Definitions and terms

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100-Mile Diet

The term that has come to describe buying and eating food entirely grown, manufactured or produced within a 100-mile radius of the home of the person who will be eating it.


Various substances (such as beta-carotene and vitamin C) that may protect the body's cells against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposure to tobacco smoke or radiation.

Apparent consumption

"Apparent food consumed" refers to the amount of food available for consumption and is calculated by adding together components of supply (such as production and imports) and deducting all uses other than human consumption (such as exports and animal feed) to produce net supply. This net supply is adjusted to account for estimated losses in homes, restaurants and institutions from cooking, storage and food waste.


A low-calorie sweetener, derived from a combination of the amino acids aspartic acid and phenylalanine.

Bearing area or producing area

"An orchard, grove, or vineyard is considered bearing when it reaches an age when it can normally be expected to produce a commercially significant quantity of the crop. Bearing age is a function of many factors including variety, rootstock, year planted, etc. Bearing acreage is primarily based upon periodic orchard surveys. In non-survey years, bearing acreage is based on trends, county extension service data, end-of-year production surveys, and other indications." (NASS: Non-citrus fruits and Nuts Preliminary Survey. January 2008, p. 76)

Beet sugar

Sugar (pure sucrose) produced from sugar beets. As a final product, beet sugar is identical to cane sugar.


Bison are large, hardy ruminants whose coat of long and coarse guard hairs and woolly undercoat gives them a two-toned appearance. Their long, shaggy, dark brown mane contrasts with an almost black beard and the hindquarters, with a short, straight, brown coat, also appear almost black. Bison have a keen sense of smell, excellent eyesight and a strong herding instinct. Although bison are commonly referred to as buffalo, the scientific name for the North American species is Bison bison.

North America has two types of bison, the wood bison (Bison bison athabascae) and the plains bison (Bison bison bison). The plains bison is the species primarily raised on agricultural operations while the wood bison, listed as threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, are bred as part of commercial herd development but in lesser numbers.

Broad Breasted White

A common commercial variety of domesticated turkey.


The term "brooding" refers to raising newly hatched chicks in a protected environment.

Brown sugar

Brown sugar is generally produced by mixing molasses syrup with granulated sugar, although it can also be produced by boiling cane sugar syrup until crystals form.

Cane sugar

Sugar (pure sucrose) produced from sugar cane.

Cold frame

A low-slung glass or plastic covered box used to extend the growing season by creating a sheltered micro-climate.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

An approach to farming and purchasing food that essentially makes shoppers members of the farm for a season through annual financial commitments in return for fresh, seasonal, local produce.


A cultivated plant clearly distinguished by specific characteristics that originate and persist under cultivation.

Eicosinoic acid

A saturated twenty carbon fatty acid.

Erucic acid

A fatty acid present in rapeseed and mustard seed.

Estrous cycle

Most female mammals will only become sexually receptive and mate when they are able to become pregnant-generally when they are ovulating. This period-known as estrus (also commonly known as "in heat")-is part of the estrous cycle, which determines how often an animal is fertile, and for how many days.

Evans cherry

A cherry similar to the Montmorency cherry, with bright red skin and yellow flesh. Bred for the Canadian Prairies in the 1950s.


Removal of the internal organs.


A group of plants which share a common genetic lineage.

Food miles

A measure of the distance a food item travels from the point of production to the point of consumption.


The sweetest natural sugar, commonly found in fruits. Fructose and glucose are produced by plants during photosynthesis, and then converted by the plant into sucrose for energy storage.


A natural sugar found in honey and fruits. When glucose is chemically combined with fructose, sucrose is formed.


The glucosinolates are a class of organic compounds that are responsible for the bitter or sharp taste of foods such as mustard, radish, kale, and rapeseed.


A glass or plastic structure designed to provide a controlled climate for the production of agricultural commodities and equipped with a supplementary heating system.

High fructose corn syrup

A corn-based product that acts as a substitute for liquid sugar, and is approximately half glucose and half fructose.

Hoop house

An arched structure most often covered with plastic and generally not fitted with a supplementary heating system. Structures known as 'high hoops' can accommodate operators working within the structure, those known as 'low hoops" are too small to enter and are worked from the exterior.

Icing sugar

Powdered granulated sugar, with some cornstarch added to prevent caking. Also known as confectioner's or powdered sugar.

