What’s in a name? Or, a term?

The term "locavore" was coined by Jessica Prentice, a local foods advocate in California in 2005. The idea was originally focused on connecting food producers and food consumers in the same geographic region. However, the term is now more widely applied to describe a movement whose practitioners seek to obtain food through sustainable activities such as foraging, hunting and fishing, as well as buying and consuming locally produced fruits and vegetables.

The project team elected to use the term as the name of this website because of its wide usage and close association with sustainably harvesting food – something that wildlife agencies have been practicing since their inception. The term is also short, unique, and memorable—good traits for a website URL.

However, some people balk at being referred to by a “label,” and there are people in our target audience who do not think of themselves as locavores, so instructors are cautioned to use the term judiciously (or not at all) in their programs. We recommend that the term, if used at all, be limited to the “locavore movement,” rather than as a reference to a person or a group of people.

We highly recommend that people be referred to by their name whenever and as often as possible. Using an “icebreaker” introductory activity that focuses on people introducing themselves to each other by their name helps others remember everyone’s name and starts the creation of a social network within the group. Using nametags in the first few sessions is also recommended.

In a similar vein, all jargon should be minimized and, if used, should be thoroughly explained. We recognize all activities have specialized terms that are unique to that activity, and often cannot be avoided. When in doubt about a term’s usage, explain it thoroughly using simple, common language.