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Food, Ethics, and Society

An Introductory Text with Readings

Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson, and Tyler Doggett

Publication Date - 16 August 2016

ISBN: 9780199321742

672 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

The first textbook/reader that covers the full range of topics in the growing field of food ethics


Food, Ethics, and Society: An Introductory Text with Readings presents seventy-three readings that address real-world ethical issues at the forefront of the food ethics debate. Topics covered include hunger, food justice, consumer ethics, food and identity, food and religion, raising plants and animals, food workers, overconsumption, obesity, and paternalism. The selections are enhanced by chapter and reading introductions, study questions, and suggestions for further reading. Ideal for both introductory and interdisciplinary courses, Food, Ethics, and Society explains basic philosophical concepts for new students and forges new ground on several ethical debates.


  • Features an eclectic set of readings, including philosophical and interdisciplinary readings on food ethics
  • Explains basic philosophical concepts for new students
  • Forges new ground on some existing ethical debates
  • Each chapter opens with an introduction by the authors and a list of further issues
  • Each reading is preceded by a brief introduction and followed by study questions

About the Author(s)

Anne Barnhill is a Research Scholar with the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program at the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University.

Mark Budolfson is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Food Systems at the University of Vermont.

Tyler Doggett is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Vermont, where he also serves on the faculty of the food systems PhD program.


"This would be extremely useful for undergraduate courses in food ethics or contemporary food issues. It would work well in courses on contemporary issues in food systems. The topics are excellent."--Marion Nestle, NYU

"I would absolutely recommend Food, Ethics, and Society. It's the best existing textbook on food ethics, edited by an excellent group of philosophers. It is both accessible to undergraduate students and intellectually serious."--David Plunkett, Dartmouth College

"This is the only genuinely broad treatment of food ethics out there. Food, Ethics, and Society is broad in scope, thoughtfully edited, and features excellent written content."--Christopher Schlottman, NYU

