This page was created by Maria Frank. 

Field Guides to Food

Prototype Instructions: Creating and defining a list of "Food Words"

"Food Words" is the basis for the system of keyword labeling in this Scalar book. Food Words is a list of words and their various and sometimes conflicting definitions (using this term loosely, so as not to imply that these "definitions" are the indisputable meanings of the word. Instead they are meant to remind or enlighten users to possible uses of the word outside of their experience, so that a conversation does not get hung up on when two people understand the word in different ways).

At its beginning, the list of Food Words was crowd-sourced, encouraging input from a variety of points of view. Those invited to the Agri-Food Collaborative's Food and Society Workshop on June 4-6, 2014 were also invited to contribute to a Google spreadsheet:
Please help us build the foundations of a “Food Words” glossary for keywords related to food to share food knowledge! We are collecting food-related words that could use some description and perhaps translation to make it easier for people to talk about food. We will collect these “problem” words (here at, to start with, if you’d be willing to add a few words) and then we will work on developing descriptions for them that connect them to relevant papers, videos, and community resources that people might be interested in using.
This group included a diverse mix of people from within and without the University of Minnesota, from all sorts of personal and professional backgrounds. The response was excellent, generating well over 100 words in the space of a few days. Some contributors also responded to the request to provide one or more definitions of these words, and/or to note resources pertinent to these words and their use.

The definitions were further fleshed out by the Agri-Food Collaboratory, based on their own experiences of using or reading about these words, and by drawing on definitions/descriptions (or unexpected word use) in publications already familiar to them and publications reviewed during the knowledge source evaluation process, described on the next page of this path.

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