CAFO: Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Densely populated facilities focused on feeding and growing animals factory-style.  Officially, CAFO is a term regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency to identify sources of animal waste pollution.  Also known as “feedlots” and “factory farms.”

Ecotarian: A person who considers the impacts to the environment and ecology in selecting food, with the goal of minimizing these impacts.  An ecotarian strives to attain an organic, and perhaps local, vegetarian-based diet, but will occasionally eat meat if certain requirements, such as sustainably-raised, organic, and local, are met.

Livestock: Most broadly, any domesticated animal (cattle, pig, chicken) kept for commercial purposes, such as meat, labor, or fiber (fur, leather).  However, due to different standards for slaughter, agricultural literature often separates poultry (chickens and turkeys) from livestock.  In this blog, livestock generally refers to all farm animals, including poultry.

GE: Genetically Engineered, see GMO

GM: Genetically Modified, see GMO

GMO: Acronym for Genetically Modified Organism.  GMO refers to the altering of genetic material in an organism through genetic engineering techniques (as opposed to traditional breeding).  In GMOs, DNA from one organism is inserted into the genes of another organism.

Herbicide: Substances used to kill plants. See Pesticide.

HFCS: An popular blogosphere abbreviation for high fructose corn syrup.

Monoculture: A phenomenon of industrial agricultural meaning to grow one crop over a large area.  Monocultures can make plants susceptible to disease and pests and has implications on pollinator health.

Organic: A term, in the United States, regulated by the USDA.  Third-party companies inspect producers to assure adherence to USDA Organic regulations.

–          No chemical pesticides

–          No chemical herbicides

–          No genetically modified organisms

–          No chemical ripening

–          No food irradiation

–          No chemical fertilizers

–          No routine antibiotics

–          No growth hormones

–          No synthetic ingredients

Organic labeling:

On produce, any PLU (product look up) code with 5 digits beginning with “9.”

For processed foods:

”100% Organic” means made with all organic ingredients

“Organic” means made with 95% to 99% organic ingredients

“Made with Organic Ingredients” means 74 to 94% organic ingredients.

Pasture Finished: Cattle that spend their last days on pasture, instead of being fattened on grain.

Pesticide: A substance used to kill undesirable “pests” including plants, insects, rodents, fungi, mildew, or mold. Pesticides include herbicides (to kill plants), insecticides (to kill insects), fungicide (to kill fungi), rodenticides (to kill rodents) and others.

P-patch: A regional term for community garden allotments.  The “P” stands for “Picardo Farm,” the original P-patch in Seattle.

rBGH: Recombinant bovine growth hormone,  another name for rBST.  See rBST.

rBST: Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin, an artificial growth hormone developed by Monsanto (and now owned by Eli Lilly) with recombinant DNA technology (genetic engineering).  Same as rBGH.  It’s given to dairy cows to increase milk production.

Transgenic: see GMO

Transitional Farm: A farm that is beginning the process of converting from conventional agriculture to organic agriculture.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button