They're Black & White

Honest Definitions

Let's talk about definitions. In order to understand how our food is produced and processed, we all have to get comfortable with the "language of agriculture."

What's Happening?

We are constantly adding new terms to our "glossary" so that Agronesty remains a current source. 

We Caught You!

Did you know that some companies make up their own definitions of words for marketing purposes? 

The Usual.

You've probably figured out that we love evidence. That's why you'll find each definition accompanied by it's source.  

In Agronesty's Definitions Database below, you will find the simple definition of popular agricultural & food terms. 

Definitions Database

A

Agriculture


The science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil. producing, and raising livestock in varying degrees the preparation and marketing of the resulting products Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/agriculture




Agriculturist


An expert in a field related to agriculture Source: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/agriculturist




All Natural (Food Label)


A term that is not restricted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which can be used by manufacturers to fit their needs. The USDA onlyregulates the term on meat products and certifies the product before it's placed on the market. To view the criteria for a "Natural" product, see the definition source. Source: http://foodlabelfacts.org/yourrighttoknow.pdf




American Farm Bureau Federation


"Farm Bureau is an independent, non-governmental, voluntary organization governed by and representing farm and ranch families united for the purpose of analyzing their problems and formulating action to achieve educational improvement, economic opportunity and social advancement and, thereby, to promote the national well-being..." -American Farm Bureau Federation Source: https://www.fb.org/about/overview




Animal Rights


The philosophical belief, claimed on ethical grounds, that animals should receive the same humane treatment and protection from exploitation and abuse that is accorded to humans. Source: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/animal-rights




Animal Welfare


The responsibility of humans to care for the mental and physical health of animals being used for purposes such as companionship, responsible research and education, and food production. Source: https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/AnimalWelfare/Pages/what-is-animal-welfare.aspx




Antibiotic Free (Free Label)


This term is a marketing tool and is not certified or verified by any Federal Agency. The USDA prohibits labeling with this term on all meat products, however, the Food and Drug Administration allows its use on dairy goods. All meat should be antibiotic free due to each medication's specific "withdrawal period" requirements. This period allows the animal to completely metabolize the medication and its residues to completely exit the animal's system before it is processed. Source: http://www.meatscience.org/TheMeatWeEat/topics/article/2017/06/08/misleading-claims-of-hormone-free-or-antibiotic-free





B

Biotechnology


Agricultural biotechnology is a range of tools, including traditional breeding techniques, that alter living organisms, or parts of organisms, to make or modify products; improve plants or animals; or develop microorganisms for specific agricultural uses. Modern biotechnology today includes the tools of genetic engineering. Source: https://www.usda.gov/topics/biotechnology/biotechnology-frequently-asked-questions-faqs





C

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO)


A CAFO is an Animal Feeding Operation (AFO) with more than 1000 animal units confined on site for more than 45 days during the year. To view more information about what determines an animal unit, view the source below. Source:https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/plantsanimals/livestock/afo/




Certified Humane (Food Label)


This term is not regulated or promotde by any Federal Agency. Some third party organizations "certify" this label using their own standards. If you purchase products labeled with "Certified Humane," verify what standards you are supporting (some are misleading). Source: http://foodlabelfacts.org/label3.cfm




Cage Free (Food Label)


This term is not verified by the United States Department of Agriculture. If a USDA inspected producer labels their eggs with "cage free," the USDA must verify that their laying hens were not kept in cages. This label does not mean that the hens had outdoor access. On meat labels, this term is used solely for marketing purposes. Broilers (chicken raised for meat) are raised without cages. Source: http://foodlabelfacts.org/yourrighttoknow.pdf




CRISPR






D

Submit A Request for Definition


Interested in submitting a term that should be honestly defined? Join the Agronesty Team to get this privilege and many more! To view team benefits or to become a member, click here! Already a member and ready to reccomend a definition, click here! The Process:

  1. An Agronesty Team member submits a term to be reviewed.
  2. Agronesty staff review the term to make sure it's relevant to the purpose of Agronesty.
  3. If approved, Agronesty searches for the most honest definition of the term from reliable sources and updates the Definitions Database.
Thank you Agronesty Team members for keeping our database up to date on all of the latest "lingo!"





