by Marion Nestle
Feb 2 2018

Weekend reading: Eating Ethically

Jonathan K. Crane.  Eating Ethically: Religion and Science for a Better Diet.  Columbia University Press, 2017.

Image result for Eating Ethically: Religion and Science for a Better Diet.

I did a blurb for this one:

This entertaining and provocative book draws on biblical and philosophical sources to argue that eating is an act of ethics, and that we would all be happier and healthier if we adhered to the Bible’s dietary advice—eat enough, but not too much.  Anyone interested in food will be fascinated by the stories Jonathan Crane tells here.

Here’s an excerpt, to give you a taste of what it’s about:

I call this kind of discussion eating ethics.  Its ethics are not confined to philosophical schools of consequentialism (where the ends justify the means) or deontology (where an act is moral to the degree it complies with a preconceived duty or principle).  Rather, its ethics lie in the truth that eating is in and of itself an ethical enterprise, no matter how one thinks about it.  Just as eating is an inherently ethical enterprise, food itself is similarly an ethical construct: it is socially defined and defining, as demonstrated by conversation in dietetics…it directly impacts me the eater and the eaten, not to mention the contexts in which this eating occurs, inclusive of humans, other sentient creatures, the environment, and more, as food ethics readily explains.

The book ends with this statement:

For all of these reasons, how and why we eat are two of the most urgent and pressing ethical enterprises of our very existence, and they lie daily in our own hands and mouths.

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