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Glossary

In exploring the story of food, you’ll encounter a rich lexicon relevant to food, farming, and sustainability. Terms in italics can be found elsewhere in the glossary.

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Additive a substance that is added to food to preserve or change its taste, smell, color, or texture
Agribusiness businesses and corporations involved in large-scale food production
Agroecology the study of agriculture’s ecosystems and effect on the environment
Animal welfare conditions and factors affecting the physical and psychological well-being of animals, such as diet, safety, and the space and cleanliness of their living environment
Antibiotic a substance that kills or inhibits the growth of bacteria or other microorganisms
Aquaponics a method of cultivating plants and fish together using recirculated water in a closed-loop system
Artificial hormones see Hormones
Artisanal
describes food made by hand in small batches by skilled food crafters, often using traditional methods Artisanal cheese
Biodiversity the diversity of life forms within an ecosystem
Biodynamic a sustainable organic farming method based on the idea that all aspects of the farm are interrelated and should be treated as a whole
Biointensive a sustainable organic farming method focused on getting the highest yield from the least amount of land while nourishing the soil; related to Biodynamic
Bioregion a land area that is defined by shared plant and animal species, water, climate, soils, and human culture
Biotechnology the manipulation of living organisms for commercial or scientific purposes, often referring to genetic modification; see GMO
Boycott to protest by refusing to buy or do business with a particular company
Brand loyalty preferring one brand of a product over others
CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) an animal feeding facility containing more than 1,000 animals in tight quarters, without access to grass or other vegetation
Calories food energy
Carnivore an organism that eats other animals to survive
Cash crop a crop grown for profit, in contrast to a subsistence crop
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) the primary agency of the US government responsible for health
Commodity crop a major cash crop grown in large quantities, such as corn or soybeans
Community garden
a piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people Watering can
CSA (community-supported agriculture) a model of farming and food distribution in which community members support a farm by paying an annual or quarterly fee in exchange for a weekly share of the farm’s products
Compost organic material that has decomposed to create nutrient-rich soil, which is used as a natural fertilizer in farming and gardening
Composting recycling food waste, lawn scraps, and other organic materials to create compost
Corn-fed describes cattle raised on a diet of corn, rather than a natural diet of pasture or grass; in contrast to Grass-fed
Crop diversity
the variety of plants grown in an agricultural system Okra
Crop rotation
a method of alternating crops in a field from season to season to prevent disease and preserve the health of the soil

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Sources: CUESA, Merriam-Webster, Nourish Curriculum Guide, Presbyterian Hunger Program, Sustainable Table, The Nibble, Wikipedia

   
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