The Routledge Handbook of Food Ethics: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Handbook of Food Ethics

1st Edition

Edited by Mary Rawlinson, Caleb Ward


452 pages

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While the history of philosophy has traditionally given scant attention to food and the ethics of eating, in the last few decades the subject of food ethics has emerged as a major topic, encompassing a wide array of issues, including labor justice, public health, social inequity, animal rights and environmental ethics. This handbook provides a much needed philosophical analysis of the ethical implications of the need to eat and the role that food plays in social, cultural and political life. Unlike other books on the topic, this text integrates traditional approaches to the subject with cutting edge research in order to set a new agenda for philosophical discussions of food ethics.

The Routledge Handbook of Food Ethics is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems and debates in this exciting subject and is the first collection of its kind. Comprising over 35 chapters by a team of international contributors, the Handbook is divided into 7 parts:

  • the phenomenology of food
  • gender and food
  • food and cultural diversity
  • liberty, choice and food policy
  • food and the environment
  • farming and eating other animals
  • food justice

Essential reading for students and researchers in food ethics, it is also an invaluable resource for those in related disciplines such as environmental ethics and bioethics.


"The title "handbook" does not do justice to the fact that this collection of essays deepens current conversations on food ethics, surveying the literature as well as developing original arguments. Chapters not only effectively place popular food writing in conversation with contemporary food studies scholarship, but also draw explicit connections to historical philosophical work. It is an extremely useful resource for the classroom and an instructive guide to all those interested in the topic." Lisa Heldke, Gustavus Adolpho Collage, USA

"This Handbook is an exciting and important intervention to raise concern about the global ethics of food. For the first time, a wide range of perspectives are brought together to establish the importance of situating food in the context of ethics and justice. This is real-world philosophy at its finest" Sridhar Venkatapuram, King’s College London, UK

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: The Phenomenology of Food 1. What Is Food? Networks, Not Commodities Ileana F. Szymanski 2. Interactions between Self, Embodied Identities, and Food: Considering Race, Class, and Gender

Lisa Jean Moore and Kayla Del Biondo 3. Metaphoric Determinants of Food and Identity Kendall J. Eskine 4. Food and Technology David M. Kaplan 5. The Ethics of Eating as a Human Organism Caleb Ward Part 2: Gender and Food 6. Women’s Work: Ethics, Home Cooking, and the Sexual Politics of Food Mary C. Rawlinson 7.Meat and the Crisis of Masculinity Thomas E. Randall 8. Understanding Anorexia at the Crossroads of Phenomenology and Feminism Corine Pelluchon Part 3: Food and Cultural Diversity 9. The Challenges of Dietary Pluralism Emanuela Ceva, Chiara Testino and Federico Zuolo 10. Food Security at Risk: A Matter of Dignity and Self-Respect Elena Irrera 11. Indigenous Peoples, Food, and the Environment in Northeast India Sandra Albert Part 4: Liberty, Choice, and Food Policy 12. Food Labeling and Free Speech Matteo Bonotti 13. Food Ethics in an Intergenerational Perspective Michele Loi 14. Health Labeling Morten Ebbe Juul Nielsen 15. The Governance of Food: Institutions and Policies Michiel Korthals 16. Food at the Nexus of Bioethics and Biopolitics Christopher Mayes 17. Obesity and Coercion Clement Loo and Robert A. Skipper, Jr. 18. Ethical Consumerism: A Defense Sabine Hohl Part 5:Food and the Environment 19.Hungry Because of Change: Food, Vulnerability, and Climate Alison Reiheld 20. Biodiversity and Development John Vandermeer 21. Sustainability Paul B. Thompson 22. Food and Environmental Justice Graeme Sherriff Part 6: Farming and Eating Other Animals 23. The Ethics of Humane Animal Agriculture James McWilliams 24. Confinement Agriculture from a Moral Perspective: The Pew Commission Report Bernard E. Rollin 25.Animal Welfare David Fraser 26.Food, Welfare, and Agriculture: A Complex Picture Simon Jenkins 27.Animal Rights and Food: Beyond Regan, Beyond Vegan Josh Milburn 28. Veganism without Animal Rights Gary L. Francione and Anna Charlton 29.Ritual Slaughtering vs. Animal Welfare: A Utilitarian Example of (Moral) Conflict Management Francesco Ferraro 30. Seafood Ethics: The Normative Trials of Neptune’s Treasure Craig K. Harris Part 7: Food Justice 31.Saving a Dynamic System: Sustainable Adaptation and the Balinese Subak Thomas C. Hilde, Matthew R. G. Regan and Wiwik Dharmiasih 32.Labor and Local Food: Farmworkers on Smaller Farms Margaret Gray 33.Renewing Relatives: Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Settler Colonialism Kyle Powys Whyte 34.Case Studies of Food Sovereignty Initiatives among the Maori of Aotearoa (New Zealand) Karyn Stein, Miranda Mirosa, Lynette Carter and Marion Johnson 35.Individual and Community Identity in Food Sovereignty: The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Translating a Rural Social Movement Ian Werkheiser 36. Responsibility for Hunger in Liberal Democracies David Reynolds and Miranda Mirosa 37. Ethics of Food Waste Miranda Mirosa, David Pearson and Rory Pearson 38. Food Security and Ethics Marko Ahteensuu and Helena Siipi 39. The New Three-Legged Stool: Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, and Food Justice M. Jahi Chappell and Mindi Schneider 40. Participative Inequalities and Food Justice Clement Loo Index

About the Editors

Mary C. Rawlinson is professor and chair in the Department of Philosophy at Stony Brook University, USA. She is author of Just Life (Columbia University Press, 2016) and editor of many volumes. She is also the editor of the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics.

Caleb Ward is an instructor and PhD student in philosophy at Stony Brook University, USA. He is editor of Global Food, Global Justice: Essays on Eating under Globalization (with Mary C. Rawlinson, Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2015).

About the Series

Routledge Handbooks in Applied Ethics

Applied ethics is one of the largest and most diverse fields in philosophy and is closely related to many other disciplines across the humanities, sciences and social sciences. Routledge Handbooks in Applied Ethics are state-of-the-art surveys of important and emerging topics in applied ethics, providing accessible yet thorough assessments of key fields, themes, thinkers, and recent developments in research.

All chapters for each volume are specially commissioned, and written by leading scholars in the field. Carefully edited and organized, Routledge Handbooks in Applied Ethics provide indispensable reference tools for students and researchers seeking a comprehensive overview of new and exciting topics in applied ethics and related disciplines. They are also valuable teaching resources as accompaniments to textbooks, anthologies, and research-orientated publications.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Political