Skip to main content

Ethical Consumerism: Morality at the market

It may have started when my friend Nicole Leimbach encouraged me to buy cage-free eggs. Prior to that I hadn't thought much about which eggs I purchased.

One thing led to another and I've begun to look more seriously into ethical issues surrounding the foods I buy.

I’m following CNN’s Freedom Project this year, which details modern day slavery, a practice that fuels some food-producing industries. Just before Valentine's Day 60 Minutes ran a segment on unpaid child labor in the production of cocoa, the raw product that goes into making chocolate.

I’m taking more time reading labels at the grocery store in an attempt to understand where the food I buy comes from. However, it’s difficult to get that information. As an example, finding free range meats is almost impossible in most neighborhood grocery stores. And, as a chocolate-lover, it’s hard determining which chocolates are fair trade or ethical trade. I’ve also found that I can’t assume that chains like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods stock products that meet my rising ethical standards.

I’m to the point of using my smart phone to search out information while standing in the grocery store aisles.

I discovered Knowmore.Org while doing a search on Endangered Species chocolate. I noticed that some of their chocolates were Fair Trade certified, and others were not. I wanted to “know more.” Knowmore is a good resource that goes beyond the grocery store and posts on other products as well.

It appears that some grocers use terms “natural” or “vegetarian fed” to describe chickens and beef, but these are not the same terms as free-roaming or grass-fed.

This may seem like a lot to do about nothing to most people. However, it is important to think about actions that affect the ethical treatment of people, animals and the environment.

Comments

  1. I have to agree with you. It's very difficult to find a comprehensive source for information about which businesses operate ethically and which don't. For a growing list regarding forced labor, though, you can always check Free2Work.org.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for joining the conversation.

Popular posts from this blog

Flannery O'Connor: The Life You Save May Be Your Own

I have a lot of “favorite” Flannery O’Connor short stories . Flannery O’Connor’s   short story, "The Life You Save May Be Your Own," is included in   The Complete Stories . This story is somewhat haunting, possibly because O'Connor freely borrows key images from a number of her other stories. For example, the image of the car as a vehicle of freedom and justification is used in   Wise Blood   (with its main character   Hazel Motes   noting that a man with a good car doesn't need salvation); and the notion of Catholicism as a dismissible un-advanced and "old" religion by a character who hasn't the patience to think deeply about spiritual things is used in   The Displaced Person  and other places. And, as is common, the story includes a widowed woman  with an invalid adult daughter who is unmarried. (It's interesting how often O'Connor uses this image since she was a physically afflicted, unmarried adult daughter living with a widowed mother. It&#