February 5th, 2014
11:45 AM ET
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The concepts of eating ethically and watching where our food comes from have become hot topics in the food world.

CNN’s forthcoming Freedom Project documentary examines the cocoa industry and the work undertaken to combat exploitation of workers throughout the journey from “bean to chocolate bar,” shining a light on the often challenging issue of eating ethically.

Broadly speaking, eating ethically can cover anything from vegetarianism to eating only local produce and boycotting foodstuffs and products which are considered wasteful or exploitative - for many it’s a personal choice.

We want to hear from you - do you try to eat ethically? If so, how? Do you only eat local produce, using nothing that’s been transported via air travel? Avoid certain products or grow your own?

Send us your experiences and pictures of how you strive to eat ethically and you could be part of CNN’s coverage.

iReport assignment: Do you eat ethically?

The fair trade chocolate challenge
The bitter truth behind the chocolate in your Easter basket

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Filed under: Chocolate • Environment • Food Politics • Human Rights • Hunger • iReport • Labor Issues

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. crittermom2

    I haven't eaten veal in years because of the production methods ... though I would consider grass-fed if I ever came across it at a restaurant (I've never had experience cooking it myself). It's the confinement, not the "baby cow" thing, that bothers me.

    I have also drastically cut down on how much pork I consume, for the same reason. That's a challenge when you come from an Eastern European family. I've increased the number of meatless meals I have, and only get cage-free eggs from a local producer.

    I can't ever see myself going completely vegetarian. My goal is to focus more on sustainably caught fish and seafood, since I can't seem to come up with much compassion for a scallop. I think even moderate changes can make a difference.

    February 28, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
  2. Truc

    I grow all my own vegetables from seed, but because I get the seed at a farm supply some people wont eat the things I grow, calling them Monsanto Vegetables. I don't see where its that bad if you have soil that you pretty much built from organic material yourself. How can those Tomatoes and Squash be so horrible for you. I'll continue to grow my own and eat as healthy as I can with no chemicals or poisons in it, and be satisfied with it.

    February 12, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
    • crittermom2

      See, that's the kind of extreme attitude that I find kind of annoying. They won't eat your home-grown vegetables because of where you got the seeds? I'm sorry, but that's just going a bit far.

      I bet they wouldn't eat anything from my garden either, because I don't exclusively put organic vegetable scraps in my worm composter. And – *gasp!* – my worms also eat some of my junk mail. Guess that means my whole yard is now a toxic waste dump, huh?

      February 28, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
  3. ∞ Weeds ∞

    I could eat more ethically if it weren't for the food business seemingly common practice of suppressing unethical practices. Multiple states in the US are in the forefront of this practice by passing their Ag gag bills.

    If unethical practices were not taking place one would imagine an entity would be proud to have complete transparency. And vice-versa.

    The US Federal government is guilty big time as well. I mean how hard is it for food to be labeled responsibly? As it stands today most of the laws governing the food industry seem to be about protecting the corporations than the consumers.

    I try to be as informed as possible about the food me and my family consume. It is hard when such information is hidden by "the cororatocracy".

    February 7, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
    • Weeds

      Ther comes a time when one must throw a latent keyboard away. This thing keeps missing letters as it did at the start.

      February 7, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
  4. phllipssep

    Reblogged this on Food. and commented:
    Food for thought.

    February 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
  5. Megan

    In the last few years i have become pretty good at knowing where most (75%?) of my food comes from. I will eat at most restaurants, but i've become a vegetarian in public because i no longer eat feedlot/industrial meat. Any meat/chicken/pork/Thanksgiving turkey/etc has to come straight from a farm. Most of them i know/have met at a local farmer's market or bought through a local food co-op.

    When it comes to vegetables and fruit, my local co-op does an admirable job doing the research for me. They mark what comes from local cities, my state, the US as a whole, or another country. I can pick and choose what is right for me. There is dairy in my state that actually delivers. I know how far my milk and cream have traveled.

    Most of the time, i stay way from processed food and other crap. I read labels, try and choose wisely, and sometimes just remove something from my diet altogether and do most of my cooking from scratch at home so know every ingredient being used. The biggest thing that has allowed me to do this is turning my backyard into a garden. Fruit trees, vegetables, mushrooms, soon to add my own chickens... This has allowed me to make my food even more local and even more affordable.

    February 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
    • mogg

      mogg got news. Chicken and turkey not come to your table from farm. unless you go pick up eats from farm man's hands, even if chicken and turkey grown local by your tribe, they all come from magic poultry processing plants. Bird go in one end, wings breasts and thighs come out other. must be big spirits living there to do that to so many birds.

      it true. it written in stone, many 500 million birds had their wings eaten in one day. No wonder the feast called super bowl. that heap big bowl of chicken. imagine 500 million birds running around without wings. chickens no fly so no big loss.

      February 7, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
  6. Amy

    We try to eat locally to support our local economy (local farm stands, restaurants that used local produced, etc). We try, when we can afford to, to eat organically to minimize unnecessary chemicals in our food. However, we also realize that sometimes our budget doesn't allow for $8 gallons of organic milk or going out to eat at a restaurant that charges $15 for a hamburger because the beef was raised locally. So, yes, we try to put our ethics where our mouths are, but sometimes our wallets dictate our choices.

    February 6, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
  7. Wanda Patsche

    As a farmer, I am well aware of marketing campaigns that certain restaurants use to give themselves a "Holier than Thou" image. I will avoid those restaurants because they instill unnecessary food fear for consumers. And knowing the vast majority of farmers work hard to raise and grow healthy food for my family, we enjoy eating a wide variety of foods.

    February 5, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
  8. Kristie Swenson

    There are certain restaurants I avoid due to their marketing campaigns (I feel some marketing campaigns negatively portray farming). When I'm buying groceries, I stick to what my family likes and focus on feeding my family a balanced diet within our budget. I don't worry about labels or trends, like "organic", "all natural", or "locally grown".

    February 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
    • Kristie Swenson

      To clarify, I have no problems with organic or locally-grown food. I think labels are sometimes confusing. I appreciate that we have food choices so people can choose what best aligns with individual beliefs.

      February 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
    • mogg

      mogg say farmers are bad, mkay. so eat only at mogg restaurant. mogg serve fresh kill. natural kill....
      Yeah, right. Another subset of holier than though food consumers. phpppppt.

      February 7, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
  9. No Qualms

    As a rule, if a restaurant has good food at a reasonable price with good service, I'll frequent their establishment. The only ethics involved in my choices are what's good for me and what I'm in the mood for. There are exceptions, of course.

    February 5, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
  10. Arthur in the Garden!

    Yes, I try not to visit establishments that do not align with my social causes and beliefs.

    February 5, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
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