The Ethics of Why We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter


By Cate O'Malley of Paper Palate – Peter Singer, a Princeton professor, tracks the origins of groceries purchased by three American families (one vegan, one family of “conscientious omnivores” and one family on a “standard American diet”) in his latest book, The Ethics of Why We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter.  He dives deep and examines how the families’ choices in eating impact our environment and humanity.

“We were writing the book for people who are interested in making informed food choices,” he said.  “We wanted it to be something people could relate to, as opposed to a lot of facts and figures.” 

Singer is a vegan himself and has eaten conscientiously for over 35 years.  He buys the bulk of his groceries at two organic stores that are within walking or biking distance from his home.

He recently shared his recipe for Dal in the April/May issue of Garden Plate magazine.

Peter Singer’s Dal
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic (chopped or crushed)
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 tablespoons curry powder, to taste
Salt, to taste
1 cup small red lentils
3 cups water
2-3 bay leaves, to taste
1 cinnamon stick
15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a large saucepan, saute garlic until fragrant.  Add onions and cook until they begin to soften.  Add curry powder and salt to taste, and cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to brown.

Add a cup of small red lentils and stir for a minute or so before adding three cups of water, the bay leaves and cinnamon stick.  Bring to boil, then turn the heat down very low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add chopped tomatoes, and simmer another 10 minutes, until thick.  The lentils should be soft and the consistency just liquid enough to pour.  Add coconut milk and lemon juice.  Stir through, and remove from heat. 

Serve over rice with lime pickle and mago chutney.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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