ethical eater
n. A person who only or mostly eats food that meets certain ethical guidelines, particularly organically grown food and humanely raised meat, poultry, and fish.
ethical eating pp.

Example Citations:
In recent years I have become more thoughtful about my food. Now I avoid certain things—namely, chicken and beef from the average supermarket.

I belong to a new demographic called ethical eaters. We join the Slow Food movement and buy books like Eating with Conscience, Portrait of a Burger as a Young Calf, and—one of this year's most talked about books—Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. We want our food to have been happy in death. At the same time, we want it so fresh and unprocessed that it still tastes, and nourishes us, like it is full of life.
—Trevor Corson, "Lobsterpalooza," Boston Magazine, July 1, 2006

Choosing to become a more ethical eater doesn't mean you have to become a vegetarian, or shop only at farmers' markets or buy only fair-trade, free-range, shade-grown coffee sold by nonprofit groups that donate all their money to literacy programs in developing countries. Rather, it means being clear on what your values are, and in deciding how far to go to practice them.

If you enjoy fish and care about the environment, you can choose wild-caught salmon from well-managed fisheries, or farm-raised salmon from well-managed aquaculture farms. If you like meat too much to give it up, you can opt for meat produced in a sustainable way with a minimum of animal suffering.
—Jeremy Iggers, "Ethical eating," Star Tribune, July 13, 2006

Earliest Citation:
Shaun Hill, at 53, is one of the most influential and articulate cooks in the country. The Good Food Guide rates the cooking at his restaurant, the Merchant House in Ludlow, Shropshire, eight out of 10, making him one of the top 20 cooks in the UK. He has a Michelin star, too, and is so admired by his peers, they have twice voted him Chef of the Year.

But those who might like to recruit him as a full-time spokesman for the growing number of ethical eaters will be disappointed. He is not a paid-up member of the Soil Association or any other such deserving body. "I don't like ethical," he says. "It gets in the way of enjoyable. Ethical should be part of feeling good, not instead of."
—"Ethical eating made easy," The Independent (London), November 26, 2000

Notes:
Here's an earlier citation that refers to a different sense of the phrase:

The state's new ethics code is so strict, it has some lawmakers reporting what they don't eat.

"The meal consisted of muffins and coffee, however I was late and did not have the opportunity to eat," state Rep. F. Philip Prelli wrote in a letter reporting a meeting he attended with community college officials.

Other lawmakers have gone into excruciating detail while obeying the 1991 law's command to report any meals or lodging they accept before or after an official appearance.
—"Ethical eaters," The Harrisburg Patriot, March 9, 1992

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