Food Ethics and Justice 

03 Dec 2021
Mount Allison PPE student turns interest in environmental justice, climate change into independent study 

When Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) student Jasmine Tremblay D’Ettorre enrolled in Mount Allison’s Environmental Ethics class taught by philosophy professor Dr. Andrew Inkpen in her third year, she knew she had found her calling.   

“I’ve always been interested in food and environmental ethics. Studying these concepts through a philosophical lens was really enlightening,” she says.
Tremblay D’Ettorre’s studies in this and related topics grew from there. She completed a summer research project, supported through a Marjorie Young Bell Start-Up Research Grant with Inkpen this past year, helping to design a syllabus focusing on food ethics. The project then evolved into an independent study course around environmental ethics, injustice, and climate change. 

“In Environmental Ethics, and with every course, we aim to look at particular issues that speak to students,” says Dr. Andrew (Drew) Inkpen, assistant philosophy professor in the Frank McKenna School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. “Exploring food ethics and justice in terms of the climate crisis affects our community globally. I’ve been continuously impressed with Jasmine’s research and insights over the course of her summer research and continuing work in the academic year.”   

Tremblay D’Ettorre’s research examines the philosophical ideas of feasibility constraints and an individual’s moral duty to pursue specific actions under conditions of uncertainty. It explores these concepts in terms of climate change. She is researching and writing on climate justice, including food ethics and justice, and she will complete a final integrative essay based on her research this year as part of the course.   

“I think the experience has been really valuable. I can see my own writing and ideas evolving since starting the project,” she says. “This field of study is a relatively new one. I was surprised at how new climate change justice philosophy is. Published sources on this topic are relatively new or forthcoming, both of which can be challenging to locate, but it's also been really cool to be doing work in an emerging field. I’ve had a really incredible experience over the past year working on this.”   

In addition to her course work, Tremblay D’Ettorre has also secured internships over the past two years with local food justice organizations (Food For All New Brunswick and FoodShare Toronto) through the University’s Office of Experiential Learning and Career Development. This has provided an additional experiential learning component to her studies.

Tremblay D’Ettorre has been involved in the University’s WUSC (World University Service of Canada) chapter throughout her time at Mount Allison. She also worked with ATLIS (Atlantic Journal of International Studies) as a peer reviewer and serves as the PPE Society Co-President.   

She plans to continue her studies in the field following Mount Allison. 

Banner photo caption: Dr. Andrew (Drew) Inkpen, assistant philosophy professor in the Frank McKenna School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and PPE student Jasmine Tremblay D’Ettorre

Editor’s Note: Have you or someone you know taken a unique course at Mount Allison? We’d love to hear your experiences. E-mail media@mta.ca with story suggestions for this series.

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