The Rock Ethics Institute

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Whether we are prone to give them much thought or not, the food choices we make every day affect a good deal more than our own health and well-being. In fact, few things reveal as much about who we are—and what we are—as the food we eat. In its commitment to engaging bioethical issues beyond the traditional realm of biomedical research and practice, the Rock Ethics Institute’s Bioethics Without Borders initiative recognizes the significance of ethical concerns broadly related to biology and environment, including food and agriculture.

Food Ethics activities at the Rock Ethics Institute examine critical issues pertaining to the production, consumption, and distribution of food. Recent technological advances and organizational changes in food and agriculture systems pose significant ethical questions for scientific research, government policies, and global food security.

What are the ethical considerations for actors in food and agriculture systems? What are the practical impacts and ethical implications of current FDA and USDA policies? How does industry funding affect the designs and outcomes of food-related research? How does valuing or prioritizing the local in food consumption alter local and global food economies? Why do we value certain foods over others?  Food Ethics at the Rock not only aims to research and address such questions; it also seeks to develop frameworks for policy change.

What exactly is Food Ethics?

Food ethics is an interdisciplinary field that provides ethical analysis and guidance for human conduct in the production, distribution, preparation and consumption of food. This document briefly introduces the themes and scope of food ethics. Click here to learn more about Food Ethics.