The Economist versus ethical food

In: Uncategorized

8 Dec 2006

This week’s Economist (9 December) includes some useful criticisms of the idea of “ethical food” while also making unnecessary concessions. It points out that organic food is far less intensive than traditional agriculture; so therefore more expensive and able to feed fewer people. Fairtrade discourages farmers from diversifying and local food often uses more energy than that produced a long way away. However, it is untrue that the ethical food movement aims to encourage development while there is nothing inherently positive about protecting the environment. The final conclusion, that only politics rather than ethical consumption can bring change, is certainly correct.