Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Agricultural Sciences and Non-food Crops: Biofuels as an Exemplar of Ethical Controversies

  • Orla ShortallEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6167-4_141-3



The non-food sector has always been an important part of agriculture providing fuel, fiber, building materials, and medicine among other resources. Agricultural sciences have focused on the non-food sector in recent years as a means for societies to replace fossil fuels with more sustainable alternatives. This entry will give a brief history of agricultural sciences and non-food production, highlighting the recent increased production of biofuels and the “bio-based economy.” It will focus on the use of agricultural biomass (any organic matter that is living or was once living) as a transport fuel, what is commonly referred to as biofuels. These will be considered under the headings of energy crops and crop residues. The term “agricultural sciences” is used to refer to the application of natural, social, and economic sciences to the further development and understanding of agriculture. Thus,...


Fossil Fuel Biofuel Production Agricultural Science Energy Crop Bioenergy Production 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loughborough, Leics, Centre for Applied BioethicsUniversity of NottinghamLoughboroughUK