Have you eaten? Would you eat?

Have you eaten? Would you eat?

Bugs and insects aren’t too bad and are good for your health. Read the article and let me know what you think.

Thailand – Bugs have been on the menu in Thailand for ages but only recently have they migrated from the forests to commercial farms and factories.

“The crickets you see on sale in Thailand are mostly from farms,” said Yupa Hanboonsong, assistant professor in entomology at Khon Kaen University. “We have around 20,000 cricket farmers in the north-east.”

Yupa and fellow entomologist Tasanee Jamjanya began introducing cricket-raising techniques as an alternative source of income and protein for farmers in north-eastern Thailand about 15 years ago. For some, the tiny insects have turned into a substantial source of revenue.

“If we are running at full capacity, we can make a profit of 200,000 baht (6,450 dollars) in one month,” said Pranee Hackl, a cricket entrepreneur in Khon Kaen province’s Nonthon district, 330 kilometres north-east of Bangkok.

Pranee, 47, and her Austrian husband, Oswald, 61, qualify as large-scale farmers in Thailand’s cricket industry.

Her farm boasts 150 concrete cricket pens, where the insects are hatched, fed and raised for about six weeks until they are big enough to be sold.

The venture has not been without challenges. Like other commercially raised animals, crickets are vulnerable to diseases and weather changes, but unlike chickens and cattle, little is known about crickets.

“There are no real experts on cricket raising,” Pranee said. “This is a new profession, so you have to learn by experimenting.”

Pranee, for instance, went from raising the insects 12 months to six months a year because she found they were too vulnerable to fungi and viruses during Thailand’s rainy season.

The market is also unpredictable.

Since she started up seven years ago, the price of crickets has fallen from 180 to 100 baht per kilogram, evidence of growing competition.

Thailand’s bug business is relatively well-established with impressive market logistics in place nationwide.

There are three wholesale hubs for insects, including Long Klua in Sa Keow province on the Thai-Cambodian border, Kalasin town in north-east Thailand and Talad Thai in Pathum Thani, just north of Bangkok.

Some bugs are now travelling from farms in north-eastern Thailand as far afield as the Middle East.

“We have a customer who is sending insects to Israel to sell to Thais working there,” said Keowjai Danook, 36, an insect wholesaler at Talad Thai.

Most of Thailand’s overseas labourers hail from the north-eastern region of Isaan, the country’s most impoverished, where insects have always been part of the daily diet.

Isaan natives living in Bangkok comprise the capital’s largest market for insects, but they have also become popular snacks at tourist spots, such as Khao Sarn Road, a backpackers hangout.

Crickets are generally sold on carts on Bangkok’ streets along with other delicacies such as water bugs and silk larvae. Upcountry, they are sold in stalls along the highway.

The most popular method of preparation is to deep-fry crickets in oil and then sprinkle them with lemongrass slivers and chillies. They are crunchy and taste like fried shrimp.

While demand for edible insects persists in north-eastern and northern Thailand, the growing market in Bangkok has been driven by middle men and steady supplies now that the bugs are coming from farms rather than forests, vendors said.

“You get a good profit on insects,” said Jarunee Rodpai, 59, owner of the Pha Da insect shop at Talad Thai. “We never have problems with supply, and insects are small and inexpensive to keep in a refrigerator.”

New forms of packaging are also emerging.

The Kuntamala Frozen Foods Co two years ago set up a factory to produce frozen meals of bamboo caterpillars, silk worm pupa and crickets in Bangkok, depending on supplies from the northern city of Chiang Mai.

Thailand is not unique in its tradition of entomophagy, but it is a leader in the region in terms of farming insects and processing them, said Yupa, who is helping the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on a project to introduce insect farming to neighbouring Laos.

The UN agency has been promoting insects as an alternative source of food for both people and livestock for the past decade. Experts see their greatest commercial potential in the feed-meal sector.

“The feed sector is the most imminent, particularly for providing protein in fish and chicken rations,” said Paul Vantomme, senior forestry officer for the FAO in Rome.

“We raise a huge amount of cattle, chicken, fish, so where are we going to get the protein to feed them?” Vantomme said. “There isn’t much forest left to deforest, and there’s not much fish left in the ocean, so we need to look at all alternatives, including insects.”

Article taken from Chingrai Times.

 

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The Appeal of Mino Washi

2 April 2012

6:00 – 7:30pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:00pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Mino washi (traditional Japanese paper from Mino City) has a proud tradition of more than 1,300 years and has a fine fibre texture that is highly regarded as beautiful and robust. Mino washi is made from the raw materialkozo (a native Japanese mulberry tree), and carefully processed without the use of chemicals with skilled craftsmen using traditional and time honoured processes, such as drying out in the sun.

