Rabu, 28 Februari 2018

Snail Farming and What It’s All About?

Snail farming in Europe. Photo by: radiokerry.ie

Never thought that snail farming to be one of the most profitable farming industries today. Even though it’s not as popular as many other farming industries, snail farming gain popularity when their usage get more than just for human consumption. While only few countries in the world popular with snail’s dishes but beauty industries spread to wider user and the substances for their products produces by this wonderful creature; snail.

Snail farming is not new to human. The farming practice had been described long ago in Lumaca romana, (translation: Roman snail) by Fulvius Lippinus (49 BC). We don’t know how long it’s been practiced before the documentation. It also indicate snail was one of the important resources since long-long ago.

Snail farming known as heliciculture, or heliculture is the process of raising land snails for human use either as food source or other usage such as producing slime for cosmetics industries or snail eggs as a type of caviar. There are many land snails use as food all around the world, but the popular snails known as escargot mostly refers to either Helix aspersa or Helix pomatia, and they both are tasty.

Snails ready to be ship in UK. Photo by: thatsfarming.com

Snail farming in Africa generate good income for farmer. Photo by: heifer.org 

While for cosmetic purposes, snails slime been used since ancient Greek to improve face moisture, to reduce wrinkles and to rejuvenate the skin (that includes reducing scars or blemishes). Snail’s slime or mucin contain hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes and peptides – that used in many other products not produced by the snail mucin.

If you’re interested to try the snail mucin products, it’s better you to try the ready cosmetics – for the mucus/mucin already treated clinically for safety usage (so use the known brands for extra safety). Snails as any other animals can be infested by many diseases, pest, worms and many other kind of infection. Proper preparation is very important to make sure your safety for using such kind of products.

Back to the snail’s farming, it can generate large margin of income – for the cost of running snail’s farm is lower. Instead snail’s farm getting popular not only in European countries but it also grows rapidly in Africa, North and South America and Australia. In fact there are many other species of snails being farmed. Some of the species included;

Helix aspersa, also known as "petit gris" one of popular in snail cuisines. Photo by: Waugsberg

One of popular dishes with snail. Photo by: escargot-world.com 

  • Helix aspersa, also known as "petit gris," "small grey snail," the "escargot chagrine," or "la zigrinata".
  • Helix pomatia, also known as "Roman snail," "apple snail," "lunar," "la vignaiola," the German "Weinbergschnecke," the French "escargot de Bourgogne" or "Burgundy snail," or "gros blanc".
  • Otala lacteal, also known as "vineyard snail," "milk snail," or "Spanish snail".
  • Iberus alonensis, the Spanish "vaqueta" or "serrana".
  • Cepaea nemoralis, "grove snail," or the Spanish "vaqueta" from central and Europe and introduced to United States.
  • Cepaea hortensis, "white-lipped snail" native to central and northern Europe.
  • Otala punctate, "vaqueta" found in some part of Spain.
  • Eobania vermiculata, "vinyala," "mongeta," or "xona", from the Mediterranean countries, then introduced into Louisiana and Texas.
  • Helix lucorum, "escargo turc" quite big with size up to 45 mm across from central Italy and Yugoslavia, Crimea to Turkey and around Black Sea.
  • Helix adanensis, from Turkey.
  • Helix aperta, native to France, Italy and other Mediterranean countries. Nowadays already established in California and Louisiana.
  • Theba pisana, "banded snail" or the "cargol avellanenc", native to Sicily and spread to several European countries, including England.
  • Sphincterochila candidissima, also known as "cargol mongeta," or "cargol jueu"
  • Achatina fulica, or giant African Snails can reach size up to 326 mm (1 ft ¾ in) in length. Native to south of the Sahara in East Africa. Also caused serious agricultural pest problem in other areas such as California, Hawaii and North Miami Florida. Still giant African Snails is the most popular snail as pet.

All of the snails above are example of land snails that grown in snails farming. Without proper care snails can be serious agricultural pest problem especially when it come from other areas. Some snail species can increase in numbers very rapidly when the condition is right such as giant African snail that threaten not only native snails but also others animals that feed on the same food sources.

