Macquarie University
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Food justice and ethical eating: perils and possibilities within Australian food movements

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posted on 2022-03-28, 18:04 authored by Tasmin-Lara Dilworth
Ethical food movements have grown significantly in recent decades. This thesis employs a food justice conceptual framework to examine how ethical food movements are evolving in the Australian context. The thesis focuses on 46 key non-governmental organisations (NGOs) promoting ethical eating and four focus groups involving ethical eaters. It examines how and why people are engaging in ethical eating and the tensions and complexities that are emerging. It argues for a more reflexive, nuanced and egalitarian conception of ethical eating that recognises the tensions, tradeoffs and barriers to engagement faced by consumers. Understanding ethical eating as a continuum or imperfect process allows for such complexity to be viewed as inevitable, while still recognizing the value in developing ethical eating repertoires. It also details the ways that NGOs are working to help consumers negotiate the constraining factors that limit their consumptive choices. In adopting a food justice lens this thesis highlights the importance of responding to food system injustices, while also ensuring advocates retain a critical eye on the substantive ‘justness’ of their own actions and pronouncements.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Setting the table -- Chapter 2. Conceptual foundations : food justice as a lens -- Chapter 3. Methodology -- Chapter 4. Ethical eating repertoires and a just food system -- Chapter 5. Justice for? -- Chapter 6. A lot on one's plate : navigating the tensions and conflicts of justice pluralism -- Chapter 7. Extending ethical eating : overcoming barriers and increasing diversity -- Chapter 8. Food for thought.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 77-85

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Geography and Planning

Department, Centre or School

Department of Geography and Planning

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Andrew McGregor


Copyright Tasmin-Lara Dilworth 2015. Copyright disclaimer:






1 online resource (viii, 95 pages) colour illustrations

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