Satoshi Hasegawa is an artisan manufacturing paper in Mino City in Gifu Prefecture. The technique he uses to make washi, is a traditional process native to the Mino region using domestic materials. His main product is the high quality ‘Usu Mino Thin Paper’ which is widely used to repair ancient cultural treasures such as manuscripts and texts in art galleries and museums at home and abroad.

Upon receiving a commission from the Ruthin Craft Centre where his skills are highly valued, Mr Hasegawa has supplied the centre with 600 sheets of Mino washi for the creation of a sculptural space at the exhibition,Japanese Style: Sustaining Design. The exhibition will take place at the Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales from 1 April to 24 June 2012 (www.japanseasonwales.com).

Mr Hasegawa believes “Paper in itself may just be a material, but it is my ongoing mission to continue and develop this work, and to connect the tradition with the next generation”.

This special event at Daiwa Foundation Japan House will begin with opening remarks from Mr Kazuyoshi Kano, Vice Mayor of Mino City and Mr Akira Watanabe, Executive Director, Department of Industry Promotion, Mino City.

Satoshi Hasegawa

Satoshi Hasegawa was born in 1964. In 1991, he studied under the late foremost craftsman of Minowashi, Kozo Furuta, who was dedicated to making traditional papermaking for more than fifty years. Hasegawa established his own studio in 1993. In 2003 he was designated by the Japanese national body The Association for the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries as a “traditional craftsman”.

Zoë Howard

Zoë Howard graduated from the University of Brighton in 2011 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Printmaking. She developed a deep interest in Japanese art and culture, in particular washi, after a study exchange to Nagoya University of Arts, Japan in 2010. Since then, she has completed an artist in residence at the Mino Paper Art Village Project, exploring ideas of light and space, movement and stillness through the manipulation of handmade Mino washi. She is currently based in London and is continuing to develop work using Japanese paper.

Chinese New Year Celebrations 2012 in Thailand

Bangkok, January 11, 2012 — The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will mark the 37th Anniversary of Thai-Chinese diplomatic relations between January 19-29, 2012 with a range of lively, colourful Chinese New Year festivities in Bangkok and ten provinces nationwide. This year’s celebrations will be even more special than the previous years as it coincides with three other auspicious occasions that are very significant to the Thai people. These three auspicious occasions are the 84th Birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the 80th Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, and the 60th Birthday of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.In cooperation with the Chinese Government, various Thai-Chinese associations, government agencies and private companies, the celebrations will be held in Chiang Mai, Nakhon Sawan, Suphan Buri, Ratchaburi, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chon Buri, Nakhon Ratchasima, Songkhla, Phuket and Trang. Here is the full list:

NAKHON SAWAN CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL 2012, January 16 – 27, 2012,
throughout the city of Nakhon SawanThe province of Nakhon Sawan is known to the locals by its other name — Pak Nam Pho. This is where the Ping, Wang, Yom, and Nan Rivers converge to form the Chao Phraya River — the ‘River of Kings’. Hence, the province is frequently referred to as the ‘gateway’ to the North.

Nakhon Sawan is famous for the Chao Pho-Chao Mae Pak Nam Pho Fair and procession, organised by Thais of Chinese ancestry in Nakhon Sawan province during the Chinese New Year celebrations. The festivities are held in honour of Chao Pho Pak Nam Pho, a highly revered deity; hence, the origin of its name.

Special performance of folk dances from the city of Xinji in Hebei province in northern China will be performed on January 24-26, 2012.

Local residents seek blessings for the 2012 Chinese New Year – the Year of the Dragon – by paying homage to Chao Pho and Chao Mae Pak Nam Pho, the guardian spirits of Nakhon Sawan province. Visitors and residents are invited to take part in merit-making activities at Lan Bun Thepachao, the Garden of Chinese Deities.

SINO-SIAMESE RELATIONSHIP FESTIVAL, January 20 – 22, 2012, 17.00 – 21.00 hrs at the Ayutthaya Tourism Centre (Old Provincial Hall)Ayutthaya provincial authorities have received exceptional cooperation and support from the People’s Republic of China Ministry of Culture in jointly staging a spectacular cultural showcase as part of the province’s Sino-Siamese Relationship Festival – a celebration of Chinese as well as Thai culture.

The cultural showcase sponsored by the Chinese state authorities will be presented by a cast of 180 performers from Inner Mongolia, the city of Xinji in Hebei province in northern China, Qinghai Tibetan (Qingzang) Plateau, and Kansu province.

This includes a performance by the Chinese National Orchestra, a live demonstration of kung fu martial arts and Chinese acrobatics. Visitors will be presented with an opportunity to taste a wide variety of Thai and Chinese delicacies and shop for products from the PRC such as fine Chinese silks and ceramic and porcelain products from Jiangxi province, the home of Chinese porcelain.

