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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Natural connotes minimally processed food that does not contain additives or preservatives; however, “natural” does not necessarily mean organic or sustainable, as no legal standards exist
No Hormones Administered a label describing cattle raised without added growth hormones (the USDA does not permit the use of artificial hormones in pigs and poultry, or in organic-certified foods); also known as “No Added Hormones”
Nutrient a substance that provides nutrition and promotes growth
Obesity a medical condition defined by excessive body fat, having an adverse effect on health
Obesity epidemic widespread obesity; global epidemic status was formally recognized by the World Health Organization in 1997
describes food produced without synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, or genetic modification, and often using techniques such as crop rotation, compost, and biological pest control to minimize negative environmental impact Radish
Organic certified meeting the organic standards of the USDA and verified by an independent organization
Overfishing fishing so much of a particular type of fish that the population cannot naturally recover
Overweight having more body fat than is optimal for health
Pasture-raised describes cattle raised on forage, such as grass or legumes; also Grass-fed
Pesticide-free describes food that has not been sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides but may not be organic certified
Pesticide a substance used to kill pests, like insects or rodents
the process in plants whereby chlorophyll turns light energy into chemical energy to make food Lettuce
Pollination the transfer of pollen from one plant flower to another by organisms (such as bees or hummingbirds) or wind
Polyculture growing a variety of crops on the same piece of land to mimic the biodiversity of nature; in contrast to Monoculture
Preservative a natural or synthetic substance added to a food to prevent spoilage
Processed food food that has been altered from its natural state by drying, freezing, boiling, canning, or other procedures
RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) the amount of a particular nutrient or calories that most people need to stay healthy per day
Regional food system the system of relationships between food producers and customers that supports the health and long-term needs of a particular area
rGBH (bovine growth hormone) a hormone administered to cows to stimulate milk production; also known as recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST)
Runoff excess water that washes away once soil has been fully irrigated; runoff can include pesticides, petroleum, and other waste that pollutes the surrounding land and water, especially in industrial agriculture

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

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