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Chelsea Green Blog

Locavore – the word of the year!

It’s that time of year again and the folks at the New Oxford American Dictionary have announced their “word of the year” and this year ….. “locavore” is it!

Congratulations are in order to Chelsea Green author Jessica Prentice (Full Moon Feast) who is one of four women to coin the phrase (actually they use the word locavore without the second “l” as in location as has been adapted elsewhere in the country and used as localvore) and spark a food movement that continues to grow in popularity as people become more aware of the benefits of supporting their local food systems and reducing the amount of food they eat that is trucked in from hundreds and hundreds of miles away.

Here’s what the editors had to say about their choice:

The past year saw the popularization of a trend in using locally grown ingredients, taking advantage of seasonally available foodstuffs that can be bought and prepared without the need for extra preservatives.

The “locavore” movement encourages consumers to buy from farmers’ markets or even to grow or pick their own food, arguing that fresh, local products are more nutritious and taste better. Locavores also shun supermarket offerings as an environmentally friendly measure, since shipping food over long distances often requires more fuel for transportation.

“The word ‘locavore’ shows how food-lovers can enjoy what they eat while still appreciating the impact they have on the environment,” said Ben Zimmer, editor for American dictionaries at Oxford University Press. “It’s significant in that it brings together eating and ecology in a new way.”

Click here to read the full post, and for a list of runners-up, which include colony collapse disorder (isn’t that three words?), previvor (check out this definition), mumblecore, and bacn. For those interested, last year’s Oxford pick for word of the year was “carbon neutral.” No, it wasn’t “truthiness,” for you Colbert fans.

And, click here to go to the Locavores site.

Or, you can go here and get a taste of what Jessica Prentice has to say about the award, and the word’s origin.


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