buy canadian, if you live in canada

Picked up this story in the IHT last week about an iphone application that enables you to scan the bar-code of a product and check out its ethical credentials. It’s derived from the Good Guide website that aims to inform ethical consumption choices. I was reminded of it when I was watching this video by Yoho Yue about why people should buy food produced in Canada. I think it would be a stronger piece of nubaganda if it could more explicitly show that the carbon costs of food miles outweigh the efficiencies of international global food production. By talking about other issues – such as the plight of local farmers – it kind of muddies the waters. Farmers may move on to better jobs or diversify what they produce, but the food miles won’t go away. When talking about, or making the case for ‘ethical consumption’ as a rule it only ever makes sense to make the case from one perspective. Different ‘ethical stances’ often end up contradicting one another. Supporting your local shop may mean buying a can of sardines packed by children in morrocco, organic lemons may have been shipped from spain… There is no such thing as a single universally ethical option per se, just different options. Presumably that’s why that iphone things going to be handy. You have to decide what you care about most, and er, maybe neat videos like this can help.

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