Many big-box retailers and supermarkets set up stations at which customers can taste food samples, obviously hoping to convince them to buy a particular product. It's not uncommon for a customer to be able to get a sample of soup, meat, snack food, dessert and a small beverage during a single visit.
Not everyone will care for the sample enough to want to buy the product, of course, but is it OK to sample even if you have no intention of ever buying, say, the smoked-apple turkey sausage or the brown-sugar crumble pecan pie? Or is it wrong to use up the store's samples if you know that you won't even consider a purchase?
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Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business (Smith Kerr, 2006), is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.
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