Terms to know

Big Food

describes a global cartel of multinational corporations that dominate food and beverage production and distribution in the United States and much of the world. These Big Food corporations were built on a foundation of colonization, white supremacy, and the uprooting of people that continues to this day. They include companies referred to as “Big Ag,” corporate agriculture, or agribusiness. They profit by exploiting workers, food producers, consumers, animals, and natural resources in the U.S. and abroad. Big Food’s dominance has especially violent consequences for racialized, poor, and otherwise marginalized communities.


Higher Ed

refers to colleges and universities, powerful institutions that our society looks to for knowledge, education, and vision. Although colleges and universities promote themselves as public-serving institutions, higher education overall was built on and continues to uphold white supremacy, patriarchy, classism, and other systems of oppression. As a result, higher ed has long been a battleground for social change.


Food Sovereignty

“the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.” The term “food sovereignty” was introduced by Via Campesina in 1996, declared at the World Forum on Food Sovereignty in 2007 by representatives of more than 80 countries, and later endorsed by hundreds of millions of peasant farmers around the world. It also refers to powerful work led by indigenous communities native to the land we now call the United States.

For more information on food sovereignty, please see www.viacampesina.org and the Declaration of the Forum for Food Sovereignty.