Sustainable Food: A Quick and Easy Dictionary

organic_food This post is part of a series of posts covering topics related to CAGJ’s new book, “Our Food, Our Right.” The author, Meagan Nelson, is the Publicity Coordinator at Community Alliance for Global Justice and has a background promoting liberal causes, working in communications and outreach on campaigns for Seattle City Councilmember Jean Godden, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, and President Barack Obama. Nelson is studying  Communication, Law, Economics and Government at American University and aspires to make the sustainable food movement and its related health and environmental benefits an active political issue in American lives. 

Do you want to help others eat in a sustainable way? Here is a quick, basic guide to help explain the different definitions of sustainable foods!


Can only contain organic ingredients, meaning no antibiotics, hormones, genetic engineering, radiation,  synthetic pesticides or fertilizers (The Daily Green).

Here are some great places where you can both be organic and have the luxury of dining out in Seattle! Check out the best organic restaurants in Seattle!

 The following terms describe how animals are raised. Click here to Learn more about  national humane agricultural efforts and the Farm Bill.

Cage Free

Chickens that are not kept in cages. Check out the best brands for cage-free eggs!

Free Range

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. Check out which farms raise cage-free animals.

To learn more about the animal liberation movement and how it intersects with issues in our daily lives, like race, class, and gender, visit Animal Voices.

Low Carbon Diet

A low carbon diet refers to making lifestyle choices to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from energy use. Pollution can be increased by the way food is grown, transported and prepared.  This includes airborne pollutants as well as green house gases released into waterways and soil systems.  Read the following book to learn more about a low-carbon diet and growing food in a sustainable way.

Food Security

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 [sustainable to our offspring generations from now].- Erika Allen, of Chicago’s West Garfield Park.

Food Sovereignty

The right of people to determine their own food and agricultural policies-CAGJ. According to La Via Campesina in CAGJ’s new book, Our Food, Our Right, “The people who work the land must have the right to practice sustainable management of natural resources and to conserve biodiversity free of restrictive intellectual property rights. This can only be done from a sound economic basis with security of tenure, healthy soils and reduced use of agro-chemicals” (Our Food, Our Right 20).

Posted in Food Justice Blog Posts, Uncategorized.

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