Food and Ethical Consumption

Rachel A. Ankeny

in The Oxford Handbook of Food History

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199729937
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199971268 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Food and Ethical Consumption

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Traditional stories about food consumption would indicate that over the course of history, choosing what to eat and drink has been a relative simple endeavor for most people, who often did not give much thought to their choices or the values underlying them. Today, our choices about what foodstuffs to consume are more than just a simple attempt to fill an empty stomach. This article examines contemporary food ethics, ethical food consumerism, and "ethical food consumption." It argues that contemporary and historic discussions of food ethics differ in terms of connection between identity and ethical food choices, which in turn has reshaped what we know about ethical food choices. The article first discusses vegetarianism and veganism before turning to animal welfare, local consumption, organic foods, food products that are free of genetically modified organisms, food miles and sustainable/green products, boycotts and cause-related marketing, fair trade, and overconsumption and freeganism.

Keywords: food ethics; ethical food consumerism; ethical food consumption; identity; food choices; vegetarianism; veganism; food miles; organic foods; freeganism

Article.  9169 words. 

Subjects: World History

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