Some of the key words used in this guide. If you come across any of these words in the guide that you need to remind yourself the meaning of, you can turn back to this page to check.
Agroecology – A way of farming that does not destroy nature, but instead works with the principles of nature. For example, it uses plants and animal manure to make compost, rather than throwing these materials away or using chemical fertilisers that destroy the soil. It is about building self-reliance, independence and power of those who produce our food, for example, by seed saving, recycling materials, and so on. Climate Change – The global warming of the earth’s temperature caused by all the carbon dioxide that our factories, coal power stations, transport and agriculture puts into the atmosphere. This causes changes in weather patterns, as well as extreme events like floods and droughts. Facilitator – The person (or persons) who runs a workshop or process. A facilitator keeps the workshop on track and guides the workshop, ensuring learning is taking place. Calories – the amount of energy that food contains in it. We need calories, which we get from food, in order to have energy. Food security – Food security exists when a household has access to enough nutritious food for its members to lead an active and healthy life. Food insecurity – When a household and its members to not have access to enough nutritious for to lead and active and healthy life Food value chain – Refers to the different steps through which food goes to become the item of food that we eventually purchase for our consumption. For example, the farm where the seed is planted, the miller where the wheat is turned into flour, the storage facilities where the flour is stored, the bakery where it is turned into bread, the shop where the bread is sold to customers. Food sovereignty – When people and communities control their own food systems, rather than markets and corporations. Those who produce our food are placed at the centre of food sovereignty and valued highly. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – Genetic modification of seeds, for example, is when scientists in a laboratory put genes into a seed to give it certain characteristics, like making it able to resist a pest or use less water. This technology is controlled by a few big companies who are forcing these seeds on farmers so that they can make a big profit out of selling them these seeds every season. Hunger – In basic terms, when someone or a group does not have enough food. In this guide, we locate hunger as a key outcome of our current food system and unequal society, rather than just an individual experience of an empty stomach. Liberalisation – When government removes barriers like taxes to imports like food in order to protect local producers, and promotes exports as well as a way of developing. Market – Where goods and services are bought and sold. A mechanism where buyers meet sellers.
Neoliberalism – The idea that every problem in society can be solved by the market. Everything we as humans need should be done by businesses and bought and sold for the highest profit. Right to food – According to our Constitution, everyone in South Africa should have enough nutritious food to eat every day, as a right. Transformation – A deep and thorough change. This can refer to individual transformation where a person changes deeply from how they were before. It can also refer to society, in which case we talk about social transformation – the deep and thorough change in society, usually for the better, from how it was before.