Common Food Terms - Definitions

The local conversation is based in some common food terms, from the “Dig In!” document developed by local food researchers and advocates at FoodARC and Our Food Project at the Ecology Action Centre.

Household food insecurity - means that members of a household have difficulty accessing or worry about not having enough personally acceptable food for a healthy, active life. Household food insecurity is closely related to poverty; the lower the income, the higher the risk of food insecurity.

Food security - is not the opposite of household food insecurity. Food security is when all people, at all times can get the food they need to be healthy and active. This includes being able to afford healthy food that is within easy reach.

Community food security - exists when all community residents have access to enough healthy, safe food available through a food system that can be sustained for generations to come, and that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice.

Food environments  - is the notion that highlights the role of the places in which we live, work, play, and learn in shaping our experiences with food and influencing what foods are available to us.

Food systems -refer to the activities and relationships that make up and influence what we grow, catch,harvest, process, market, sell, distribute,  share, prepare, eat, and dispose of.

Food literacy - refers to the ability of individuals to access, choose, and prepare foods that meet their needs and preferences. This idea has expanded to include the ability of individuals to know how to produce and share foods, as well as contribute to decisions that affect our food systems.

Food justice - acknowledges that our food system is not neutral; we don’t have a level playing field. The rules, who gets to set the rules, and the functioning of our food systems contain oppressive and colonizing forces that create and sustain inequities.

Food sovereignty - emerged from La Via Campesina, a global peasant movement, as the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, as well as their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. Learn more about the seven pillars of food sovereignty in Canada. 

The Six A’s of Food Security - To ensure food security within your community, all of the Six A’s of Food Security must be met for the entire population. This means that every individual must be ensured all the following: 1. Accessibility 2. Affordability 3. Availability 4. Adequacy 5. Awareness 6. Appropriateness These terms are further explained in Chapter 1.

Community Food Assessment - A process that examines food-related issues, barriers, assets, and resources to inform the processes and actions taken to improve community food security.

PDF of Glossary available