24.03 | Spring 2017 | Undergraduate

Good Food: Ethics and Politics of Food


[FES] = Barnhill, Anne, Mark Budolfson, and Tyler Doggett. Food, Ethics, and Society: An Introductory Text with Readings. Oxford University Press, 2016. ISBN: 978-0199321742

session reading
1: Introduction No readings
2: Moral Theory


Keating, Joshua E. “How food explains the world.” Foreign Policy 186 (2011): 73.

Wallace, David Foster. “Consider the Lobster” Gourmet. Last modified August, 2004.

3: Global Hunger (Consequentialist Ethics Approach)


[FES] Page 8, Weiss, Kenneth. “As the World’s Population Grows, Hunger Persists on a Massive Scale”

[FES] Page 64, Singer, Peter. “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”

“Hungry Planet: What the World Eats.” Time. Last modified on May 23, 2016.


Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter. “Consequentialism.” (2003).

4: Global Hunger (Harm Principle)


[FES] Pages 36-59, Chapter 2 “Global Hunger”


 “Lifeboat Ethics” in Pojman, Louis, Paul Pojman, Katie McShane. Food Ethics. Cengage Learning, 2016. ISBN: 978-1285197319

Brink, David. “Section 3.6: The Harm Principle” in Mill’s Moral and Political Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2007.

5: Global Hunger (Political Approaches)


Kuper, Andrew. “More Than Charity: Cosmopolitan Alternatives to the “Singer Solution”.” Ethics and International Affairs 16, no. 1 (2002): 107-128.

Singer, Peter. “Poverty, Facts, and Political Philosophies: Response to “More Than Charity”.” Ethics and International Affairs 16, no. 1 (2002): 121-124

Kuper, Andrew. “Facts, Theories, and Hard Choices.” Ethics and International Affairs 16, no. 2 (2002): 125-126.

[FES] Page 75, Sen, Amartya. “Hunger and Entitlements”


Burchi, Francesco, and Pasquale De Muro. “A Human Development and Capability Approach to Food Security: Conceptual Framework and Informational Basis.” Background paper, no. 8 (2012).

6: Famine Relief: Ethics or Politics


[FES] Page 84, Banerjee, Abhijit and Duflo, Esther. “More Than One Billion People Are Hungry in the World, But What if the Experts Are Wrong?”

Iltis, Tony. “Kenya: Flower Cash Crops Reap Hunger, Destruction.” Green Left Weekly 13 (2011).


Freidberg, Susanne. “French beans for the masses: a modern historical geography of food in Burkina Faso.” Journal of Historical Geography 29, no. 3 (2003): 445-463.

7: Justice and Oppression


[FES] Page 115, Clinton, Marianna. “Witness to Hunger”

[FES] Page 120, Food Research Action Center. “Angel’s Story”

[FES] Page 135, Young, Iris. “Five Faces of Oppression”

8: Food Sovereignty


[FES] Page 122, White, Kyle Powys. “Food Justice and Collective Food Relations.”

[FES] Page 158, Delcaration of Nyéléni

9: Food and Identity


[FES] Pages 226-238, “Food and Identity”

Murcott, Anne. “The cultural significance of food and eating.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 41, no. 02 (1982): 203-210.


 “Little Meals with Great Implications” in Fisher, Mary Frances Kennedy. A Stew Or a Story: An Assortment of Short Works by MFK Fisher. Shoemaker and Hoard, 2006. ISBN: 978-1593761653

10: Gender, Race, Religion, and …


[FES] Page 275, Chapter 6. “Food and Religion”

[FES] Page 240, Vantrease, Dana. “Common Bods and Frybread Power: Government Food Aid in American Indian Culture.”

[FES] Page 556, Jayaraman, Saru. “Restaurant Workers”


[FES] Page 264, Deck, Alice A. “Now Then….Who Said Biscuits? The Black Woman Cook as Fetish in American Advertising”

 Chapter 12 in Seid, Roberta Pollack. Never Too Thin: Why Women Are at War with Their Bodies, 1989. ISBN: 978-0136156000

11: Justice in Food Production


[FES] Page 11, Estabrook, Barry. “The Price of Tomatoes”

McWilliams, James. “PTSD in the Slaughterhouse.” The Texas Observer (2012).