E

Environmental Protection Agency


The Environmental Protection Agency protects people and the environment from significant health risks, sponsors and conducts research, and develops and enforces environmental regulations. Source: https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/environmental-protection-agency





F

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation's food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA also provides accurate, science-based health information to the public. Source: https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/food-and-drug-administration




Free Range/ Roaming (Food Label)


This term is not precisely defined by any Federal agency. However, if a producer wishes to use this term on their products, the USDA must verify their claim. The producer must provide evidence that their animals are sheltered in a building, room, or area with unlimited access to food, water, and access to the outdoors year round. A simple window satisfies the requirement for outdoor access. Note: The USDA only verifies this term on poultry products, other meats are not officially regulated. Source: http://foodlabelfacts.org/yourrighttoknow.pdf




From Cows Raised Without rBST (Food Label)






G

Genetic Engineering


Genetic engineering is the process by which experts alter specific characteristics of a gene using modern molecular biology methods, such as a recombinant DNA technique. Source: https://www.usda.gov/topics/biotechnology/biotechnology-glossary




Genetic Modification (GM)


Genetic Modification refers to any change in an organisms DNA, whether it be through unassisted natural mutation, assited traditional breeding, or specific genetic engineering techniques. Source: https://www.usda.gov/topics/biotechnology/biotechnology-glossary




Genetically Engineered Organism


An organism that has been produced using a genetic engineering technique. There are currently 10 GE crops approved for production in the United States, however, there are additional GE crops approved in foreign countries. Source: https://gmoanswers.com/current-gmo-crops




Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)


An organism with DNA that has been produced using genetic modification. Note: The vast majority of plants and animals are technically GMO, according to science. A vast majority of media services have confused GMO with Genetically Engineered Organisms. Source: https://www.usda.gov/topics/biotechnology/biotechnology-glossary




Genetically Reinforced Organism (GRO)


A term established by Agronesty in order to provide a more accurate representation of products reinforced using modern biotechnoloy techniques. Note: Agronesty is dedicated to complete honesty so we're happy to share that we came up with this term because... In our opinion, it sounds better and promotes increased honesty.




Gluten Free (Food Label)


A voluntary label used by food processors to indicate that their product doesn't include a gluten containing grain (wheat, barley, rye, or crossbred hybrids). Products containing gluten may still be labeled as "gluten free" so long as the gluten content is less than 20 parts per million (ppm). Source: http://foodlabelfacts.org/label2.cfm




Grass Fed (Food Label)


The United States Deparment of Agricultured formerly verified the use of this term but as of January 12, 2016, the Department withdrew it's verification process. Now, the term may be voluntarily intrepreted by the producer. However, the term should mean that the animal received most of its nutrients from non-grain sources after being weaned from its mother's milk. Products can be unnofficially verified through third party organizations. Source: https://www.ams.usda.gov/grades-standards/beef/grassfed





H

Hormone Free (Food Label)


According to science, this claim is entirely false. Technically, any type of plant or animal product contains naturally occuring hormones. Labels promoting "No Added Hormones" are permitted; view the permitted label definition below. Source: http://www.meatscience.org/TheMeatWeEat/topics/article/2017/06/08/misleading-claims-of-hormone-free-or-antibiotic-free




Herbicide


A tool used to reduce the amount of undesirable vegetation in a certain area. There are two types: selective (only reduces certain types of plants) and non-selective (reduces all types of plants). Source: https://www.maximumyield.com/definition/208/herbicide





I

Insecticide


Insecticides are a form of pesticide used to kill, harm, mitigate, one or more species of harmful insects. Source: http://npic.orst.edu/ingred/ptype/insecticide.html





J

Submit A Request for Definition


Interested in submitting a term that should be honestly defined? Join the Agronesty Team to get this privilege and many more! To view team benefits or to become a member, click here! Already a member and ready to reccomend a definition, click here! The Process:

  1. An Agronesty Team member submits a term to be reviewed.
  2. Agronesty staff review the term to make sure it's relevant to the purpose of Agronesty.
  3. If approved, Agronesty searches for the most honest definition of the term from reliable sources and updates the Definitions Database.
Thank you Agronesty Team members for keeping our database up to date on all of the latest "lingo!"





