Food ethics, sustainable farming, animal welfare, public health

An Ethically Based, Radically Transparent Program
to Support Values-Aligned Choices About Food

November 5–8, 2018
Renaissance Harborplace Hotel 
Baltimore, Maryland

Who should attend:
Researchers and Students
Food Industry Professionals
Conscious Consumers
Food Writers
Experts will share Core Ethical Commitments that set parameters for ethical conduct, and goals for eithical improvement of
food products
Renaissance Harborplace Hotel
202 E. Pratt St. 
Baltimore, Maryland 20102
The program will examine ethical issues associated with food and agriculture by sharing the framework for ethical assessment of food products

'The Choose Food Project is an initiative of the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The project is supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. ​
Meet the Team

Meet the team of experts who have been working diligently on this project for more than two years. 

About the Project 

"Toward a More Holistic Appraisal of Food Products"

The CHOOSE FOOD PROJECT aims to help producers and consumers make ethical food choices by giving them access to easy to use, high-quality information about food. It is developing:

  • A Framework for ethical assessment of the food system
  • Educational resources
  • Cutting-edge digital tools 

The project aims to guide actors throughout the food value chain to make, market, and choose products more ethically.

To date, our team of experts has articulated 49 Core Ethical Commitments that set parameters for ethical conduct and goals for ethical improvement of food products. These commitments can guide actors along the food chain who have the power to make ethical improvement to production practices. They also provide guidance to consumers who prefer to buy foods that cohere with their ethical values.

The Commitments delimit ethically unacceptable practices, guide inquiry about ethicality, and identify opportunities for ethical improvement. However, unlike the hundreds of third-party certification programs and static green label initiatives concerned with food, Choose Food does not mandate specific practices. Nor does it focus myopically 

on a single issue of concern (i.e., animal welfare, fair trade, or organics) to the exclusion of all others. Rather, Choose Food allows for a holistic appraisal of food products, which combats "​green washing" and promotes fair competition.

Choose Food appreciates that collective progress in a complex global food system depends on different actors focusing earlier and more concerted effort on certain imperatives and improving supply chains. Thus, Choose Food aims to make genuine progress visible to consumers without demanding -- or creating a false impression of -- absolute fidelity to all possible ethical principles.

The Project Goals

The CHOOSE FOOD PROJECT is in the process of developing a digital tool that will enable users to determine how products available for purchase fare on ethical values.  

Choose Food does not purport to identify objectively or universally "perfect products." Rather, it will elicit users’ own values and dietary preferences and identify products that best align with those values.

CHOOSE FOOD envisions creating direct connections between producers and consumers.  CHOOSE FOOD will demystify the drivers of food purchasing behavior, enabling manufacturers to develop and reformulate products in line with consumer values, and retailers to improve stocking and sales.  This kind of communication enables more nuanced, specific food system advocacy than mere voting with dollars, improving the prospects for positive change. 


Choose Food will build on and increase the relevance of credible certification marks. By leveraging contemporary and emerging technologies (i.e., blockchain and visual recognition), Choose Food will change how we learn about and shop for food.

CHOOSE FOOD has the potential to:
  • Produce social and environmental benefits through food commerce 
  • Let producers and consumers co-create a more ethical food system 
  • Disrupt food retail in ways that benefit consumers and industry 

Choose Food is actively seeking funders and partners for the next phase of development:

Call for Abstracts
   Share your research! Submit an abstract to present a poster at the
Choose Food Symposium on Tuesday, November 6.

The deadline to submit a proposed abstract is July 31, 2018. Space is limited. After the deadline, the project team will review each abstract for its scientific merit and relevance to the symposium. Notification of acceptance will be sent the week of July 30. Each accepted poster will receive one complimentary registration. Presenting authors must be present at their poster during the Poster Session scheduled on Tuesday, November 6 from
3:15 pm to 4:30 pm. Presenting authors may only present one poster at the symposium, but can be listed as a co-author on other posters.

Abstracts should be no more than one-page equivalent (12pt font).  Submit your abstract here.

Would you like to know more?

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Media Inquiries: Please contact for more information or to obtain press credentials for the Symposium.

JHU Personnel: Access Tuition Reimbursement Form here .