Article | Proceedings from the 50th Societas Ethica Annual Conference 2013. Climate Change; Sustainability; and an Ethics of an Open Future. August 22-25; 2013; Soesterberg; The Netherlands | Eat Right: Eating Local or Global?
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Title:
Eat Right: Eating Local or Global?
Author:
Joan McGregor: Arizona State University, USA
Download:
Full text (pdf)
Year:
2013
Conference:
Proceedings from the 50th Societas Ethica Annual Conference 2013. Climate Change; Sustainability; and an Ethics of an Open Future. August 22-25; 2013; Soesterberg; The Netherlands
Issue:
098
Article no.:
010
Pages:
123-141
No. of pages:
19
Publication type:
Abstract and Fulltext
Published:
2014-08-21
ISBN:
978-91-7519-289-5
Series:
Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):
1650-3686
ISSN (online):
1650-3740
Publisher:
Linköping University Electronic Press; Linköpings universitet


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Our food choices have been characterized as significant moral choices in recent years. No longer is what you eat seen as a morally neutral private affair without moral ramifications. We are encouraged to eat organic; local; sustainable foods. Further we are confronted with choices about fair trade; humanely raised; absent antibiotics; hormones; and GMOs. These choices can be confusing if only seen as ones relevant to our prudential interests; but the stakes are raised when we are chided that we will be immoral if we consume the ‚Äúwrong‚ÄĚ products. Many of these considerations are promoted as necessary for achieving sustainability goals: eat and shop locally for the good of the planet and the future. Others such as humanely raised animals; support other considerations‚ÄĒconcern for animals‚Äô welfare‚ÄĒbut are also tied back into the goals of sustainability since factory farming of animals leads; to among other problems; massive quantities of manure that contaminates the surrounding areas including critical waterways; killing off fish and other wildlife. In this paper; I will consider what we should eat if we are concerned about sustainability. Sustainability is a notoriously tricky notion to pin down a specific meaning. For this paper; I will understand it as an expansive notion that includes preserving ecological integrity for current and future generations; but also includes cultural sustainability which embodies values; like justice and care for current and future generations as well as non-human animals. I will explore the widely accepted views about buying local and whether there are cogent moral arguments based on sustainability for those choices. In considering those reasons for buying local; I will investigate Peter Singer‚Äôs arguments against buying local supported by our duty to aid those suffering immediate harm. Singer‚Äôs arguments force us to examine what are our duties to aid those in developing nations versus supporting local economies. I will argue that our duties in regard to food purchases are complex and impinge on multiple values; including supporting local communities; ecological integrity; and concern for fair global food practices.

Keywords: Sustainability; Food ethics; Climate justice; Local foods; Global duties

Proceedings from the 50th Societas Ethica Annual Conference 2013. Climate Change; Sustainability; and an Ethics of an Open Future. August 22-25; 2013; Soesterberg; The Netherlands

Author:
Joan McGregor
Title:
Eat Right: Eating Local or Global?
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Proceedings from the 50th Societas Ethica Annual Conference 2013. Climate Change; Sustainability; and an Ethics of an Open Future. August 22-25; 2013; Soesterberg; The Netherlands

Author:
Joan McGregor
Title:
Eat Right: Eating Local or Global?
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