© 2006



Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Part I -Food and Ethics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 2-2
  3. Part II -The Intellectualization of Food

  4. Part III - Food Ethics and the Production History

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 94-94
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 203-212

About this book


This book marks a new departure in ethics. In our culture ethics has first and foremost been a question of ‘the good life’ in relation to other people. Central to this ethic was friendship, inspired by Greek thought, and the caritas concept from the Judaeo-Christian tradition. But no early moral teaching discussed man’s relation to the origin of foodstuffs and the system that produced them; doubtless the question was of little interest since the production path was so short.

Before industrialisation the production of food was easy to follow. As a rule that is no longer the case. The field of ethics must therefore be extended to cover responsibility for the production and choice of foodstuffs, and it is this food ethic that Christian Coff sets out to trace. In doing so he shows how the focus of ethics can be expanded from its concern for the good life with and for others to cover the good life in fair food production practices, and how not least through using our integrity or life coherence we can reflect ethically, or caringly, about living organisms, ecological systems and our human identity.

From the foreword by Dr. Peter Kemp, Professor of Philosophy at the Danish University of Education


ethical consumption ethics food ethics morality philosophy production history traceability

Bibliographic information

  • Authors Christian Coff
  • Series Title The International Library of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Ethics
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer 2006
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4020-4553-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-90-481-7147-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4020-4554-7
  • Series ISSN 1570-3010
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIX, 212
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Ethics
    Philosophy of Biology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


From the reviews:

“This book makes the case for an ethical understanding of food consumption. Christian Coff notes that a growing number of consumers are making ethics a central part of their food consumption choices. … Coff’s arguments and analyses are very intriguing and convincing. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in understanding the difficult and complex nature of creating an ethical and values-based food system.” (Michael A. Long, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, Vol. 22, 2009)