Zero Hunger

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Ethics of Food Production and Consumption

  • Vibhuti PatelEmail author
Living reference work entry


Ethics are moral principles that shape a person’s behavior and actions and how they respond to the behavior and actions of others. Ethics may also be used to describe the “rightness” or “wrongness” of actions and what is considered to be forgivable and unforgivable. Food ethics is all of these things as they relate to food production, processing, manufacturing, marketing, and consumption.

Hunger and the Human Right to Food

The current food system is beset with ethical questions at every turn. Individuals (e.g., “Should I stop eating at my favorite takeaway after learning that the fish comes from unsustainable sources?”) to businesses (e.g., “Should we spend extra resources to ensure the coffee we serve is sourced from farmers that are paid fairly?”) to governments (e.g., “Should we ban the live export of food animals?”) face a plethora of ethical choices relating to food every day. Ethicists have grappled with such questions for hundreds, even thousands, of years:

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures & Department of PsychologyThe University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Paschal Arsein Mugabe
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Engineering and Technology (COET)University of Dar es SalaamDar es SalaamTanzania