Mobile version
spiked plus
About spiked
What is spiked?
Support spiked
spiked shop
Contact us
Summer school
Top issues
Arab uprisings
British politics
Child abuse panic
For Europe, Against the EU
Free speech
Jimmy Savile scandal
Parents and kids
View all issues...
special feature
The Counter-Leveson Inquiry
other sections
 Review of Books
 Monthly archive
selected authors
Duleep Allirajah
Daniel Ben-Ami
Tim Black
Jennie Bristow
Sean Collins
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick
Frank Furedi
Helene Guldberg
Patrick Hayes
Mick Hume
Rob Lyons
Brendan O’Neill
Nathalie Rothschild
James Woudhuysen
more authors...
RSS feed
a-b c-d e-h i-l m-n o-r s-u v-z index
David E Cooper
professor of philosophy at Durham University

If present trends continue, today’s neonates in developed countries have a 60% chance of being obese teenagers in 2024. Obesity is just one health problem - alongside risks of infection, bulimia etc - increasingly caused by our present ways of eating, and health problems are only one kind of problem generated by the food industries of affluent societies. Another is environmental impact: biologically diverse agricultures are being turned into unsustainable monocultures, and in the US, the industry accounts for 20% of fossil fuel consumption. Worst, ever more billions of animals living in wretched conditions serve as inputs into the food production process.

Are present trends stoppable? Transparency about what we are eating and where it came from might help. So might subsidising allotments on which people can grow their own food, and campaigns to promote ‘eating locally’. It is important to expose the illusion that industrial food, with its hidden environmental and medical costs, is cheap, and to challenge the obsession with price as the main determinant of what food to buy. Less easy to engineer is a reinvention of atrophied traditions - cultures of cuisine - that once sensibly regulated what human beings ate and how they related to the creatures and environments that supplied their food.

David Cooper is author of books including A Philosophy of Gardens (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)), and The Measure of Things: Humanism, Humility and Mystery (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)). See his website

Survey home
What we found
Survey responses
RSS feed
Anjana Ahuja
Michael Baum
Peter Cochrane
Richard Feachem
Frank Furedi
Michio Kaku
Ken MacLeod
Jonathan Meades
Munira Mirza
Matthew Parris
Ingo Potrykus
Roger Scruton
Ben Shneiderman
Lionel Shriver
Raymond Tallis
Peter Whittle
Josie Appleton
David Baulcombe
Claire Fox
William Higham
Paul Lauterbur
William Graeme Laver
Ken MacLeod
Fiona McEwen
Victor Stenger