were not yet biochemical objects, but rather ‘functional ascriptions’ and ‘explanatory devices’. I suggest that an early instance of the changing status of the object of the ‘vitamins’ can be found in their stabilization, through the course of World (...)
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