Liquid sugar

Granulated white sugar dissolved in water. Used by the food industry for products such as jams and candy, not sold directly to consumers.


A dark coloured syrup, the by-product of sugar cane and sugar beet processing.

Monounsaturated fat

A fat with only one carbon double bond.

Montmorency cherry

The most common, commercially grown sour cherry in Canada and the United States. An amorelle (pale-fleshed) type cherry.


This refers to the initiation (the start) of a poult's life at the turkey farm. When it moves from the hatchery to the farm, it is referred to as "placed."

Polyunsaturated fat

A fat where there are many carbon double bonds unsaturated by hydrogen atoms.


This is a limit on, or share of, the quantity of a product that can be produced, exported, or imported.

Raw sugar

Cane sugar that has been partially processed and looks like brown sugar, but which contains impurities that require it to be further purified and refined before being sold in Canada.

Refined white sugar

Also known as granulated sugar, white sugar is the most common form of refined sugar, and is pure sucrose produced from either sugar beets or sugar cane.

Saturated fat

A fat in which the carbon atoms are fully hydrogenated.


This is the part of the variety name which is used to identify the University of Saskatchewan as the developer. Other breading organizations have different prefixes. For example, AC would come before plant varieties developed by Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, as in AC Aurora or AC Sierra. This naming convention is not universal.

SK Carmine Jewel

The first SK dwarf sour cherry, with dark-coloured skin and dark red to black juice. These cherries are very sweet but still highly acidic.

SK Romance Series

The second generation of dwarf sour cherries developed by the University of Saskatchewan. This series comprises five specific varieties—Valentine, SK Crimson Passion, Juliette, Romeo and Cupid.

Slow Food

A non-profit, eco-gastronomic, member-supported organization founded in 1989 to sustain local food traditions and traditional food products and to promote an interest in where food comes from, how it tastes and the impact of food choices.

Smoke point

The smoke point provides a useful measure of the suitability of oil for frying. It is the temperature at which a fat or oil produces a continuous wisp of smoke when heated.

Soybeans of prominence

  • AC Proteus: Canada's first high-protein soybean-intended for roasting and feeding to livestock.
  • Toki: A Canadian-developed soybean selected for superior tofu production, has a lighter hilum.
  • Nattawa: Canada's first soybean developed for the natto food market, has a lighter hilum and small size.
  • Maple Arrow: The soybean developed by Agriculture Canada that expanded soybean range out of southern Ontario.
  • Maple Presto: The jackrabbit of Agriculture Canada soybeans and still the fastest-maturing soybean around.


Sugar (sucrose) chemically combined with chlorine. Sucralose is a low-calorie sweetener, as our bodies cannot store it or burn it for energy.


Sucrose belongs to a class of compounds known as carbohydrates, which include all sugars and starches. Sucrose is a disaccharide, a compound that is composed of two monosaccharides (glucose and fructose) chemically linked together, and has a sweet taste.

Supply Management

Supply management is a system used to regulate agricultural products and the prices received for them. This involves agricultural production quotas, marketing boards, and the control of trade.


A substance which tends to reduce the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved e.g. a detergent.

Traditional soy foods: a brief guide

  • Edamame: boiled and salted fresh green soybeans.
  • Miso: a condiment made from soybeans, a grain, salt and a mould culture. Often used to flavour soups and sauces.
  • Natto: made from fermented whole cooked soybeans. A source of vitamin B12, often missing in vegetarian diets. Natto is often used as a breakfast food accompanying rice.
  • Soy sauce: a brown liquid condiment made from fermented soybeans used to flavour rice and other Asian dishes.
  • Soy milk: a beverage produced from ground soybeans from which the solids have been strained.
  • Tempeh: whole soybeans, sometimes combined with grain, fermented into a solid cake. A source of vitamin B12, often missing in vegetarian diets. Tempeh is used as a protein source in meals.
  • Tofu: produced by curdling soy milk, then pressed to remove much of the liquid. Tofu, also know as soybean curd, is used as a protein source in meals.


Micromole. A scientific unit of measure based on the quantity of molecules.

Value-added products

Products which have additional value added at some stage in their production, processing, or marketing.


A specific type or kind of plant within a general group of plants with the same general chrachteristics.