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Ethics of Eating

The ethics of eating is about food choices, but much more than choosing vegetables over snack foods or a home cooked meal over fast food. Yes, part of this is choosing foods that are nutritious and healthy for us, then enjoying such food with family and guests. But just as important is choosing those foods that are grown and processed in responsible, sustainable and just ways. 

One measure is to grow foods in a way that are good for the earth.

As consumers, we can support the efforts of all those who practice sustainable agriculture and land stewardship. They make sure soil and water quality remain optimum for years to come.

As consumers, then, we should eat those foods that are good to grow.

We do this not only for the good of the earth, but also for the good of those who tend the earth and harvest our food. Our food choices can support the kind of food production that fairly compensates farmers and workers, and ensures their health and safety.

We serve the common good by eating what is good for the earth and good for farmers and workers. That is why we say eating is a moral act.

Needless to say, not all foods are produced in sustainable, fair or just ways. The industrial food system is based on intensive productivity that can and does have adverse impacts on farmers, process line workers and the environment. When we buy and eat foods produced in this way, we are supporting a system that is causing harm to others and to God's creation.

So how do we find foods produced sustainable, fairly and justly?
A good place to start is with local farmers: you can see how they grow food and know how they treat the land. Visit a farmers market or join a CSA.

Fair Trade foods are another source: You can support farmers in other countries who receive a fairer share of the food dollar. And protect the natural environment while they're at it.

Our food choices can help sustain rural communities by making sure family farms thrive and multiply, not dwindle and die.


So eat what is good to grow and grow what is good to eat: that is the ethics of eating!





Articles on the Ethics of Eating

Church & Community Supported Agriculture

Ethics of Eating Cards

Food & Faith ~ Imagine

Placards for a Just Food System

Principles for Ethical Eaters