Snail caviar another new product: Photo by: caracolchile.blogspot.my

Beauty creams with snail's mucin: Photo by: nylonpink.tv 

As the snails farming is still considered new. Many other possibilities can be achieved with more research and development to identify the potential of snail’s base products. While at the same time, farmers need to be responsible to make sure the safety of the farming method to avoid the harmful effect of snails to natural/local environment.

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Sabtu, 24 Februari 2018

Fish Farming Of The Future

Atlantic salmon is threaten in the wild. Photo by: imgur.com

Fish is one of the important protein sources but badly affected by many issues from pollution, over-fishing, unsafe even for farmed fish and caused threats to environment. While stopping fish farming will never stop the other threats for the wild fish and we still need fish as part of our foods. Luckily some of us never stop to find better ways to raise farm fish with better condition.

Farming fish is not an easy job especially salmon that requires both between salt water and fresh water. This fish is bigger in size with carnivorous appetite. Farming salmon in the net-pens over the rivers and lakes been practiced for so long and proven caused many problems for the fish itself and for the environment. Using other fishes as their food also another reason salmon farming will not solve the over-fishing problem.

Atlantic salmon swimming in the wild. Photo by: imgur.com

Cleaner water and easier to control (land farming). Photo by: seacoreseafood.com

With more people come forward and pressure from the consumers, fish farmers find another solution – to raise salmon in land away from natural water supply. With enclosed environment all factors are control properly from the quality of water, oxygen content in the water, salinity to food supplies. These lead to easier manage conditions; even though the cost of building the facilities far higher than traditional net-pens farming.

One of the pioneering company in this technology is KUTERRA that raising Atlantic salmon (Salmo salaron their farm at Northern Vancouver Island, Canada.

The land farming allows farmers to control many other threats to their fish such as predators, pollution from the water, diseases and water from the farm also never goes into the river/sea. With high circulation of water, low fish feed, controlled temperature and oxygen, the growth of fish are much faster with no diseases. In case of diseases they can change all the water and sanitized all the facilities again.

Damage net in net-pens farming: Photo by: KUOWPHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

More and more land farm will be build. Photo by: undercurrentnews.com

Even though the cost to build land farm are far higher, but it can produce higher yield with good quality of fish. Not to mention they never caused any harm to nature (other than the land they need to use to build the farm). This technology is still in its early stage and there are more improvement in the process and management that will bring better result.

In fact salmon farming is not the only technology that got a facelift in recent years. All other fishes with high demands and threaten in the wild such as tuna, grouper, cobia, puffer fish, and few other shellfish/crustaceans also had been upgraded. This upgrade not only to produce more production but also to make sure that the produce will be safe for human consumption with less impact to the environment.

Salmon produced by KUTERRA. Photo by: kuterra.com

Deep sea farming also will be part of future fish farming. Photo by: innovasea.com 
With more people work together to improve the quality of fish farming industries, it will benefits both the consumers and the farmers. While at the same time we hope that will allow the restoring amount of the fish in the wild from over fishing – but still threatens by pollutions of many kinds.

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Ahad, 18 Februari 2018

New Fabric From Orange Fibre

Producing orange fibre to safe cost of disposal orange's waste. photo by: orangefiber.it

Most of modern fabrics are produce by synthetic materials and rarely new materials came from organic materials (as we already stick with few of the traditional materials as we known such as cotton, silk, linen, wool, jute, pineapple leaves, lotus silk and etc.). It shows that many other organic materials consist potential fibre to be use in producing fabric – perhaps need to go through different process.

At least that’s what student Adriana Santanocito and her friend Enrica Arena tried to do and successfully produced what they called Orange Fibre. Adriana was studying textiles at Politecnico of Milan, when she first thought about to produce the fabric from orange fibre. This idea came when she thought about how scientist can produced fabric out of milk and rice. Then she also thought about the problem of the citrus waste back at her home Sicily.

