Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Chocolate: Ethical Dimensions

  • Craig K. Harris
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6167-4_33-2


All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.

Lucy Van Pelt

Like many human foods that require some processing, it is hard to know what was the mental process that led some Native Americans in what is now called Central America to convert the seeds inside a cacao pod to a desirable drink some 3,500 years ago. Somehow it happened, and chocolate became a thread that can be followed through the rise and fall of empires, the expansion and decline of corporations, and the shifts in dominant food regimes from nation-states to corporate producers to food activists. Like many desirable substances, chocolate has been the focus of ethical and moral questions for at least the past millennium. At different points in time and at different places, chocolate has implicated all of the ethical issues of justice and rights, autonomy and consent, care and harm, and sovereignty and egalitarianism. This entry will provide an overview of the various ethical issues that...


Fair Trade Cocoa Butter Child Labor Cocoa Bean Food Sovereignty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA