acetic fermentation

the process by which bacteria such as Acetobacter convert oxygen and alcohol into acetic acid or vinegar.


a type of paid promotional messaging intended to compel consumers to purchase the promoted product or service.


the system of evaluating sensory stimuli; in the case of food, aesthetics tends to relate to the pleasurable experiences of taste, smell, sight, and texture.


an embodied experience of impact, related to the ways in which living things perceive, feel, and sense interaction with other living or non-living things.

affective relationships

the set of emotions and feelings that produce visceral and personal connections with other people, objects, and ideas

ag-gag laws

laws that ban people from exposing cruel and/or unsafe conditions at farms and slaughterhouses; they include making it an offence to gain access to agricultural property under false pretences, effectively shutting down undercover investigations.


the capacity to act and affect other things; in humans, the will and ability to make change for oneself or others; in non-humans and non-living actors, agency (also “material agency”) recognizes that reactions can be elicited when intention and cognition are not present.

agri-food certification

a practice of agri-food governance through which the origins or qualities of food are verified by certifying bodies; Certified Organic and Fair Trade are prominent examples of agri-food certification.

agri-food governance

the rules, regulations, and institutions that shape the production of and trade in food and agricultural products at multiple scales (e.g., local, national, transnational, global).


tourism premised on agricultural landscapes, rural heritage, farming, and food cultures.

agricultural futures markets

futures contracts in which the underlying assets come from the raising of crops and/or animals; futures are exchange-traded derivatives that lock in future delivery of a commodity or security at a price set today.


the organisms and environment of a cultivated agricultural area.


Multi-functional agricultural production systems that integrate trees (for fuelwood, timber harvesting, or other products) and non-wood forest products (such as medicinal plants, fruits, and nuts) with the cultivation of food crops and sometimes livestock.

alcoholic fermentation

the process by which yeast converts sugars such as glucose and fructose into alcohol, acid, and carbon dioxide.


a literary device in which consonants, especially at the beginning of words, are repeated for resonance and impact.


an implicit reference to people, places, events, literary works, myths, works of art, or other elements an author believes readers may recognize.

alternative trade organisations

shops in commercial districts that appeared in the 1960s and 1970s to sell products from then-decolonising countries; in past, ATOs were action centres for the fair trade movement’s activists.


a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.

animal husbandry

the breeding, farming, and caring for farm animals such as chickens, cattle, dogs, sheep and horses.

animal welfare activists

people who protest or otherwise work against factory farming, animal testing, or cruelty to animals in other forms. Many animal welfare activists are either vegan or vegetarian and work towards ending speciesism, which is the domination of one species over another.

anorexia nervosa

an eating disorder marked by a restriction of caloric intake resulting is significantly low body weight with detrimental health effects. In the “restricting” type of anorexia nervosa, an individual controls their weight solely through caloric restriction, while in the “binge-eating/purging” type, a person may demonstrate similar behaviours as in bulimia nervosa, including self-induced vomiting and/or misuse of laxatives.


a proposed geologic epoch characterized by significant human impact on the natural world.


originating in human activity.


the farming of fish and other aquatic organisms.

artificial intelligence

systems that are built from human-defined objectives and that generate outputs that can influence the physical or digital environment with which the systems interact. Overall, what is meant by artificial and intelligent remains contested.

artisan cheese

a product made using specific conditions of production (smaller in scale, based in singular geographic locales, connected to the identity of the cheesemaker).

arts-informed research

an emerging mode of qualitative research process that harnesses the creative, expressive, and evocative nature of arts to explore research questions.


a qualitative research method that analyzes personal experience and sense-making through reflection; autoethnography differs from autobiography by taking a wider framework are the site of examination, i.e., one’s own experience.

balancing feedback loops

cycles of systemic processes that counter reinforcing loops within a system, and which serve to alter or correct systemc relations at a larger level.

bee bread

a mixture of pollen and nectar or honey made by honey bees; the main source of food for worker bees and larvae.


a portable, packaged meal of Japanese origin usually consisting of steamed rice, vegetables, meat or fish dishes. Although bento can be purchased in stores or bento shops, it is customary for Japanese women (especially mothers and wives) to prepare bento for their families every morning.


within research, a positioning that produces a systematic change in perception, findings, or analysis; in a more material sense, bias refers to the inclination, angle, or diagonal with which a substance is aligned.

binge eating disorder

an eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of intense and large-scale eating that are not followed by the compensatory behaviours (such as purging) that are a part of bulimia.

biodiversity hotspot

A biome or region that has extremely high levels of biodiversity and endemism, meaning that many of the species are only found in that biome. Hotspots are also at high risk of destruction from deforestation and other forms of environmental degradation.

blockchain technology

an unchangeable and distributed digital ledger, in which each transaction or record is stored in a ‘block.’ Information contained in a block is linked to that of previous blocks, forming a chain of transactions. The most well known form of blockchains are cryptocurrencies.

body maintenance

an approach to human health that emphasizes individual responsibility for eating well and getting adequate exercise, along with other individual practices that treat the human body as a machine.

bulimia nervosa

an eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating, followed by recurrent compensatory behaviours such as purging that is used to avoid weight gain.

capital accumulation

the ways in which wealth is generated.


an economic and political system in which trade and industry are governed and controlled by private owners for profit, instead of collectively owned by the state, public planning, and/or labourers themselves.

capture fisheries

the harvesting of wild fish stocks in marine and freshwater ecosystems; often classified as small-scale or industrial/large-scale.


the dominant ideology that considers meat-eating desirable and normal.

case study

an examination of a particular subject, event, group, or other unit of analysis; can be used as a means of comparison across two or more units.


describes linear or clearly defined relationships within a system, in which consequences or effects are directly associated with prompts or stimuli.

cell-cultured meat

meat produced using by the propogation of animal tissues in a laboratory environment, i.e., without being grown within the body of an animal.


an Indigenous person from present-day Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

charismatic microfauna

small animal species that serve as rallying points that stimulate awareness and action.


the action or process of arranging or categorizing things according to pre-determined qualities or characteristics.

close reading

detailed, critical examination of a text to discover its meanings and assess its significances and effects; considers imagery, setting, diction, syntax, point of view, form, characterization, style, symbolism, and figurative language.

code economy

an economy in which digital technologies, which use computer code, are commercialized and permeate individual and social life.

Codex Alimentarius

the international standards, guidelines, and codes of practice regarding food, established by the United Nations.


a reciprocal evolutionary change that occurs between pairs of species or among groups of species as they interact with one another.

cognitive behavioural therapy

a form of psychotherapy that aims to help individuals restructure dysfunctional thought processes and challenge the reinforcement of unhealthy behaviours; overall, CBT aims to increase coping and well-being.

colony collapse disorder

the name given to the phenomenon, observed in the early 2000s, in which millions of honey bees disappeared in the United States, with similar reports from Canada and parts of Europe; the term has become a catch-all for mysterious, undiagnosed deaths of managed honey bee colonies.

commercial infant formula

a prepared food (often in powder or concentrate form), made to resemble human milk, and which is marketed for the feeding of infants.


the conversion of a resource, good, or service into an object of exchange within a capitalist market system.


a resource, good, or service that is transformed into an object of exchange within a capitalist market system; commodities are bought and sold in the marketplace using money as the intermediary between seller and buyer.

commodity fetishism

the association of production, exchange, and consumption relationships with money and merchandise, rather than with humans; commodity fetishism disassociates human social relations from, for example, the making of food products.


a resource that is shared or held in common by members of a community and governed by rules developed and overseen by that group.

community food security

A approach to achieving food security through the rebuilding of place-based and sustainable food systems.

community of practice

A group of people who share a concern or an interest and come together to pursue common goals through a set of shared methods or processes.

community-based research

A participatory process of co-learning amongst project participants (researchers, practitioners, community members) to identify a research question and the ways by which knowledge will be generated to address the question.

complete proteins

foods that contain all the amino acids humans require for good health; animal proteins tend to be complete; plant-based proteins generally are not, although combining different plant-based proteins can be a way to ensure all required amino acids are obtained.


a process in which separate, smaller companies are combined to create larger and fewer companies that exert more influence in the economy.


narrowly defined, the transformation of food through the application of heat; more broadly, a range of food preparation activities, from butchery to preparing food ‘from scratch’ to heating up packaged foods.


dried coconut, from which coconut oil is obtained and used in a range of cosmetic and soap products, among others.


referring to academic approaches that focus on observing, analyzing, and acting upon systemic structures such as bias, inequity, or difference.

critical design

the creative practices of design to make artifacts that stimulate debate and challenge the status quo, in some way. The critical design artifact is not intended for utility but to provide a critical perspective on an issue.

critical dietetics

an interdisciplinary field that draws on critical social theory to explore power in relation to food, nutrition, and healthy eating; includes the knowledge base, education and training approaches, and regulatory frameworks within the dietetic profession.

critical ethnography

a qualitative research practice that involves immersive research and the exploration of cultural patterns through direct experience and observation.

critical nutrition studies

an interdisciplinary field that draws on the perspectives and tools of critical social theory to illuminate the ways in which nutrition and healthy eating are shaped by and shape social and structural inequities in society.

critical reading

examining and interpreting texts while also examining and interpreting the context or environment in which that text was produced, i.e., to better understand the author or creator’s biases and positionality and therefore better understand the ideas and information provided.


the practice of breastfeeding other women’s children without pay.

cultural capital

a form of distinction or power that a person acquires by being fluent in social norms and knowledge.

cultural humility

an ongoing process, rather than a state of being, that requires the development of self-awareness about personal and cultural identity, as well as knowledge about others.

cultural knowledge

understanding of the history, social context, and values of a cultural group.

cultural relativism

an approach in which traditions and other cultural patterns are evaluated within their own systemic context, rather than analyzed from the ‘outside’ of that culture.


the customary beliefs, social habits, and traits of racial, religious, and/or social group; culture encompasses language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music, and arts.


word choice; contributes to the tone of a text and and creates context; may reflect attitudes, ages, eras, regional locations, subcultures, emotional charges, etc; may also relate to symbols and metaphors, or to refer to something elsewhere within or beyond the text.

diet culture

the pervasive system of beliefs and practices that associates thinness with optimal health and moral virtue, reprehends certain ways of eating while praising others, and oppresses people whose bodies do not fit into a given society’s supposed picture of health and wellness; diet culture is sustained through print and digital media (among other channels), and disproportionately harms Black women, Indigenous women, and women of colour, queer and trans folks, people in larger bodies, and people with disabilities.

dietary specialists

animals that collect food from a narrow range of plants; some bees are dietary specialists that, without access to certain plants, cannot provide food for their larvae.

dietetic management

deliberate, day-to-day eating practices, in which the goal is to consume appropriate amounts of food that is deemed ‘healthy’.


an ancient Greek philosophy concerning the care of the self, which included the regulation of eating, drinking, sex, exercise, and sleep.

direct marketing

any marketing practice that relies on direct communication to individual consumers, rather than through a third party (such as media).


talk or text in social and historical context, about any subject, at any time, and in any form, where materializations of meaning or ideology exist.

disposable workforces

groups of people that deliver labour in contexts with weak employee-employer bonds, which exist as short-term labour sources, and which are valued based on their contributions to productivity alone; characteristic of neoliberal structures and systems.


in food studies, a concept used to describe the physical and cognitive space between eaters and the sources of their food, as created by the modern, globalized food system.


the variety of different species present in a given community or ecosystem.

Doctrine of Signatures

a Middle Ages, folkloric understanding of medicine, in which foods resembling various parts of the body were used to treat ailments of those body parts.


an approach to understanding food that recognizes its influences and impacts on ecology and the environment.

ecosystem services

The wide range of contributions and benefits that ecosystems provide for human well-being, including: supplying food, fuel for cooking, and water; regulating functions of the environment such as pollination and maintaining a stable climate; creating cultural opportunities such as recreation; supporting functions like water cycling and photosynthesis.


the process of incorporating physical or abstract things into one’s body, such as food, race, or knowledge—so that they become part of one’s body.


the unplanned and uncontrolled appearance of a physical object or abstract notion within a system, creating the sense of a spontaneous force giving rise to sophisticated structures.

emergent potential

the capacity for emergence to occur.

enabling environment

(in policy) a policy environment that supports the ultimate goals and intentions of a program by providing delegated authority, flexible policy frameworks, and/or adequate resource support.


A species that is found in a unique and specific geographic location is said to be endemic to that place. Endemic species are more limited than species that are considered indigenous to a place, which means that they can also be found in other geographic locations.

environmental oral history

A discipline that combines methods and concepts from oral history (such as interviews, narratives, and memory) and environmental history (which focuses on the relationship between people and their environments throughout history). It is used to examine the range of perspectives people have on ecosystems, forests, conservation, among many other environmental issues. Environmental oral history focuses on peoples’ perceptions of, and relationships with, their environment, which enables an understanding of the ways people produce meaning from the places they inhabit, and how they perceive and value the natural world around them.

environmental racism

the reality that polluting industries and waste sites are routinely located in areas predominantly occupied by low-income, non-White, and Global South communities.

Environmental subject making
environmental subject making and identity

the ways in which people perceive themselves and their surrounding environment as being shaped by their daily interactions with the local ecology.


a branch of philosophy focused on the theory of knowledge, specifically its nature and origin; the processes and structures of making knowledge.


a worldview and value system.

export-oriented agriculture

An approach to agriculture that provides more support and incentives for producers growing food at a large scale that can be exported to support economic growth than for producers growing food at a smaller scale to feed local communities.


the costs, consequences, or side effects of an economic or prodcution activity that affect unrelated parties (human and non-human species), and which are not taken into account in the prices of the goods or services produced (e.g., the health effects of air pollution caused by food transportation).

extrinsic attributes of food or drink

the external conditions that determine perception of a food/drink’s quality (e.g., location of production, group identity, marketing strategies).

fair trade

a form of ethical commercial exchange, embodied by a movement that operationalizes the idea of justice in commerce.

Fairtrade certification program

a system of standards embodying fair trade practices that both buyers and sellers have to comply with to obtain a certificate issued by Fairtrade International.

feed conversion ratio

in animal husbandry, the relative efficiency with which organisms transform food inputs into desirable outputs such as meat or milk.


a process in which food matter (and sometimes meaning) is transformed through the metabolism of microbial life (e.g., milk into cheese, grapes into wine).


an independent organization carrying out the auditing process for Fairtrade International.


the scholarly study of tradition.

food bank

a place where food—generally basic, non-perishable provisions such as rice, pasta and canned goods—can be accessed by those experiencing food insecurity.

food culture

culinary practices and meanings shared among a certain group of people that shape one’s engagement with food.

food desert

an area of a city or region (often low-income) that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food.

food identity

the result of the way people constitute themselves by following a set of nutritional, cultural, symbolic, collective, and/or ethical values.

food insecurity

the condition that exists when one or more people are not able to gain access to food in sufficient quality and quantity, often due to lack of economic resources, in order to live a healthful and active life; note that there are multiple ways that food insecurity has been defined, depending on context.

food justice

the process of eliminating oppression and inequity in food systems; note that there are multiple definitions of food justice, depending on context.

food meanings

the social, cultural, and religious significance that is associated with foods.

food practices

includes food access and acquisition, food preparation, food preferences, and eating behavior; akin to foodways, the term used in food studies to describe food and meal preparation, religious and symbolic uses of food, and gardening, among other activities.

food rescue

the process of acquiring food that is edible and no longer part of the food supply chain for the purpose of donating to food shelters and pantries.

food rescue network

people who work together to donate, transport, deliver and receive otherwise wasted food.

food rescue networks
food safety

the combined practices of ensuring that food and food products are free from harmful substances, both chemical and biological; food safety procedures can exist at all stages and within all spaces of food production, transformation, retail, preparation, and consumption.

food security

the condition when all people, at all times, have sufficient access to safe and nutritious food to meet their needs and cultural preferences for an active and healthy life.

food sovereignty

a political framework developed by the international peasant organization, La Via Campesina, emphasizing the rights of peoples to determine their own food systems, including the production and consumption of food through methods that are environmentally, culturally, and socially sustainable.

food system

all the steps and processes involved in feeding people and how foods are transformed along the way; includes harvesting/production, distribution, marketing, retail, consumption, and waste.

food traceability app or mini-program

a software application containing basic, traceable food production and distribution information that is supported by a range of technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain technologies, cloud computing, data analytics, and sensors in the ‘internet of things’; food traceabiltiy apps are embedded in one or many platforms owned by big technology corporations.

food traceability system

the many layers of technology-enabled food information embedded in highly monopolized platforms that are composed of food traceability apps, mini-programs, smart supermarkets, and offline access QR codes.

food-based waste

the reduction in quantity or quality of food that comes about through practices throughout the food system, including those in the field, factory, retail environment, and home.


harvesting wild plants for consumption.


any systemic relationship in which military, corporate, educational, and media powers (generally those of large and economically powerful nations) shape, influence, and dictate the food choices, options, and knowledge of other nations and territories.


a coordinated effort by a nation to use food to promote its national identity and culture.


a practitioner of  gastronomy, used in connection with both older (French/culinary) and modern understandings of gastronomy; synonymous for many with ‘gourmet’; see also ‘gastronomer’.


an alternative to gastronome, used to describe a person who has studied gastronomy, or someone who takes a holistic, critical, and connected view of where their food comes from, how it is produced, and the impact it has on both society and the environment.


a person who has broad general knowledge and skills in several areas or many fields of study; a person whose knowledge, aptitudes, and skills are applied to a field as a whole (as opposed to a specialist).

geographical indications

a marker or tool used to identify the geographic origin of a product.

global food systems

The complete system governing food production, processing, distribution, and consumption at a global level. Generally refers to large-scale production and distribution of food products through mainstream, centralized networks.


the growing interdependence of the world’s economies, cultures, and populations, brought about by cross-border trade in goods and services, technology, and flows of investment, people, and information.


the ways in which decisions are made, including the government, civil society, and market actors involved, as well as the norms, rules, and institutions shaping decision-making.

Great Depression

a period of history that started with the Wall Street Stock Market Crash known as ‘Black Tuesday’ (on October 29, 1929) and ending when World War II began; a decade marked by conditions creating food shortages, unemployment, and poverty.


the deceptive use of unsubstantiated sustainability arguments to promote a product or service.

gross domestic product

the income of a country’s economy; used as a primary marker of how well an economy is doing.

health disparity

a difference in health status connected to individual or group disadvantage (e.g., socio-economic, environmental); affect people experiencing systemic barriers related to race, ethnic origin, gender/sex/orientation, geography, ability, religion, and other identity-related qualities.

hedonic qualities

aspects of a given thing that relate to pleasure, in this case related to the consumption of food.


the systems by which one country or socio-political group rules, governs, or dominates another.

history of the present

a term coined by French philosopher Michel Foucault (1977) to understand the social construction of the present moment.


the Canadian system in which white, settler, male farmers were given 160 acres of land (under the Dominion Lands Act of 1872), provided they agreed to cultivate at least 40 acres and built a permanent dwelling within three years.

human donor milk bank

a depository that collects surplus breast milk from nursing mothers with the intent to pasteurize it and feed it to infants in need.

human rights and environmental due diligence

the voluntary or mandatory actions companies take to examine all social and environmental risks and impacts related to their their supply chains.

human subjectivity

a sense of self defined by characteristics understood to be uniquely human; see also subjectivity.

human-bee-crop relationship

the ways in which human and bees are connected through agroecosystems.

humoural medicine

an ancient and Renaissance system of medicine in which foods were understood in terms of their hot/cold, wet/dry properties and used as medicine to rebalance bodily states.


the sense of self; how a group or individual characterizes themselves.


a system of ideas, beliefs, and values that are shared by a group and that inform how individuals in that group interpret and react to the world.


the practice of making sure that all people—particularly those who have been historically marginalized or excluded from certain contexts—have fair and equivalent access to opportunities, spaces, and other common social resources.

individual transferable quotas

a type of fishing quota that can be transferred or leased to other fishing license holders through a free market system.


the privileging of the individual person over the collective; implies that people are responsible only for themselves and their households, and that their fortunes, good or bad, are of their own making.

industrial cheese

a dairy-based food product that is made to be consistent across time and space (large-scale, framed by homogeneity, produced in generic settings).


the process of state or regional planning and development of facilities, equipment, energy sources, and manufacturing processes that transform raw resources into manufactured products on a large scale, allowing for mass production.

industrialization of food systems

the transformation of agricultural systems to make them reliant on external inputs (e.g., fossil fuels, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides) and monocultures; a process of maximizing food production per unit of land or space.


a conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning.

information barrier

inefficient, unclear, or incomplete information that has a negative impact on the receiving end of a given communications process; aspects of systems of communications systems that produce inefficient, unclear, or incomplete information.


(of abstractions) represented by a concrete instance or example.

integrated pest management (IPM)

a wide range of intentional practices ranging from reducing or using alternative pesticides to complete agroecological redesign; IPM minimizes the need for pesticides through pest monitoring strategies, careful observation of pest activity, the use of alternatives (biological and cultural controls), and judicious, targeted use of pesticides only when economic thresholds are reached.


Intercropping is a practice used in agriculture in which two or more crops are grown together in the same field or area. These can be conventional species such as oats intercropped with rye, or they can include tree species—such as coffee trees—planted alongside chili peppers. Intercropping provides benefits such as improving the nutrient availability in the soil and pest management. It also takes advantage of the natural differences in plant growth, for example planting species that require greater levels of shade in the understory of tree crops.


the creation of a new space of academic investigation through the blending or hybridization of two or more disciplines.

internet of things

a global network of interconnected objects, including sensors, smart devices, and microchips, that are uniquely addressable through standard communication protocols; applications exist in many contexts, from healthcare to agriculture to domestic space.

interpretive epistemology

the practice of viewing knowledge as created through and inseparable from the observations and context of the observer; interpretive epistemology is always subjective.


the relationship among the multiple identities, policies, systems, and structures that have an impact on an individual’s relative position in society

intrinsic attributes of food or drink

the sensory qualities of a food as understood as a physiological response (taste, flavor, texture, etc.)


the process of making people or processes less apparent or present to a given audience, either by not identifying, talking about, or valuing those people/processes.


(also, kinship) a relational process of creating and maintaining familial relationships from a place of nurture, care, love, and acts of respect and accountability, rather than strictly due to one’s traditional marriage ties, blood, or birth relations.


a habit or policy of doing nothing; not involving policy intervention; commonly used in economics to describe a context free from or having minimal governance intervention.

land rematriation

processes and actions that help to restore living cultures to the Earth; conditions in which lands, waters and our relationships to them are intentionally returned to their natural or spiritual context; returning land to ‘Mother Nature’.

Lapita peoples

the descendants of Austronesian-speaking peoples from modern-day Southern China and Island Southeast Asia, and Papuan-speaking peoples from modern-day Oceania, specifically from the Bismarck Archipelago, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu; named for the site in New Caledonia where their distinctive pottery (dating as far back as 1600 BCE) was first identified by 20th-century archaeologists; Lapita peoples were masterful oceanic navigators.

local food

Food grown for, by, and within a community or communities.


a person who eats predominantly (or only) foods produced in their immediate region.

mainstream veganism

the form of plant-based eating that is perpetuated in food media and popular culture; often centered around profit-generating industries, including diet and wellness.

mainstreaming fair trade

the process by which fair trade products are increasingly commercialized in non-alternative markets.

market-based solutions

attempts to solve social and environmental problems through the operations of a capitalist market.


turning over the regulation of a given industry, sector, or problem to market forces (see market-based solutions).

material visibility

the capacity of an object or a thing to demonstrate its vitality in the world, and make understood it lifecycle, activities, composition, and relationship to other things.


all that relates to the concrete, physical characteristics of substances like food, including how they are created, used, and call forth particular responses from people; a counterpoint to discursivity (that which relates to language, meaning, and symbolic characteristics) and processuality (that which relates to making, doing, and transformation).

maximizing efficiency

the effort to increase productivity; in food, debate remains about whether industrialized systems of production are more or less efficient than small-scale family farms.


a fermented drink made from honey; also known as ‘honey wine’, although some forms of mead contain very little alcohol.

media culture

the ways in which mass media, including digital platforms, are integrated within society and culture, producing lasting effects in human interaction; includes processes of mediation in broader cultural discourse.

member checking

a validation technique used in qualitative research, in which researchers ask participants to review their preliminary analysese and check for accuracy and resonance with the participants’ own experiences.

menu literacy

the ability to interpret the specialized language of a restaurant menu and order a series of dishes that adhere to culinary norms (e.g., a starter, a main dish, and a dessert, as opposed to three salads).


awareness and understanding of one's own thought processes.

Métis scrip

a form of substitute currencty that was used to remove Métis title to their lands, which then enabled settler expansion; scrip was issued by the colonial government to Métis families in exchange for their land title; Métis were often coerced or fraudulently forced into selling their land, and many were left homeless.


the practice of donors giving expressed human milk to an unrelated infant.


the practice in industrial agriculture of producing a single species of plant or animal, generally over a large area and using extensive chemical and petroleum-based inputs.


a concept that re-orients and widens perspectives beyond human-centred concerns; shifts human awareness toward the experiences of plants, insects, and other animals.

more-than-human relations

interactions among humans and non-humans that draw attention and care to the ways in which our actions affect others and vice versa; non-humans may include entities that are often understood to be inert, such as rocks.


in academia, any activity that combines or involves several different or distinct academic disciplines or professional specializations in an approach to understanding or researching a topic.

municipal policy

governance systems (rules, regulations, procedures) made by a local form of government, such as a city or town; more localized than federal, provincial, or regional governance.

narrative structure

the organization of a story that follows and/or includes specific elements; e.g., the elements of a tour include a visit to a place, a series of stops, and commentary by a guide.

neighborhood divestment

the process of reducing or ending investment of private and/or public resources in urban neighbourhoods, often in conjunction with racial discrimination and segregation.

neighborhood resilience strategies

residents’ efforts to cope with and adapt to various forms of physical and emotional stress resulting from economic marginalization, racism, and other forms of oppression in cities.


aligned to Carlo Petrini's restatement of gastronomy for the 21st century; draws together associations of food-related pleasure with an awareness of food's many environmental, economic, and social impacts.


a philosophy of governance that emerged in the 1970s in Europe and North America that is premised on the market as a regulator of social and economic life; emphasizes commodification, privatization, and other forms of marketization as solutions to social and environmental problems; shifts power from the state to non-state actors.


a class of persistent pesticides, commonly used in agricultre, that are highly toxic to insects including bees.

non-state actor

an individual or organization that has significant political influence but is not allied to any particular country or state.

non-state actors

people aged 90 to 99 years old.


a way of understanding and discussing food that centralizes nutrient components (e.g., “high in Omega-3s”).

nutrition transition

a shift in dietary consumption and energy expenditure that coincides with economic, demographic, and epidemiological changes.


an ideology of food in which understanding of food based on nutrient components are centralized over the composition of the foods as a whole, the diet of which they are a part, and the broader social contexts in which people make dietary choices.


a condition of very limited market competition dominated by a small number of firms.


a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of being, reality, and existence; the substance and meaning of a given context.

overwintering losses

the common death of honey bee colonies during the winter period, when they subsist on stored honey.


a framework, or way of thinking, commonly accepted by members of a given knowledge community; a model of something that serves as a reference point, or standard, for other iterations of that thing.

participant observation

a qualitative method of data gathering in which the researcher effectively takes part in the process or activity being studied.

participatory research

A research practice that involves a range of collaborative approaches to ensure that community members and other stakeholders are active participants in the design, implementation, and analysis of research results. Methods can include interviews, focus groups, community mapping, dialogues between communities and researchers, and many others. The goal of participatory research is to ensure that research activities and outcomes are inclusive and relevant to the communities involved, making the active participants in the process of creating and disseminating knowledge, rather than passive objects of academic research.


the process of applying high heat to food substances over a relatively short period of time, in order to eliminate potentially harmful microorganisms; named for Louis Pasteur, a French microbiologist and chemist who lived and worked in the 19th century.

pasteurized human donor milk

expressed human milk given to milk banks, who then pasteurize and bottle it.


a social system widely practiced across the world, in which men hold power and control, and power is transferred along male lines; often manifests in male control over power and resources, and a range of legal, political, and cultural restrictions placed upon women and non-heteronormative people.


a word with a complicated heritage that describes a variety of people with varying connections to agricultural production and rural landscapes, who are often partially engaged in markets; in the context of this chapter, peyizan (peasant) is how Haitians refer to smallholder farmers, and it is how producers self-identify; much scholarly debate exists around the complexities and contradictions of what constitutes a ‘peasant’.

per capita

the average amount of something produced or consumed per person; often used in place of "per person" in statistical observances.


farm/garden design and practices that work with nature, allowing for self-contained ecosystems that require no external inputs.


one of a number of image making research methods that expands data generation beyond more traditional forms of language-based methods such as interviewing and focus groups.


a time-limited, targeted implementation of a project, policy, or program to see its effectiveness in achieving the stated goals or intentions.


a geographic locale; while more abstract than city, region, or state, “place” nonetheless implies a set of distinct characteristics and qualities.

place-based designations

forms of certification that confirm the origins, practices, and ingredients of a given food product; examples include the Geographic Indication (GI) system and the French appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) system.

place-based food systems

Moving from a purely geographical conceptualization of ‘local’, place-based food systems consider how food systems are constructed through everyday practices of relationship building and social networking.

political ecology

the relationships of humans and their environments, manifested through interactions between biophysical, cultural, economic, political, and social factors.


an organized society; a state as a political entity.


the process that allows plants to create offspring through the transferring of pollen from the male anther to the female stigma of a flower; insects, birds, wind, and humans may all be vectors of pollination.

pollination services

the actions provided by managed bees or wild bees as they interact with flowers and move pollen from male to female flower parts.


the cultivation of several different species of plants or animals together in a given area.


having or characterized by many (often very different) meanings; the existence of several meanings in a single word or phrase.

positivist epistemology

an approach to knowledge that takes empirical evidence—data derived through observation of phenomenon—as the means to uncovering objective truths about the world.

precarious employment

typically low-wage, short-term, non-unionized work that comes with few protections or benefits; work that does not provide the worker with a sense of security.

primary forest

Forests that have reached their most advanced stage of complexity or succession in terms of age and diversity (also known as old-growth or climax forests). Forests tend to go through several stages of dynamic succession, or development, from initial growth of shrubs and pioneer trees to states that are more biodiverse and well developed, finally reaching a final dynamic stage of complex, primary forests. These forests are some of the most dense and biodiverse biomes in the world and are responsible for a vast amount of carbon sequestration worldwide.


the transfer of public resources, goods, or services to private ownership and control.


unearned social advantage that may influence an individual’s behaviours in ways that become problematic for those without privilege; often invisible to those that have it.


The act of obtaining goods or services. Food procurement considers how and from whom food is purchased by an organization or institution.

promotional messages

commercial forms of communications that encourage consumption behaviors; includes advertising, public service announcements, political slogans and campaign elements, health promotion, and public relations efforts.

protein plurality

favouring a range of different perspectives on what constitutes the most beneficial role and make-up of protein foods in a healthy and sustainable diet.

quality of life

an individual's perception of how they are doing, relative to others in comparable context and value systems; may include aspects of health, wealth, work, economic and social status, religious beliefs and freedoms, safety, education, and free/leisure time.


a portion of the total allowable catch, often allocated to individual fish harvesters; can also be allocated at a community or national level and then further divided.


a quality of relationships that involve mutually beneficial exchange; similar to trust, accountability and respect.

regenerative agriculture

a broad set of policies and practices aimed at restoring and rehabilitating the health of food and farming systems; focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, and ensuring a well-functioning water cycle.

regional food systems

A decentralized food system constructed through collaborative networks across a geographical region that considers how the production, processing, distribution and consumption of food can support the environmental, social, and economic health of a particular region.

reinforcing feedback loops

cycles of processes that reestablish previous functional patterns within a system; serve to bring systemic relations back to normative patters after a change or disruption.

reserve and pass system

a system of colonial confinement and control by the Canadian federal government in which tracts of land were set aside under the Indian Act and treaty agreements, restricting Indigenous bands to fixed geographic locations; Indigenous people were then required to present a pass or travel document in order to control and restrict their movement outside of reserve boundaries.


a process in which one party shifts its responsibilities onto another; e.g., state responsibilities for the well-being of citizens may be foisted onto individual citizens, especially particular groups in society.

rhetorical strategy

a method of persuasion that conveys a purpose or argument by making logical or emotional appeals using carefully crafted language.

rural exodus

A process of migration in which people, often youth, move away from rural areas to cities in search of improved economic opportunities and education, or due to other social and economic factors such as land dispossession.

scale up

Planning and setting the stage to support growth in one’s business without major constraints or roadblocks.


a written or unwritten set of rules that govern the way people talk, behave, and appear; a guide for present a particular social identity to oneself or to others; a scenario that is performed.

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program

a temporary foreign worker program that began in 1966, negotiated between Canada and twelve countries (Mexico, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago); workers reside on employer property for up to eight months while cultivating, planting, harvesting, sorting, and packing produce.

secondary forests

Forests in a stage of regrowth after disturbance, due to clear cutting, fire, or extreme weather events like hurricanes.


characterized by little physical movement, activity, or exercise.

self and other

(self) one’s own distinct identity, as differentiated from bodies that are perceived to be separate entities (other).


a concept embedded in the Charter of the United Nations that refers to the right of a people to choose and enact their own future, including political, economic, cultural, and social realities.


an group or organization that is controlled by people not associated with a centralized or local government.


the process in which a plant transfers pollen to itself, often using gravity to move it between strategically located male and female parts without the help of wind or insects.

sensory evaluation

the act of analytically explaining the experience of eating food or drinking beverages, usually with a focus on taste, flavour, texture ,and mouthfeel; can also involve a declaration of preferences.

settler colonialism

a structure and system in which newly arriving populations seek to eliminate and replace the inhabitants of a land or territory; can occur through direct violent means, as well as legal and bureaucratic means; includes mindsets and strategies for occupation, expansion, and genocide, and can include the theft and control of resources and land as well as cultural assimilation; an ongoing process in many lands.


the Japanese term for food education; a law enacted in 2005 by the Japanese government to promote healthy eating habits, improve population health, and preserve traditional culinary culture through local food production and consumption.

short mead

mead that has fermented for a brief period of time, usually under 30 days.


the integration of livestock grazing operations within various types of forestry practices, in a mutually beneficial way.

Slow Food

an international, grassroots organization established in 1986 by Carlo Petrini in Bra, Italy, that promotes the continuity of local food cultures and traditions; the social movement of those people involved with the international organization and its local branches.

small-scale fisheries

typically based in a family units, using small boats close to shore, and with catches mostly for local markets and subsistence food needs; often contrasted to industrial or large-scale fisheries; exist across the Global North and South with varying definitions depending upon the regional context.

social and structural inequities

the unfair and systematic outcomes experienced by different groups in society that are reinforced by the structural organization of that society.

social hierarchies

systems of social organization that suggest the ranking of people within a society; can be implicit or explicit, but always involve some who enjoy a higher social status, and some who suffer from a lower one.

social inequities

the inequitable distribution of benefits and burdens, privileges, opportunities, and responsibilities shared among social groups in society.

social location

the groups to which people belong, due to their position in history and society.

socially embedded

a description the ways in which individual decisions (e.g., about what to eat) are influenced by feelings of belonging, deeply senses meaning, knowledge, and ideals.


inclusive of both space and time.

structural inequities

the biases that are entrenched within institutions that structure society such as education, the law, health care, and others, and that undergird social inequities.


the ways in which knowledge and selfhood relate to an individual; related to positionality and experience; often understood as ‘bias’ or the counterpoint of objectivity; see also human subjectivity.


descriptive of maintaining or supporting oneself, especially at a minimal level; may refers to an economy in which peoples procure, produce, and consume their own food and provisions rather than participating in a market, cash-based economy, and thereby purchasing their food and other provisions.


foods considered to be so high in particular nutrients that they disproportionately benefit the eater’s health; generally a term used in marketing; typically not a term used by professional dietitians.

supermarket redlining

the process by which decisions about where to invest in supermarket development are driven by both profit motives and stereotypes based on income, race, and other attributes of a neighbourhood.

sustainability imperatives

the obligations necessary to be able to meet our present needs without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


sentence structure; enhances the meanings found in prose and contributes to its tone, meaning, and atmosphere.


the process by which the whole and parts of the system make meaning through their interactions; reduction of a complex set of elements into a more simplified pattern; the production of a finished element through a set of intentional and planned processes.

systems theory

a set of understandings that describe how everything, from organisms to organizations, draws from and contributes to its environment.

table d’hôte

a fixed meal at a fixed price; French for the host’s table.


the sensation of flavour perceived in the mouth and throat on contact with a substance;  the ability to discern what is of good quality or of a high aesthetic standard; conformity or failure to conform with generally held views concerning what is acceptable.


a commercial establishment that serves alcohol as its primary offering; may also serve food in complement to alcoholic beverages.


to name, classify, and order according to different categories.


the characteristics and practices of a given food-production region that are understood to impart specific sensory qualities to the products that are made there; may include climate, soil structure, topography, and traditions; a means of sensory evaluation based in the conditions of production of a product; ‘the taste of place’.

the state

an entity that includes all the people, policies, resources, and practices that support the workings of a government in a particular territory.

Three Sisters

an Indigenous tradition of growing corn, beans, and squash together; provides mutual nutrient exchange, protection from crop predators, and loss of soil moisture, as well as structural enhancement for all three crops.

total allowable catch

the maximum amount of any given fish species that can be caught, usually decided by resource management authorities.


practices and products connecting individuals to their past, place, and other people; a resource for creativity, social interaction, and identity; traditions may exist for many centuries or be invented and reiterated over a relatively short period of time.

traditional ecological knowledge

Knowledge, practices, and beliefs that have developed over generations and that relate to the interactions between all living things—including humans (also called local ecological knowledge). The concept often refers to Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing, but can also be applied to settler communities that have developed continual, historical resource-use practices.

ultra-processed foods

food and drink products that have undergone extensive forms of transformation from their base ingredients, usually by transnational and other very large corporations; often highly stabilized using physical or chemical techniques.


the shift in population from country to city areas, often accompanied by industrialization and technological modernization.


the practice of performing operations on live animals for the purpose of scientific research and experimentation; the practice was heavily opposed in 19th-century England, which resulted in anti-vivisection protests that were largely promoted and attended by White women.


one way in which a city is divided into units of governance or management; e.g., city councillors may be elected by wards.

wet markets

any marketplace selling fresh products (as opposed to dry products), such as produce, meat, and/or fish; includes but does not refer exclusively to markets selling rare animal products or live animals for slaughter.


(verb) to breastfeed another woman’s infant for pay; (noun) a woman paid to nurse an infant who is not her own.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Food Studies: Matter, Meaning, Movement Copyright © 2022 by Food Studies Press is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book