Sample Essay on Food Ethics

Food Ethics


Many people across the world believe that when you talk about food ethics, you are referring to them having better choices of dietary. The choices in this case include food which is better in regards to health or provide positive social and environmental consequences. However, new ideas were introduced to enable people to have a better understanding of food ethics. The new idea involved intersecting food choices with issues such as economic supply chains because they contribute negatively or positively to the outcome of food ethics. Apart from the economic factors, the manner in which food is produced and the consumption methods were also introduced in the definition of food ethics (Thompson 98). In this regard, food ethics has become a crucial part of academic discipline and a philosophical subject that helps in elucidating food problem that is being experienced across the world.

Thompsonin’s proposed idea: “The fundamental Problem”

Paul Thompson in his article titled From Field to Fork provided a centralized idea and philosophical questions that are associated with food ethics and agriculture. Through his intensive research, the readers can have a clear understanding on the problem of food ethics such as malnutrition and hunger. Thompson’s proposed solution to the issue are effective, however, the one that is most promising is on chapter 4 where he has discussed the issue regarding what he calls as the “fundamental problem.” This topic enables the readers to understand the tension that exists between the poor farmers who are residing in developing nations and the several individuals who living with hunger in the urban areas.

Where the fundamental problem lie

In the early eighteenth century, many people were ignorant regarding the food system. It means that the level of ignorance among the consumers was high such that many people did not think about food ethics especially where the fundamental problem lied. In the end, the world ended up experiencing great hunger including both the developed and developing nations. This happened because in everyday food language, there were prohibitions, less recommendations and refutations on ethical notions regarding natural product. To make matters worse famine became a moral responsibility which resulted in many developing nations seeking for food aid from countries that were distant to them. Philosophers and economists, rather than looking into where the problem existed from, rather considered taking a different approach of shifting their attention from the aspects of hunger in the world to poverty (Thompson 102). This is because one of the major causes of hunger was poverty thus they were trying to understand food ethics in this regard. However, this focus was not accurate since it missed out of more than eighty percent facts regarding the causes of hunger in the world. They failed to focus on the food producer’s practices and the tension that existed between them and the farmers that resulted in food shortage in both the rural and urban areas.

The societal contribution to the food problem

However, the main problem of food ethics was driven by the society itself. The society has allowed their choices of food to be controlled by the economy instead of ethics or proper values. This has caused people to seek for cheap food without taking into consideration the social and ecological consequences of producing the cheap foods (Thompson 104). The cheaper choices resulted in the introduction of genetically modified foods which was encouraged by industrialization. The practice has in the end reduced the level of agriculture being practiced across developing nations. However, the available agricultural sectors are being controlled by big corporations which have monopolized the practice with the aim of producing more genetically modified food to help in solving the hunger problems.  The method involves diversification of farming or agricultural practices which is different from what the world is used to seeing (Thompson 108). This is because chemicals are being used to make the products being grown to mature faster. Nevertheless, the chemicals have been found to have negative impact on the environment because they increase pollution. In the end, the world is at a threat of global warming which has increased the rate of poverty and hunger across the world.

Economical thoughts

The economists are not worried about these facts, instead they have argued that people should not worry about where the food is produced or the method that is being used as long as the world have access to cheap food to act as security to hunger problems across the world. To make matters worse, they have made claims that the world would be a better off place minus agriculture. These are killer thoughts without any ethical basis which will only lead the world in more trouble of hunger problems. One question that the world needs to ask if they decide to take the economist’s thoughts into action is regarding what will happen to the poor nations that depend on agriculture for food and survival. It is clear based on these thoughts and argument by economists that they have forgotten the level of reliance and the burden that it would have on developed nations. In the end of the day, poverty and hunger will be a problem that would be facing both the people in rural and urban areas and at the same time in developed and developing nations at large. They have also forgotten the fact that agriculture is the main contributor of food that almost everyone across the world is depending on for survival. However, due to poor agricultural practices, more than one billion people across the world are suffering from hunger due to food shortage and poverty.

Solutions to food problem

One question that the world needs to ask itself is regarding the moral acts of eating. This is because food choices that people make on a daily basis is a strong reflection of their personal ethical and social values. When food choices are reflected by what people think, then the world will continue suffering from hunger which is contributed by poverty. It is time that the world needs to think positively regarding their food choices and allow it to reflect on their eating habits. Making great and ethical food choices will not only give the farmers a chance to be more committed towards agriculture but also allow them to maintain natural productivity (Thompson 112). These practices will improve the quality of life for people living both in developed and developing nations because they will be making a decent way of living. People need not to think like economists but rather they should consider going natural by purchasing food from the local farmers to help in restoring back social and ecological integrity for the good of the environment and the world as a whole.


In summary, the world has been suffering from hunger for a long period and it is because of the poor food choices that people have been making. Through ethical food choices, it will be easy for the world to eliminate hunger especially poverty enabling the poor to feed themselves. This will in turn help in reducing the burden of dependence on other people which prompt nations to make unethical food choices which increases the hunger problem in the world.

Works Cited

Thompson, Paul. From Field to Fork: Food Ethics for Everyone. Oxford University Press, 2015.