Local food, a glossary

Local food, a glossary

CSA: Community Supported Agriculture, a model of food production in which consumers buy “shares” and sometimes help farmers work the land in exchange for a helping of fresh, locally grown vegetables or
other goods.

EAT Local: “Everyone At the Table,” a group of UVA professors, farmers, retailers and interested consumers, based in Charlottesville, that meets to discuss local food issues.

Food miles: A measure of the distance food has traveled from “field to plate.” It has been estimated that the average American meal has traveled at least 1,500 miles to reach the consumer.

Food shed: Like a waste shed or water shed, the flow of food within a natural geographic region. Local foodies—sometimes termed locavores—aim for a food shed of 100 miles or less.

NAIS: National Animal Identification System, a federal program with three components: premises registration for farms, animal tagging with external tags or radio signal transmitters, and animal tracing, requiring farmers to log the movement of their herds or animals. NAIS was first rolled out as a mandatory program, but has scaled back and is now “strongly encouraged” as a method of preventing and containing animal disease. NAIS has so far registered more than 400,000 premises.

NICFA: National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association, the national counterpart to the state-level VICFA. NICFA’s main purpose is to raise funds to oppose NAIS.

Raw milk: Milk from cows, sheep or goats that has not been pasteurized. It is illegal
to sell raw milk in the United States. To get around the laws, consumers who believe raw
milk is healthier buy “shares” to become part-owners in milk-producing animals.

VDACS: Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services enforces the state’s food laws, inspects facilities, fields complaints from consumers, and provides marketing and programs.

VICFA: Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association, an association of farmers and consumers with membership across the state. Many VICFA members are centered in the Charlottesville metro area. They seek out “free, un-restricted, un-regulated direct farmer-to-consumer trade.”