Portal:Food and agriculture

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The Food and agriculture Portal

Man working in a rice field.
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, and/or stimulate growth. Historically, people secured food through two methods: hunting and gathering, and agriculture.

Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization. In the developed world, industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture has become the dominant system of modern farming, although there is growing support for sustainable agriculture (e.g. permaculture or organic agriculture).

Sustainable agriculture is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. It has been defined as "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term: satisfy human food and fiber needs; make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.”

Related portal: Permaculture
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Local food (also regional food or food patriotism) or the local food movement is a "collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies - one in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution, and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place" and is considered to be a part of the broader sustainability movement. It is part of the concept of local purchasing and local economies, a preference to buy locally produced goods and services. Those who prefer to eat locally grown/produced food sometimes call themselves "localvores" or locavores.

Local food systems are an alternative to the global corporate models where producers and consumers are separated through a chain of processors/manufacturers, shippers and retailers. With an increasing scale of industrial food systems the control of quality is increasingly decided by the middlemen while a local food system redevelops these relationships and encourage a return of quality control to the consumer and the producer respectively. These quality characteristics are not only in the product but in the method of producing.

A locavore is someone who eats food grown or produced locally or within a certain radius such as 50, 100, 150 or 250 miles. The locavore movement encourages consumers to buy from farmers’ markets or even to produce their own food, with the argument that fresh, local products are more nutritious and taste better. Locally grown food is an environmentally friendly means of obtaining food, since supermarkets that import their food use more fossil fuels and non-renewable resources.

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Other articles: Butter · Canning salt · Cheese · Cheese making · Chicken Cleaning and Preparation · Cider · Community Supported Agriculture · Cream · Dairy · Dandelion wine · Desert Reclamation the Easy Way · Edible Leaves · Egg dishes · Eggs · Evaporated milk · Flax · Food · Food Preservation · Food miles · GMO · Ghee · Goats · Gumbo · Halite · Honey · Insects · J Point Donations · Jelly Making · Kefir · Kim chee · Kosher salt · Lard · Mead · Meat and food processing · Milk · Mormon Basic Four · Oils · Prague powder 1 · Prague powder 2 · Preserving Tomatoes · Rabbits · Ricotta · Rock salt · Salt · Salt substitutes · Saltpeter · Sauerkraut · Sea salt · Small Scale Vegetable Oil Extraction · Solar Drying in Morocco · Solar and Energy Conserving Food Technologies · Suet · Sweetened condensed milk · Table salt · Taffy Pull · Tallow · Tilapia Recipes · Traditional Cheesemaking · Uses for large quantities of eggs · Vegetables · Vinegar · Whey · Yeasts for Baking

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