Select Page

Most people may not consider the ethics surrounding their foods, but it is an ever-present concern for those in the industry. The truth is, many ethical issues are rising within the agricultural sector.

This article will briefly delve into many of the ethical issues within the industry. However, it is impossible to discuss all of the nuances within a short essay. For those interested in learning more, please feel comfortable doing further research on the matter. Additionally, consider reading Michael Pollan‘s collected novels for a comprehensive learning experience.

Food Safety

One concern that has crossed the minds of many consumers is safety. Food safety is paramount within the industry for obvious reasons. While contamination can be caused by accidents. More often it happens due to negligence. 

Negligence can come in many forms, including the desire to cut corners, use unsafe additives, and even dangerous working conditions. The natural response to any contamination is a recall. 

Animal Welfare

There are countless ethical concerns when it comes to animal welfare within the food industry. This statement does not imply that meat is inherently wrong – just that there are concerns that humanity must deal with first.

Animals raised to become part of the food chain are not automatically treated well. This comes back around to people cutting corners to save money. Not only is this morally wrong for the sake of the animals, but it results in potentially unhealthy food. Or at least lower quality food.

For example, some scientists believe that mad cow disease originated from feeding cattle (intended for consumption) bone meal from sheep and goats. If there were heavier regulations on what could be provided to animals, this likely wouldn’t have happened.

Chemicals

Most people picture crops when they imagine a farmer’s work. However, chemicals play a huge part in the process as well – for good or for ill. Those that live near farms have learned this lesson the hard way.

Pesticides and other chemicals are hotly debated within the agricultural industry right now. Many people are opting for organic alternatives. Pesticides are being blamed for many health issues, not to mention the endangerment of native species, including honeybees. 

Sustainability

The need to find a sustainable way of producing food is always present. Careless farming can ruin the land – as evidenced by the Dust Bowl (1930-1936) in America. A more modern example would be almond milk – many experts are now concerned about the harmful impact caused by almond milk, among other products.

Sustainability is more than finding long-term ways of growing and producing food (without adverse effects). It’s also about preventing other problems, such as chemical run-off in water sources. This is an active problem, not just for the food industry but many industries involved in production.