An ethicurean is a person who attempts to combine ethical food consumption with an interest in epicureanism, eating ethically without depriving oneself of taste. The approach takes into account the effect of one's food production and consumption on the environment, as well as the quality of life of animals involved in production of anything they consume.
An ethicurean also commits to minimizing the amount of waste produced, the recycling of waste and the mindful use of resources (energy, water etc.).
As an adjective, it refers to tasty things that are also sustainable, organic, local, and/or ethical — SOLE food, for short.
As a noun, ethicurean means someone who seeks out ethicurean food, and pursues an ethicurean approach to food.
The term originated with the ethicurean group blog with the groups blog's announcement of existence in May 2006
There is considerable discussion regarding what is an ethicurean diet. The following is an incomplete and sometimes conflicting list of considerations about what to eat. For example, Fair Trade items may have many food miles, but the distance traveled is offset by the fair price paid to producers.
- Sustainability in production, packaging, and transportation.
- Organic products.
- Locally sourced products, such as items obtained from a farmer's market or local producer, with an emphasis on organic food.
- Items with fewer food miles, to reduce their environmental impact.
- Free range meat and animal products (eggs, milk etc.), with an awareness of whether the animals were pastured or merely granted limited outdoor access.
- Fair Trade products, where producers in developing countries have been paid a fair price for their goods.
- Foraged plants, including urban and ex-urban foraging
- Wild legal game, humanely killed
- Fish caught using sustainable methods
- Foods from one's own garden
- Awareness of waste from food production and packaging
- Tasty food
The Ethicurean is the name of an award winning café at The Walled Garden, Barley Wood in Wrington, Somerset. runn by a collection of chefs. The café serves food from local suppliers including Trethowans Dairy, Lahloo Tea and Mark's Bread of Bedminster, Bristol. However, the majority of the food served at the café is sourced from the beautiful walled garden in which the café sits. Apple juice is also produced by the Ethicurean and is sold on site. In February 2011, The Ethicurean featured in the television show The Secret Supper Club on Channel 4. In October 2011, The Ethicurean won the Observer Food Monthly award for the best ethical restaurant in the UK.