Have you ever heard of “SOLE” food before? Neither had we, so we rallied our team of real food experts to tell us all about it and more than 300 other terms, phrases and catchwords related to sustainable foods and farming. Begin your search by clicking on a category below to narrow the field or browse by alphabetical listing. Now you won't have to think twice the next time you're deciding between “free-range” and “organic” eggs at the farmers' market.
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Barrel Aged —
Barrel aging is the process of aging beverages in bulk rather than in the individual bottles or containers in which they will be sold. Products fermented or matured in this way may also be labeled as wood-aged if the barrels or casks used in the process were constructed with the traditional wooden slats and metal hoops. Barrel aging is commonly used in the production of wine, beer, sake, whiskey, sherry and brandy.
Baystate Organic Certified, Baystate Organic Certifiers —
Baystate Organic Certifiers is accredited through the USDA's National Organic Program and certifies organic farming operations in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York and New Jersey. Baystate Organic Certifiers also certifies organic processing facilities anywhere in the continental United States.
Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) —
Best Aquaculture Practices is a voluntary certification program administered through the Global Aquaculture Alliance, an international nonprofit organization. The program addresses environmental and social responsibility, animal welfare, food safety and traceability (accountability for methods and the supply chain) for aquaculture facilities. BAP outlines standards and quantitative metrics for the evaluation of aquaculture facilities including hatcheries, feed mills, farms and processing plants. BAP standards vary according to facility type, but always address community and employee relations, conservation of biodiversity, soil and water management and drug and chemical management.
Biodiversity refers to the genetic diversity, or the number and variety of different plant and animal species, in a given ecosystem. In relation to agriculture and food, biodiversity refers to the scale of genetic diversity within a given agricultural area, such as a farm. In general, greater biodiversity leads to healthier soil and improved resilience to diseases and pests. The term monoculture refers to a severe lack of biodiversity in an agricultural setting.
Biodynamic agriculture is a holistic approach to gardening and farming where all soil, plants and animals are viewed as part of a unified, living system. Developed in 1924 by the Austrian social thinker Rudolf Steiner, the biodynamic approach eliminates chemicals in favor of natural, organic means of pest control and soil improvement. This approach goes beyond organic principles and bases the timing of sowing and harvesting on astronomical cycles. The overall goal of biodynamic agriculture is the maintenance and improvement of the soil in order to grow high-quality crops while preserving the fertility of this valuable resource for future generations. Demeter USA provides a third-party verified certification for biodynamic operations.
Biological Pest Control —
Biological pest control utilizes specific living organisms—including certain beneficial insects, bacteria and parasites—to reduce populations of what are perceived as harmful pests, including harmful insects. It may also involve the use of a pesticide, but only in moderation and with an awareness of the ecological impacts of the chemical. Biological pest control is generally part of a broader Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.
A bioregion is an area defined by its natural flora, fauna, social coherence and environmental characteristics rather than its political, proprietary or other imposed boundaries.
Bird-Friendly Certified, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center —
The Bird-Friendly Certified third-party label verifies that coffee has been grown in a manner that protects the health of bird habitats through 100% shade-grown and organic methods. The certification requires producers to manage on-farm vegetation in a way that conserves biodiversity, use practices that protect waterways from runoff and reduce soil erosion, eliminate chemical use, grow traditional varieties of coffee beans to protect genetic diversity, and provide workers with healthy environments and fair wages. It also requires processors to control pollution. In addition, the Bird-Friendly Certified program encourages public participation and promotes healthy environments for all community members. The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is an independent research institution located at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C.
Bob Veal —
Bob veal is meat that has been taken from a calf slaughtered before it is a month old, with an average weight of 150 pounds. These animals are called bob calves. Use of the term bob veal to describe meat products is regulated by the USDA.
Bottle Aged —
Bottle aging is the process of aging beverages inside the bottle in which they will be sold. This method of maturation is commonly used for wine, which may also be barrel aged or even matured in barrels before being transferred to bottles for the final phase of aging. Although bottle aging is also used in the production of other alcoholic beverages, it is most commonly associated with wine.
Buy Fresh Buy Local (BFBL) —
Buy Fresh Buy Local is a program of FoodRoutes Network, a national nonprofit organization that provides technical support to community-based groups working to strengthen regional markets for locally grown or harvested foods, including seafood. BFBL recognizes that sustainability hinges not only on the environmental impacts associated with cultivation and harvest methods, but also on the distance food travels before arriving on the table.
Bycatch is also known as incidental catch and refers to all non-target species that are caught during fishing. In many cases, these species are simply thrown back into the sea either dead or dying. Affected animals may include marine turtles, seabirds, cetaceans (small whales, dolphins and porpoises), young or unwanted fish, sharks, corals and invertebrates (such as starfish, crabs and mollusks). Nets, longlining and bottom trawling are the primary causes for bycatch. Selective fishing gear can reduce bycatch, but the only completely effective way to eliminate it is to create marine reserves or abandon the most damaging fishing techniques. Hook and line fishing is an example of an alternative fishing technique that limits bycatch.