Orange waste. photo by: orangefiber.it 

The sample of Orange Fabric. photo by: orangefiber.it

We can produce fabric with cellulose produced by plants that generally known as rayon. The fabric that made of bamboo is actually rayon. Still there’s nothing bad about it. In fact rayon can be produced at cheaper price, safe lots of energy and farmland to grow fibre plants such as cotton, flax, hemp, jute, nettles, yucca and many others.

By producing orange fabric, Adriana helps to make sure the orange waste used for something more useful rather than to left it rotten and safe the huge amount of money with the disposal cost. Instead of using new trees to produce pulp, why not using the cellulose from other waste product such as in this case – she did a very good job.

Bamboo fibre, another example of fibre produce by plant. photo by: materia

Rayon allows fabrics price become cheaper as the plants fibre produced by few types of plants are harder to produce. It also allow wider range usage of fabrics for applications from tea bags, to fabrics for high quality dress. The only things that we concern about rayon production is the usage of harmful chemicals and their effects to the workers and environmental effects (when the waste management not been carried properly).

Orange fabric is another example of creative idea on how we can safe resources that before treat as waste. As we know that in ancient times, clothes are afforded only by the riches and they are very hard to produce. With new materials engineering will allow us to explore more possibilities to get better materials that are not just cheaper but also good for the nature.

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Rabu, 7 Februari 2018

The Wonderful of Birds Migration

Canadian geese on its flight to migrate to safer breeding places - photo: M. Horath

Some birds flying thousands of miles a year migrating between two places across the continent to find suitable places to breed, feed and rising their chicks. Migration happens in so many ways from short distance, medium distance, long distance or some of the birds will stay at the same place throughout the year.

Studies of birds’ migration had been improved with the advancement of technologies available today. Even though today the studies can be conducted properly with satellites tracking devices, the birds’ populations are getting decreases as their natural stopover areas had been used for development by human. Other threats also caused by plastics pollution that killed many birds and also their main sources of foods.

With the proper studies, action can be taken in order to identify the important areas for migratory birds can be protected in order to help them to complete their journey. Most of these areas are wetlands and coastal areas that become their main feeding grounds during their journey across the globe.

Migrating waders in Roebuck Bay, Western Australia - photo: Mdk572

Birds migrate in order to make sure the availability of the food resources. While during the mating seasons they also need to make sure that the areas they select is safe to raise their young. Many migratory birds migrate in large groups, while the short range migratory birds might migrate in smaller numbers. Since these patterns of migration had been going on for long period of times, the ecosystem in both migratory areas are suitable to support their needs.

Among the long-distance migration, Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) known to be the longest migrator by flying from Arctic breeding grounds and the Antarctic each year. Other long-distance migrators include short-tailed shearwater (Puffinus tenuirostris), ruff (Philomachus puganx), northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), Amur falcon (Falco amurensis) and many other birds that migrates in order to find better places with plenty of foods.

Migration pattern few species of birds - by: L.Shyamal
Arctic tern migrate the longest distance - photo: Toivo Toivanen & Tiina Toppila

Some birds might migrating in smaller distance - photo: Ken Thomas

Even though harnessing plenty of food resources in the areas where they stays, migratory birds also will enrich it with their faeces to increase the blooming of algae and fertilized the areas to make it suitable for other life to grows by the time they return the following year. This is why the migrating process keep on continuing for long period of times – until we change the environment.

The same thing with medium-distance and short-distance migrators. They also balancing the amount of their food resources. Spreading the seeds, improve the soils, increase the drainage (when they scratching the ground to find food), controlling pest and many other things that birds do.

Mass flocking of bird will enrich the areas - photo: Times of India

Equipped with wings, birds are the animals that can travels further in order to shapes the world compared with fish that can only travel to areas covered with water (and either they are salt-water fish or fresh-water fish). For millions of years birds the only travellers that can go from end to end of the world in order to balance their ecosystem.

Birds’ migrations are one of the best things to observe in nature. From there, there are many things interconnected together with other lives wherever they stop. As the time goes by, everything will keep on flourishing until they come again the following year.

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