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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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DNA (deoxyribo-
nucleic acid)
a compound of large molecules found inside the nucleus of a living cell containing genetic information
Ecosystem a community of plants and animals coexisting and interacting with their environment
Edible education school curricula and programs that promote experiential learning about food in the garden, kitchen, and classroom; see School garden
Environment the natural world, including living and nonliving things
Extensive farming a method of farming that uses low inputs of money, labor, and resources relative to the land area, as in sustainable farming; in contrast to Intensive farming
Factory farming the practice of raising large numbers of livestock in densely packed, confined spaces; see CAFO
Fair trade arrangements between agricultural producers and sellers based upon principles of fair exchange and respect for workers
Fair Trade Certified a label indicating that an agricultural product meets global fair trade standards set by FLO International and has been certified by FLO-CERT
Farm Bill the major agricultural and food policy tool of the US government; it is updated approximately every five years
Farm to school
a program through which schools buy and serve locally grown food Apples
Farmers market a market, usually outdoors, where local farmers and artisanal food producers sell directly to customers
Fast food food that is prepared and cooked quickly, often using precooked ingredients, and served for fast consumption
FDA (Food and Drug Administration) the US government agency that regulates industries and labels for food, medicines, cosmetics, and other products
Feedlot an animal feeding operation used in factory farming; see CAFO
Fertilizer an organic or synthetic substance that adds nutrients to the soil to help plants grow
Flexitarian a person who eats mainly vegetarian food but makes occasional exceptions for cultural, practical, or nutritional reasons
Food access the ability of a person or group of people to obtain healthy food, depending on factors such as physical access, financial access, knowledge, or cultural attitudes
Food chain a web or series of relationships whereby one organism eats another and is in turn eaten by another; the expression “eating lower on the food chain” means eating fewer animals and more plants
Food culture shared values, traditions, and practices surrounding food; food culture expresses itself within society, community, organization, school, and family
Food desert an area of low food security, where residents have limited or no access to healthy foods and fresh produce, and are served mainly by fast food restaurants
Food justice an approach that advocates for fair distribution of food and that views food security as a basic human right
Food literacy
understanding the story of one’s food, from farm to table and back to the soil; the ability to make informed choices about food that support one’s health, community, and the environment Kabocha squash
Food miles the distance food travels to get from farm to fork; considered in assessing the carbon emissions and environmental impact of transporting food
Food movement a broad term describing individuals and groups who are taking initiative to ensure sustainable, fair, healthy, and delicious food for all
Food policy principles and guidelines related to production, distribution, and consumption of food
Food politics the political aspects of the production, regulation, and distribution of food
Food security availability and access to safe, nutritious food for sustaining an active and healthy life, without risk of hunger or starvation
Food sovereignty the right of people to define their own food system
Food system the interdependent ecologies, people, and processes that bring food to a community; this includes a cycle of producing, storing, processing, transporting, marketing, retailing, preparing, and eating food
Foodshed a defined area in which food is grown, processed, purchased, and eaten; a local foodshed is typically defined as food grown within a 150-mile radius
Free-range
describes animals raised to roam freely outside, instead of being confined in a cage or pen Chicken

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

   
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