[FES] Page 160, Thompson, Paul B. “Food Security and Food Sovereignty”

12: Capitalism and Liberty


[FES] Page 560, Wertheimer, Alan. “The Value of Consent”

[FES] Page 566, Liberto, Hallie. “Exploitation and the Vulnerability Clause”

13: Capitalism and the Food System, part 1


Hylton, Wil S. “A Bug in the System: Why last night’s chicken made you sick.” The New Yorker (2015).

Moss, Michael. “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food.” New York Times (2013).

14: Film Screening Watch Flow: For the Love of Water
15: Capitalism and the Food System, part 2 No required readings
16: Speciesism


[FES] Page 352, Singer, Peter. “All Animals Are Equal”

Steinbock, Bonnie. “Speciesism and the Idea of Equality.” Philosophy 53, no. 204 (1978): 247-256.


[FES] Page 362, Tännsjö, Torbjörn. “It’s Getting Better All the Time”

Norcross, Alastair. “Puppies, Pigs, and People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases.” Philosophical Perspectives 18, no. 1 (2004): 229-245.

17: Respect for Animals


[FES] Page 366, Korsgaard, Christine. “Getting Animals in View”

18: Harm and Killing


[FES] Page 391, Scruton, Roger. “Eating our Friends”

[FES] Page 395, Harman, Elizabeth. “The Moral Significance of Animal Pain and Animal Death”

19: Vegetarianism and Veganism


[FES] Page 189, McPherson, Tristram. “How to Argue for (and against) Ethical Veganism”

[FES] Page 204, Budolfson, Mark. “The Inefficacy Objection to Utilitarian Theories of the Ethics of the Marketplace”

[FES] Page 215, Michaelson, Eliot. “A Kantian Response to Futility Worries?”


[FES] Page 210, Michaelson, Eliot. “Act Consequentialism and Inefficacy”

20: Waste and Freeganism (Gleaning)

Chapters 1 and 9 in Bloom, Jonathan. American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of its Food (and what we can do about it). Da Capo Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-0738215280.

[FES] Page 219, Singer, Peter and Mason, Jim. “Freeganism and Food Waste”

21: Food, for Free


[FES] Page 490, McKibben, Bill. “A Grand Experiment”

de Bres, Helena. “Local Food: The Moral Case.”


[FES] Page 440, Desrochers, Pierre and Shimizu, Hiroko. “The Locavore’s Dilemma”

Good Food?The Econ__omist. Last modified December 7, 2006. 

Rob Johnston. “The Great Organic Myths.” Independent. Last modified April 30, 2008. 

Food, for Free website

22: Industrial Plant Agriculture


[FES] Page 407, Chapter 9 “Industrial Plant Agriculture”

[FES] Page 434, Borlaug, Norman “Feeding a World of 10 Billion People”


Hidden Costs of Industrial Agriculture.” Union of Concerned Scientists.

23: Environmentalism


 “People or penguins: The case for optimal pollution.” in Pojman, Louis, Paul Pojman, Katie McShane. Food Ethics. Cengage Learning, 2016. ISBN: 978-1285197319

Wenz, Peter S. “Ecology and Morality (PDF - 2.5MB).” Ethics and Animals (1983).


 “Deep Ecology.” in Pojman, Louis, Paul Pojman, Katie McShane. Environmental Ethics: Readings in Theory and Application, 1985. ISBN: 978-1285197241

24: Locavorism

No required readings

25: GMOs


[FES] Page 477, Ronald, Pamela. “The Truth about GMOs”

[FES] Page 454, Naylor, Rosamond. “GMOs and Preventing Hunger”

[FES] Page 456, Philpott, Tom. “Why I’m Still Skeptical of GMOs”

26: Food Activism


 “Activism, social and political” in Anderson, Gary L., Kathryn G. Herr, eds. Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice. Sage Publications, 2007. ISBN: 978-1412918121

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2017
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments