Nav: Home

High society wants its fine foods to also be ethical

January 08, 2019

Truffles and caviar have traditionally been delicacies of the upper class, but a new study by UBC sociology professor Emily Huddart Kennedy and colleagues from the University of Toronto finds that free-range and fair-trade foods are becoming increasingly important among the elite.

"Our culture's understanding of what counts as elite taste has really overlooked this ethical element," said Kennedy, the study's lead author.

High-status people tend to enjoy sophisticated things, like opera or French cuisine. Researchers have understood this for more than 40 years and describe it as aesthetic taste. However, a new "green" cachet seems to be taking hold, with people paying more for products with environmental benefits. The research team wanted to find out if elites are now signaling status through ethical foods.

They surveyed more than 800 grocery shoppers in Toronto about their food choices, and divided them into four groups according to their preferences:
    1. foodies

    2. ethical eaters

    3. neither

    4. both

After gathering information about the shoppers' income, education and occupation, the researchers found that the group who considered themselves to be both foodies and ethical eaters had by far the highest socioeconomic status. Roughly a quarter of the foodies earned over $100,000, but over 40 per cent of the "ethical foodies" did. Similar patterns applied for occupation and education.

At the other end of the spectrum, people who considered themselves neither foodies nor ethical food consumers had the lowest socioeconomic status.

"If you're saying, 'Oh, I should go to this new hipster food truck or this new restaurant that opened up,' that's not even enough anymore to signal that you're high-status," said Kennedy. "Now, it also has to have this additional layer of being good for people and good for the planet. Foie gras might be great, but if it's local, heritage-breed, pasture-raised foie gras from happy, free-range geese, then that's what high-status looks like now."
-end-
The study was published last month in the sociology journal, Social Forces.

University of British Columbia

Related Foie Gras Articles:

Study shows BioCell collagen can visibly reduce common signs of skin aging within 12 weeks
In one of the most substantial studies of a skin health supplement, BioCell CollagenĀ®, was found to visibly reduce common signs of skin aging, including lines and wrinkles, within 12 weeks of daily use.
Asbestosis toxicity study identifies potential of novel mineral treatment
Scientists investigating the ability of a micronized mineral compound to counteract the carcinogenic effects of mesothelioma and asbestosis, say results from both cell culture and animal model studies are very promising, warranting further investigation, including the commencement of clinical trials.
Smells like love...to sea lampreys
Some people are drawn to cologne; others are attracted to perfume.
CRF research to be presented at ACC.19
Research from the Cardiovascular Research Foundation and the CRF Clinical Trials Center will be presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session taking place March 16-18, 2019 at the Ernest N.
The Lancet: Direct-acting antivirals reduce risk of premature mortality and liver cancer for people with chronic hepatitis C
The first prospective, longitudinal study investigating treatment of chronic hepatitis C with direct-acting antivirals finds that the treatment is associated with reduced risk of mortality and liver cancer, according to a study published in The Lancet.
High society wants its fine foods to also be ethical
Truffles and caviar have traditionally been delicacies of the upper class, but a new study by UBC sociology professor Emily Huddart Kennedy and colleagues from the University of Toronto finds that free-range and fair-trade foods are becoming increasingly important among the elite.
NTU and Harvard scientists discover fat-blocking effect of nanofibers
Tiny balls of nano-sized cellulose fibers added to food reduced fat absorption by up to half in laboratory and animal experiments, report scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Harvard University, United States.
Researchers design delivery system to treat premature infants with NEC
Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital have developed Lactobacillus reuteri biofilm formulations that protect against experimental necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
A 'super' receptor that helps kill HIV infected cells
Researchers have discovered a unique set of 'super' receptors on immune cells capable of killing HIV across genetically diverse populations, making them a potential candidate for immunotherapy treatments.
Children and adolescents in high-risk environments more likely to become violent adults
Children and adolescents who grow up with one or more of these environmental risk factors are likely to resort to violence, aggression and crime as adults, irrespective of an underlying mental illness.
More Foie Gras News and Foie Gras Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.