Real change in food systems needs real ethics

In May, we celebrated the third annual workshop on food justice at Michigan State University. Few of the people who come to these student-organized events doubt that they are part of a social
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In May, we celebrated the third annual workshop on food justice at Michigan State University. Few of the people who come to these student-organized events doubt that they are part of a social movement. And yet it is not clear to me that the “social movement” framing is the best way to understand food justice, or indeed many of the issues in the food system that have been raised by Mark Bittman or journalists such as Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, or Barry Estabrook. Social movements attain what clarity of purpose they have because they have a morally compelling cause. The labor movement, the women’s movement, and the civil rights movement had factions and divisions over strategy, tactics, or the value of subsidiary goals. But each was united by faith in the underlying justice of a unifying cause, however vaguely stated. There are a lot of things wrong with our contemporary food system, but that is about the only thing on which people enrolled in today’s food movement agree. I would. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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