Glossary

Biodiversity:


The variation of life forms within a given ecosystem. It is often used to measure the health of biological systems. Today, Earth’s biodiversity consists of many millions of distinct biological species.

Global Map of biodiversity

Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth, but is consistently rich in the tropics. It is less rich in polar regions where fewer species are found. Because of rapid changes in the environment, of all species that have existed on Earth, 99.9% are now extinct.

Since life began on Earth, five major mass extinctions have led to large and sudden drops in the biodiversity of species.

Permaculture:

‘Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments.’

Bill Mollison.

“Permaculture” is a condensation of  the phrase ‘permanent agriculture’.  It was created in 1978 by Australian ecologist, Bill Mollison, and one of his students, David Holmgren.

Permaculture is a model for land use and community building that imitates natural patterns. It integrates human dwellings, microclimate, annual and habitual plants, animals, soils, and water into stable, food production systems. The focus is not on these elements themselves, but rather on the relationships created among them by the way these are placed in the landscape.

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Compost:

Compost is made up of organic materials extracted from plant and animal matter that has been broken up largely through decomposition of an organism or tissue. The process of fertilizing is simple and practiced by individuals in their homes, farmers on their land, and industrially by industries and cities.

Compost are rich in nutrients. It is used in gardens, landscaping, horticulture and agriculture. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a fertilizer and as a natural pesticide for soil. In ecological systems, compost is useful for erosion control, land and stream improvement, wetland construction, and as landfill cover.

Glochids:

Glochids are tiny, finely barbed hair-like spines found on the sunken area on a cactus and other plants. Cactus glochids easily detach from the plant and become lodged in the skin, causing irritation upon contact.

GMO:

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, resulting from new combinations of genetic material use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or unique genes.

Read more here

A method to help identify genetically modified foods _ continue here

Processed Food:

Processed food, or convenient food, is commercially prepared food designed for minimal preparation. Such products are often prepared food stuffs that can be sold as hot, ready-to-eat dishes; or as frozen products that require heating before consumption.

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