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Eating Right: The Ethics of Food Choices and Food Policy

Signature Courses


Eating Right: The Ethics of Food Choices and Food Policy
01:730:252 (4 credits)
Core: 21C, AHo, WCd
Professor Andy Egan, Philosophy


Thought much about food lately?

Eating can be mundane or sublime, but either way it is an occasion for moral decision making within cultures that have a range of traditions and structures surrounding human nourishment. What are the social and environmental consequences of various eating habits? What ethical obligations, if any, do we have toward nonhuman animals? Do the answers to these questions generate moral obligations to adopt (or to abandon) particular eating habits? How are our individual and societal decisions about what to eat expressive of aesthetic, moral, cultural, and religious values?

What is the moral (and policy) significance of particular cultural culinary traditions? How does membership in cultural groups with specific culinary traditions relate to individual well-being? What choices should we as individuals make and what actions should we as a society take to influence how our food is grown, processed, marketed, sold, and consumed?

This course is particularly recommended for students who intend to pursue majors or minors in the various area studies, anthropology, business, history, life sciences, philosophy, political science, public policy, religion, social justice, and sociology. The course carries credit toward the major or minor in philosophy. Eating Right can be used to meet the SAS Core Curriculum goals in 21st Century Challenges (21C), Arts and Humanities (AHo), and Writing and Communication (WCd).

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