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Sustainable Food Guide
Environmental Practice at Work © 2005 Link:EP@W Ltd Web Site
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Additive is a substance that becomes part of a food product when it is added during the processing or production of that specific food item.
Antibiotic is a substance produced by micro-organisms that kill or inhibit bacteria e.g. penicillin.
Aquaculture is fish farming
Assurance Schemes verify that farmers and growers are producing agricultural products according to various documented standards covering food safety and traceability, animal welfare and environmental protection.
Biotechnology is a technology using a biological process - eg bread and beer making, although it can also mean genetic modification
Carbon Sequestration is the uptake and storage of carbon in plants and soil. Plants absorb carbon dioxide, release the oxygen and store the carbon.
Carrying Capacity is the number of people who can be supported without degrading the natural environment and social, economic and cultural systems.
Climate Change (used to be Global Warming) refers to the increase in world temperatrues due to gases, like carbon dioxide, that are trapping more of the sun's rays. More on Climate Change definitions
Cross Compliance requires farmers to comply with (basic) environmental protection requirements as a condition for receiving (about 10%) of CAP subsidies.
Ecology is the study of the relationship between living things (within species and between different species) and between them and their environment. Thanks to Charles Elton.
Ecological footprint (EF) is a measure of how much productive land and water an individual, or designated area requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb the waste it generates. The land is measured in global hectares (gha) and always refers to one year. UK Household Food needs over 6X its own area according to NW Study (pdf)
Economics is the study of how scarce resources are allocated among competing needs.
Farm Scale Evaluations (FSEs) are GM crop farm-scale evaluations over a three-year period aimed at studying the effect that the management practices associated with Genetically Modified Herbicide Tolerant (GMHT) crops might have on farmland wildlife.
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics a critical class of antibiotic for treating sick people, and evidence suggests that use for growth in poultry use is compromising the human uses
Food Miles/Metres measure the distance food travels between production and consumption - 'from plough to plate'.
Food Security is when "all people, especially the most vulnerable and least resilient have dignified and unthreatening access to the quantity and quality of culturally appropriate food that will fully support the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health".
Functional Foodsare physiologically active components in food. ording to the EU are "an organism in which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination".
Globesity is the name given to the emerging global obesity epidemic. In 1995, there were 200 million obese adults worldwide , which has increased to over 300 million. The obesity epidemic is not restricted to industrialized societies; in developing countries, over 115 million people suffer from obesity-related problems. More from WHO
GMHT are plants Genetically Modified for "Herbicide Tolerance". These are plants that can withstand 'broad spectrum' (= kill all) herbicides - such as atrazine, glufosinate or glyphosate.
Greenhouse Gases (GHG) are those gases contributing to the greenhouse effect and are carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), nitrous oxides, and methane. Global Warming Potential (GWP) is the index used to translate the level of emissions of various gases into a common measure in order to compare the relative radiative forcing of different gases without directly calculating the changes in atmospheric concentrations.
GM-free means avoiding all Genetically Modified ingredients, derivatives, enzymes and processes in the manufacture of the products. In the EU, 'GMfree' is when less than 1% of the crop/food is contaminated with GM materials.
Herbicide Tolerant Crops include soybeans, corn, cotton, and rape (canola) which have been genetically engineered to resist the toxic effects of 'broad spectrum' herbicides. See GMHT..
HMR - Home Meal Replacement -
Integrated Farm Management' (IFM) seeks to introduce natural processes into modern farming, e.g Integrated Crop Management seeks to use less pesticide by understanding pests and their life cycles better.
Intensive farming aims to produce the maximum number of crops in a year with a high yield from the land available and to maintain a high stocking rate of livestock.
Local food sourcing is food both produced and sold within a limited geographical radius but which does not necessarily have any distinctive quality.'
Monoculture is the system of cultivation where only one crop is grown on the same piece of land over a number of years. eanings in common use. In chemistry, 'organic' means any substance with carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O). However now 'organic' usually means "without chemicals, such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and artificial additives". However the standards for 'organic' now include other related issues such as animal husbandry and no GM grops.
Natural Capital is the 'stock' of natural resources (e.g forest) that provide, or can be used to make, benefical things (wood) and services (carbon sequestration).
Organic Farming according to IFOAM, employs management practices which seek to nurture ecosystems which achieve sustainable productivity, and provide weed, pest and disease control through a diverse mix of mutually dependent life forms, recycling plant and animal residues, crop selection and rotation, water management, tillage and cultivation. Organic Food is that which is produced by such farm methods..
Pesticides are chemicals used to kill pests such as insects (insecticides), plants (herbicides), fungi, (fungicides) and worms (nematicides). About 25,000 tonnes of pesticide are sprayed over the British countryside each year, Precautionary Principle, according to UN Rio Declaration is "where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation". A 'precautionary approach' would use this principle to guide actions..
Regional food is food produced within a particular geographical area (whether administrative region, county, town or other appellation) and is marketed as coming from that area.
Sequester means to hold carbon whether it is in plants, soil or water. Some say the best place to store carbon is in the soil where it can encourage biomass.
Shade Coffee, like all coffee, is a shade-loving shrub, and flourishes under the canopy of diverse tree species. Hummingbirds, swallows, warblers, orioles, tanagers and other birds find a safe haven in the remaining forests of shade coffee plantations. More from Cafe Canopy
Sustainable Agriculture looks to change present, energy intensive, practices and would include all social and environmental impacts as well as economic.
Sustainable Development "is development that meets that needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." 'Our Common Future', the Bruntland Report 1987.
Sustainable Food is the product of more sustainable farming and food processing, that makes for healthier people and planet.

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