Food is sometimes labeled as ‘100% natural’ or as containing ‘all natural ingredients’. There is however controversy on how to justify, design and implement such labelling. This paper argues that since (1) naturalness is not one single concept, but several ones (polysemy), and (2) those concepts typically allow degrees, so that things can be more or less natural, thus, (3) this complexity should be reflected in labelling of foods. There is no obvious way of presenting an aggregate measure of a particular food item’s naturalness, and therefore a graphical representation that contains several axes, with the degree of naturalness represented on each axis, is considered. Such a mode of representation might however be too complex to be practical, and a possible compromise would be to settle for a small number of labels that represent some common combinations of degrees of naturalness along the axes.
Food Ethics – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 31, 2017
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