By illuminating the vocabulary of sustainable agriculture, and with it the conversation about America’s rapidly evolving food culture, the Lexicon of Sustainability helps people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America. Below you can explore the essential terms from the films:
The Story of an Egg
Chickens that are not kept in cages. This means chickens are still confined to a barn with limited or no access to outside. The term “barn-roaming” more accurately describes this principle.
Outside the United States this term refers to a method of farming where the animals are allowed to roam freely rather than being contained in any manner. In the United States, USDA regulations apply only to poultry and indicate solely that the animal has been allowed access to the outside. These regulations do not specify the quality or size of the outside range nor the duration of time the animal must be allowed access to this space.
Animals that have been raised on pasture with access to shelter. This term is being used by farmers who wish to distinguish themselves from the industrialized “free range” term.
Buildings with little ventilation that serve as concentrated feed lots capable of holding up to ten thousand chickens at a time.
Livestock which was raised without the use of growth promtants, antibiotics, under these certified animals are allowed to have parasitic medicine, but not given food with animal byproducts to eat.
Industrial agriculture’s confinement system used for egg-laying hens. Floor space for battery cages ranges from 300 cm² per bird and up; the space allocated to battery hens has often been described as less than the size of a piece of paper. A typical cage is about the size of a filing cabinet drawer and holds from 8 to 10 hens. Animal welfare scientists have criticized battery cages because they do not provide hens with sufficient space to stand, walk, flap their wings, perch, or make a nest. It is estimated that over 60% of the world’s eggs are produced in such industrial systems.
The 100 Mile Diet
A common unit of measure used to denote the maximum distance food can travel and still remain local to the consumer. – John Lagier
A geographic area where food is grown and consumed; it also accounts for population density, land quality, and available distribution routes. – John Lagier
The ability to keep going even when things around you are going wrong.
- Richard Heinberg
The principle that a given entity belongs or relates to a particular area — Jessica Prentice
Consumers that learn about food production and agricultural practices can determine which systems to support and which to shun – Erika Allen
The gathering of communities to share a home cooked meal.
Low Carbon Diet
The way food is grown, transported and prepared affects the amount of pollution produced. This includes airborne pollutants as well as green house gases released into waterways and soil systems. A low carbon diet involves consuming locally grown and harvested food. – John Lagier
“Locus” (latin root for “local”) + “vorare” (latin root for “to devour”) = locavore — Jessica Prentice
When producers and consumers can envision each other – even across great distances – a product transforms from a commodity to a carefully guarded precious resources — David and Shannon Negus
People in cities who grow food for themselves, their friends, their neighbors and the larger community — Novella Carpenter
Respect Mother Earth. Respect the land. Learn from the animals. When foraging always leave something behind for whoever comes next. In this way you’re sure to find something when you come back. – Running Squirrel
Having consistent year round access to safe, local, affordable and culturally appropriate food that is grown, raised, produced and moved about in manners that are responsible to the environment while reflecting a consumption of natural resources that is equitable with a view to our offspring seven generations from now. – Erika Allen
Eating in Season
Wild edibles grow everywhere. You need to be aware of what’s around you. When you spend time outside, see how things change throughout the year.
The collection of indigenous foods, an assembly of native plants, animals, vegetables, fruits and berries procured from the wild. —Tyler Gray
The art of finding and enjoying wild food. — Tyler Gray
People search their cities and neighborhoods for unused or unwanted things: litter, refuse…even food. Fallen fruit is often overlooked (either after its fallen to the ground or while still on the tree). It can be harvested, gleaned, or just observed. — David Burns
An unwritten principle which guarantees a high level of sustainability and harvesting awareness regarding the practice of foraging wild food. — Tyler Gray
A certification process which gives consumers indisputable knowledge of natural wild environments and its apparent or potential subjugating influences of human interference — Tyler Gray