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: The Ethically Troubling Food System
    1. Kennneth R. Weiss, "As the World Population Grows, Hunger Persists on a Massive Scale"
    2. Barry Estabrook, "The Price of Tomatoes"
    3. Jonathan Safran Foer, "The Truth about Eating Animals"
    4. Grace Boey, "Eating Animals and Personal Guilt: The Individualization of Responsibility for Factory Farming"
    5. Raj Patel, "Stuffed and Starved"
    6. Michael Pollan, "The Food Movement, Rising"
    2. Global Hunger
    1. Peter Singer, "Famine, Affluence, and Morality"
    2. Paul Ehrlich, "Overpopulation and the Collapse of Civilization"
    3. Amartya Sen, "Hunger and Entitlements"
    4. Angus Deaton, "Response to Effective Altruism"
    5. Bill Gates, "The Great Escape Is an Excellent Book with One Big Flaw"
    6. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, "More than One Billion People Are Hungry in the World: But What If the Experts Are Wrong?"
    3. Food Justice
    1. Marianna Chilton, "Witnesses to Hunger" and FRAC, "Angel's Story"
    2. Kyle Powys Whyte, "Food Justice and Collective Food Relations"
    3. Iris Marion Young, "Five Faces of Oppression"
    4. Julie Guthman, "If Only They Knew: The Unbearable Whiteness of Alternative Food"
    5. "Declaration of Nyéléni"
    6. Paul B. Thompson, "Food Security and Food Sovereignty"
    4. Consumer Ethics
    1. Tristram McPherson, "How to Argue for (and against) Ethical Veganism"
    2. Mark Budolfson, "The Inefficacy Objection to Utilitarian Theories of the Ethics of the Marketplace "
    3. Eliot Michaelson, "Act Consequentialism and Inefficacy"
    4. Eliot Michaelson, "A Kantian Response to Futility Worries?"
    5. Peter Singer and Jim Mason, "Freeganism and Food Waste"
    5. Food and Identity
    1. Amy E. Guptill, Denise A. Copelton, and Betsy Lucal, "Food and Identity: Fitting In and Standing Out"
    2. Dana Vantrease, "Commod Bods and Frybread Power: Government Food Aid in American Indian Culture"
    3. Mark Weiner, "Consumer Culture and Participatory Democracy: The Story of Coca-Cola"
    4. Carol Adams, "The Sexual Politics of Meat"
    5. Alice A. Deck, "'Now Then--Who Said Biscuits?' The Black Woman Cook as Fetish in American Advertising"
    6. Lisa Heldke, "Cultural Food Colonialism"
    6. Food and Religion (co-written with Matthew C. Halteman)
    1. Matthew C. Halteman, "Compassionate Eating as Care of Creation"
    2. Wendy Doniger, "Compassion toward Animals, and Vegetarianism"
    3. Selections from Laws of Manu
    4. Lisa Kemmerer, "Indigenous Traditions"
    7. Industrial Animal Agriculture
    1. Pew Foundation, "Pew Commission Says Industrial Scale Farm Animal Production Poses 'Unacceptable' Risks to Public Health, Environment"
    2. Marion Nestle, "Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production: Update"
    3. Humane Society of the USA, "The Welfare of Animals in the Meat, Egg, and Dairy Industries"
    4. Peter Singer, "All Animals Are Equal"
    5. Torbjörn Tännsjö, "It's Getting Better All the Time"
    6. Christine Korsgaard, "Getting Animals in View"
    8. Alternatives to Industrial Animal Agriculture
    1. Joel Salatin, "Animal Welfare"
    2. Roger Scruton, "Eating Our Friends"
    3. Elizabeth Harman, "The Moral Significance of Animal Pain and Animal Death"
    4. Carol Kaesuk Yoon, "No Face, but Plants Like Life Too"
    9. Industrial Plant Agriculture
    1. Norman Borlaug, "Feeding a World of Ten Billion People"
    2. Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu, Selections from The Locavore's Dilemma
    3. Pamela Ronald, "The Truth about GMOs"
    4. Rosamond Naylor, "GMOs and Preventing Hunger"
    5. Tom Philpott, "Why I'm Still Skeptical of GMOs"
    10. Alternatives to Industrial Plant Agriculture
    1. Joan Dye Gussow, "The Real Story of 'O'"
    2. Fred Kirschenmann, "Can Organic Agriculture Feed the World? And Is That the Right Question?"
    3. Bill McKibben, "A Grand Experiment"
    4. Helena de Bres, "Local Food: The Moral Case"
    5. Michelle Paratore, "Rising to the Food Waste Challenge"
    6. Austin Kiessig, "What 'Big Ideas' in Food Get Funded in Silicon Valley?"
    11. Workers
    1. Seth Holmes, "Farm Workers"
    2. Timothy Pachirat, "Slaughterhouse Workers"
    3. Saru Jayaraman, "Restaurant Workers"
    4. Alan Wertheimer, "The Value of Consent"
    5. Hallie Liberto, "Exploitation and the Vulnerability Clause"
    12. Overconsumption and Obesity
    1. Brian Wansink, "The Mindless Margin"
    2. David Kessler, "The End of Overeating"
    3. Michael Moss, "Lunchtime Is All Yours"
    4. Marion Nestle, "The Politics of Food Choice"
    5. Eric A. Finkelstein and Laurie Zuckerman, "How the Economy Makes Us Fat"
    6. Daniel Callahan, "Obesity: Chasing an Elusive Epidemic"
    7. Daniel S. Goldberg and Rebecca M. Puhl, "Obesity Stigma: A Failed and Ethically Dubious Strategy"
    8. Julie Guthman, "Can't Stomach It: How Michael Pollan et al. Made Me Want to Eat Cheetos"
    13. Paternalism and Public Health
    1. Gerald Dworkin, "Paternalism"
    2. Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein, Selections from Nudge
    3. Cass R. Sunstein, "Soft Paternalism and Its Discontents"
    4. Sarah Conly, "Coercive Paternalism"
    5. Alva Noë, "The Value in Sweet Drinks"