K

Submit A Request for Definition


Interested in submitting a term that should be honestly defined? Join the Agronesty Team to get this privilege and many more! To view team benefits or to become a member, click here! Already a member and ready to reccomend a definition, click here! The Process:

  1. An Agronesty Team member submits a term to be reviewed.
  2. Agronesty staff review the term to make sure it's relevant to the purpose of Agronesty.
  3. If approved, Agronesty searches for the most honest definition of the term from reliable sources and updates the Definitions Database.
Thank you Agronesty Team members for keeping our database up to date on all of the latest "lingo!"





L

Local (Food Label)


This term is used entirely for marketing purposes and can be interpretted in anyway by the food processor. It is not veriffied or regulated by any Federal agency. Source: http://foodlabelfacts.org/label6.cfm





M

Submit A Request for Definition


Interested in submitting a term that should be honestly defined? Join the Agronesty Team to get this privilege and many more! To view team benefits or to become a member, click here! Already a member and ready to reccomend a definition, click here! The Process:

  1. An Agronesty Team member submits a term to be reviewed.
  2. Agronesty staff review the term to make sure it's relevant to the purpose of Agronesty.
  3. If approved, Agronesty searches for the most honest definition of the term from reliable sources and updates the Definitions Database.
Thank you Agronesty Team members for keeping our database up to date on all of the latest "lingo!"





N

No Antibiotics Added/ Raised Without Antibiotics (Food Label)


The use of this term on meat products is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In order to become verified, a producer must provide sufficient documentation to the USDA that their animal was raised without antibiotics. When the term is used on dairy products, the Food and Drug Administration doesn't define any requirements other than, the label cannot be misleading. Sources: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/e2853601-3edb-45d3-90dc-1bef17b7f277/Meat_and_Poultry_Labeling_Terms.pdf?MOD=AJPERES http://harvestpublicmedia.org/post/what-labels-your-milk-mean-and-what-they-dont




No Hormons Added/ Rasied Without Added Hormones (Food Label)






O

Organic (Food Label)


The "USDA Organic" food label and seal is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture. The Department sets strict regulations and requirements for producers that wish to become certiffied organic. To view the regulations, click on the source link. Note: "Organic" claims certified by third party organizations should not be trusted. Source: https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/organic/labeling





P

Pesticide


As defined by the Envrionmental Protection Agency, a pesticide is a substance or mixture of substances that is intended for Preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest Use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant Use as a nitrogen stabilizer Source: https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/basic-information-about-pesticide-ingredients





Q

Submit A Request for Definition


Interested in submitting a term that should be honestly defined? Join the Agronesty Team to get this privilege and many more! To view team benefits or to become a member, click here! Already a member and ready to reccomend a definition, click here! The Process:

  1. An Agronesty Team member submits a term to be reviewed.
  2. Agronesty staff review the term to make sure it's relevant to the purpose of Agronesty.
  3. If approved, Agronesty searches for the most honest definition of the term from reliable sources and updates the Definitions Database.
Thank you Agronesty Team members for keeping our database up to date on all of the latest "lingo!"





R

rBST/ rBGH


A synthetic hormone that is structurally similar or identical to the naturally occuring hormone in dairy cattle. rBST/ rBGH has been declared safe by the Food and Drug Administration and is sometimes used to increase milk production in dairy cattle. rBST: Recombinat Bovine Somatrophin rBGH: Recombinant Bove Growth Hormone Source: http://harvestpublicmedia.org/post/what-labels-your-milk-mean-and-what-they-dont





S

Submit A Request for Definition


Interested in submitting a term that should be honestly defined? Join the Agronesty Team to get this privilege and many more! To view team benefits or to become a member, click here! Already a member and ready to reccomend a definition, click here! The Process:

  1. An Agronesty Team member submits a term to be reviewed.
  2. Agronesty staff review the term to make sure it's relevant to the purpose of Agronesty.
  3. If approved, Agronesty searches for the most honest definition of the term from reliable sources and updates the Definitions Database.
Thank you Agronesty Team members for keeping our database up to date on all of the latest "lingo!"





T

Submit A Request for Definition


Interested in submitting a term that should be honestly defined? Join the Agronesty Team to get this privilege and many more! To view team benefits or to become a member, click here! Already a member and ready to reccomend a definition, click here! The Process:

  1. An Agronesty Team member submits a term to be reviewed.
  2. Agronesty staff review the term to make sure it's relevant to the purpose of Agronesty.
  3. If approved, Agronesty searches for the most honest definition of the term from reliable sources and updates the Definitions Database.
Thank you Agronesty Team members for keeping our database up to date on all of the latest "lingo!"





U

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)


We provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management. Source: https://www.usda.gov/our-agency/about-usda





V

Veganism (concept)


The following defintion is derived from a vegan source: Veganism promotes the exclusion of animal products from diet and lifestyle. The concept looks to completely eliminate human use of animals in entertainment, research, product testing, and everyday use. Source: https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/definition-veganism




Vegetarian


A diet or product that doesn't use animal products in processing or contain them in the final product. A person that practices this concept likely enjoys eating fruits, vegetables, fungi, algae, and other non-animal based foodstuffs. Source: https://www.vegsoc.org/definition




Vegetarian Fed (Food Label)






W

Submit A Request for Definition


Interested in submitting a term that should be honestly defined? Join the Agronesty Team to get this privilege and many more! To view team benefits or to become a member, click here! Already a member and ready to reccomend a definition, click here! The Process:

  1. An Agronesty Team member submits a term to be reviewed.
  2. Agronesty staff review the term to make sure it's relevant to the purpose of Agronesty.
  3. If approved, Agronesty searches for the most honest definition of the term from reliable sources and updates the Definitions Database.
Thank you Agronesty Team members for keeping our database up to date on all of the latest "lingo!"





X

Submit A Request for Definition


Interested in submitting a term that should be honestly defined? Join the Agronesty Team to get this privilege and many more! To view team benefits or to become a member, click here! Already a member and ready to reccomend a definition, click here! The Process:

  1. An Agronesty Team member submits a term to be reviewed.
  2. Agronesty staff review the term to make sure it's relevant to the purpose of Agronesty.
  3. If approved, Agronesty searches for the most honest definition of the term from reliable sources and updates the Definitions Database.
Thank you Agronesty Team members for keeping our database up to date on all of the latest "lingo!"





Y

Submit A Request for Definition


Interested in submitting a term that should be honestly defined? Join the Agronesty Team to get this privilege and many more! To view team benefits or to become a member, click here! Already a member and ready to reccomend a definition, click here! The Process:

  1. An Agronesty Team member submits a term to be reviewed.
  2. Agronesty staff review the term to make sure it's relevant to the purpose of Agronesty.
  3. If approved, Agronesty searches for the most honest definition of the term from reliable sources and updates the Definitions Database.
Thank you Agronesty Team members for keeping our database up to date on all of the latest "lingo!"





Z

Submit A Request for Definition


Interested in submitting a term that should be honestly defined? Join the Agronesty Team to get this privilege and many more! To view team benefits or to become a member, click here! Already a member and ready to reccomend a definition, click here! The Process:

  1. An Agronesty Team member submits a term to be reviewed.
  2. Agronesty staff review the term to make sure it's relevant to the purpose of Agronesty.
  3. If approved, Agronesty searches for the most honest definition of the term from reliable sources and updates the Definitions Database.
Thank you Agronesty Team members for keeping our database up to date on all of the latest "lingo!"





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