Food Ethics

Food Ethics

Food Ethics

Food Ethics


None of us can avoid being interested in food. Our very existence depends on the supply of safe, nutritious foods. It is then hardly surprising that food has become the focus of a wide range of ethical concerns: Is the food we buy safe? Is it produced by means which respect the welfare of animals and sustain the land? Are modern biotechnologies employed in food production immoral?This book addresses such issues by applying ethical principles to many areas of current concern. The contributors provide original and thought-provoking treatments of a number of highly topical issues - from global hunger and its ethical implications to the cultural habits affecting consumption. This interdisciplinary study will prove to be essential reading for all those concerned with food, as professionals, students or consumers.


But the point can be generalised. Even in health care, ethical dilemmas are not confined to medical practitioners. And beyond health care, other groups are beginning to think critically about the kind of service they offer and about the nature of the relationship between provider and recipient. In many areas of life social, political and technological changes have challenged traditional ideas of practice.

One visible sign of these developments has been the proliferation of codes of ethics, or of professional conduct. The drafting of such a code provides an opportunity for professionals to examine the nature and goals of their work, and offers information to others about what can be expected from them. If a code has a disciplinary function, it may even offer protection to members of the public.

But is the existence of such a code itself a criterion of a profession? What exactly is a profession? Can a group acquire professional status, and if so, how? Does the label ‘professional’ have implications, from a moral point of view, for acceptable behaviour, and if so how far do such implications extend?

The subject matter of this volume, the production and distribution of food, is not usually regarded as a profession in the traditional sense. Yet the biological necessity of food for every individual and the cultural and symbolic roles of food in society mean that ethical issues

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