Glossary

California Health and Safety Code: consists of 29 codes concerning health and safety; many involve food regulation.

California State Assembly: the lower house of California State Legislature; made up of 80 members.

CITES: The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species is an international agreement on which species are protected from trade and distribution. It is comprised of Appendix I, II, and III, with I being the list of species closest to extinction. In terms of shark species, only the endangered whale shark, great white shark, and basking shark are protected under Appendix II of CITES.

East Asia: I refer to the region of East Asia as China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Typically the term includes Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, and South Korea. However, due to this site’s focus on shark fin soup, I will narrow down this term to the 3 countries listed.

Endangered species: a population of animals facing risk of becoming extinct, due to decreasing number or a threat to its environment or from a predator. Several shark species, used for shark fin soup, are considered endangered.

EU Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare: This is a sub-branch of the European Union’s Committee on Food Safety, focusing on animal protection, as well as various concerns of animal health, hygiene, etc.

FAO: The Food and Agriculture Organization operates under the United Nations. Its primary goal is to address global food security and scarcity, in hopes of eradicating hunger worldwide.

FDA: The Food and Drug Administration is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A role of the FDA is to promote public health and create measures to ensure food safety.

Fishery: an individual or collective involved in raising or harvesting fish (or sharks). There are various forms of fisheries, such as freshwater and saltwater kinds, as well as commercial and recreational. This site mostly concerns commercial shark fisheries.

Foie gras: It is the French word for ‘fat liver,’ and better known as a prepared food made from the liver of a fattened duck or goose. Foie gras holds a rich flavor and buttery texture.

Food safety: comes in various forms to prevent food-borne illnesses. Regulations by the FDA address preparation, handling/transportation, and storage of food.

Food sovereignty movement: Michel Pimbert‘s term for the rising power of “farmers, pastoralists, women, indigenous people, and migrants worldwide” to take action in creating definitions of food. It is a movement of the Global North that aims to change policy and general thinking about food and agriculture.

Foodie: a person interested in food ethics, politics, news, and most of all, tasting food. A foodie often enjoys trying new restaurants, no matter the location, price, or reputation, as long as it has delicious food.

Gavage: It is the French word for ‘force-feed.’ Today, it is attached to the production of foie gras, in which the duck or goose is force-fed food through a tube leading from the throat to stomach.

Labeling: refers to the incorporation of ingredients, or components, to a food product on a package or menu. Labels display a range of information – from nutrition to production details – in order to give the consumer as much background on the product as possible. Read more about food labeling on my blog post “Hey this is crazy, but label me, maybe?”.

Michelin Star: With a rating of one to three stars, the Michelin Guide ranks restaurants around the world. Attaining a Michelin Star is comparable to winning an Academy Award for many chefs and restaurants, as it is a symbol of great quality and taste in the food world.

Pneumatic dispenser: the tool used to force-feed corn grains and water into a duck or goose’s mouth and throat at a quick speed. This mechanism, which originates in Israeli, accelerates the process of gavage.

Public health: the management of preventing disease, promoting health, and elongating life through social and institutional change and/or policy. The aim of public health is to inform society, and the individuals that make up that society, about choices related to health.

Saqqarah: the location of the first drawn representation of animal force-feeding. It is an Egyptian tomb in the ancient city of Memphis.

Shark finning: This is the practice of removing a shark’s fin. The rest of the body is typically discarded back into the ocean, leaving the live shark to slowly die due to suffocation. Finning is most common in the areas of East and Southeast Asia and Latin America, as well as in some parts of North America and Western Europe. Read more about finning on my blog post “A Dangerous Delicacy.”

Shark fin soup: The soup is prepared with shredded slivers of shark fin and typically cooked in a chicken broth. This luxurious dish bear origins in Chinese cuisine and is often served at important events, such as banquets and weddings.

WTO: The World Trade Organization, located in Geneva, Switzerland, sets the terms of international trade. Formerly known as GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), in 1995, the WTO involves member nations/governments in decision-making of global trade agreements and resolutions.

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