NAKHON RATCHASIMA (KORAT) CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL, January 20 – 25, 2012, at the Thao Suranaree Memorial Plaza, Suan Suranaree (Suranaree Park) Suan Anusornstan (Anusornstan Park) in Nakhon Ratchasima provincial centre and town (Amphoe Mueang)The 2012 Chinese New Year celebrations in Nakhon Ratchasima province, also known as Korat, are being staged under the theme “In Search of Chin Shi”. The cultural highlights being presented as part of the festivities pay tribute to the first great emperor of the Chin Dynasty, Chin Shih Huang-ti (also known as Qin Shi Huang or Qin Er Shi).

Festival activities will take place in several dedicated zones such as Chinatown, The Forbidden Palace on the Central Stage, cultural performances and Food Street with a multitude of shops and food stalls offering a great variety of delicious food.

HAT YAI CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL, January 21 – 25, 2012, at Srinakhorn Foundation School, Songkhla province.The festive highlights include 1) a ceremony hosted in honour of His Majesty the King, 2) Chinese acrobatic show from Kansu province, the People’s Republic of China, 3) a spectacular fireworks and light-and-sound show with colourful bursts of fireworks taking the shape of waterfalls, silver dragon and golden dragon, 3) Silver dragon, Golden dragon and Lion Dance show from Nakhon Sawan province, 4) concert by Chinese singers and Nadech and Yaya – both popular local artists representing Thai TV Channel 3, 5) Miss Hatyai Chinese 2012 contest and China Doll 2012 contest, 6) international karaoke singing contest, and 7) local residents and visitors are invited to take part in merit-making activities and pay homage to nine sacred gods in accordance with Chinese customs and traditions.
RATCHABURI CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL, January 22 – 26, 2012, in front of the Ratchaburi National MuseumThe highlight will be a demonstration of Kung fu martial arts from Beijing, PRC. The Ratchaburi Chinatown Procession, water screen and fireworks display and Young Mr & Miss Chinatown contest and Mr and Miss Chinatown contest will be held on January 24 – 26.
BANGKOK CHINATOWN CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL 2012, Grand Opening Ceremony on January 23, 2012, at Chalermphrakiat Gate, Odeon Circle, Yaowarat Road, Sampantawong District, BangkokHer Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside at the Bangkok Chinatown Chinese New Year official opening ceremony on January 23. Two shows – one featuring a Thai cultural showcase and the other hosted and presented by the People’s Republic of China Ministry of Culture. This will be followed by a 1.5 hour Yaowaraj Cultural Showcase.
CHIANG MAI CHINATOWN CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL, January 23 – 24, 2012, at Lao Chow Lane, Chiang MaiThe Chiang Mai Chinatown Chinese New Year Festival presents a rare opportunity to enjoy a musical performance by the Chinese National Opera on January 24. Witness the Golden Dragon and Golden Lion Procession and a cultural procession staged by the province’s ethnic Chinese Tai Seua tribes people.
SUPHAN BURI CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL, January 23 – 29, 2012, at the Museum of the Descendants of the Dragon in Suphan BuriThe grand opening ceremony of the Suphan Buri Chinese New Year Festival will be held on January 24 and the cultural performances will be held on January 24 – 29, 2012. The programme of engaging cultural presentations from the People’s Republic of China features the following highlights ; 1) Thousand Arms Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, 2) Chinese acrobatic performance, 3) light and pyrotechnics show and Heavenly Glowing Dragon display, 4) fireworks show, and 5) folk music performance.
AYUTTHAYA ANCIENT CITY CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL 2012, January 24 – 29, 2012, at Naresuan Road from Chao Phrom Market to Chao Ai Chao Yi Chedi.Major highlights include a Dragon Contest, Chinese teng leng lantern displays, Young Miss Chinese contest, the Best of Ayutthaya Food Festival and the Chinese food eating contest.

Dragon contest: The procession staged by the 108 Chinese shrines in the 16 districts of Ayutthaya province presents an opportunity for local residents to pay homage to Chinese deities and guardian spirits who watch over them and ensure their good fortune and well-being.

The Best of Ayutthaya Food Festival and a retro-market are staged to capture the atmosphere of traditional markets in times past. The event is being organised with the support of organisations representing various Chinese family names.

PHUKET CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL 2012, January 28 – 30, 2012, at Phuket Old Town – Klang Road, Thalang Road, Thepkasatri Road, Phuket.The festive highlights include 1) a procession in honour of His Majesty the King, 2) Baba Yaya Peranakan Procession, 3) journey back in time as Old Phuket turns back the clock and visitors are treated to a rare performance of a Portuguese-style stage play presented by the Thai Peranakan Association based in Phuket town, 4) local cultural showcase with colourful presentations of local culture, traditions and way of life on the tropical island paradise of Phuket, and 5) Phuket residents observe time-honoured traditions and pay homage to the highly revered Goddess Kuan Yin and other Chinese deities and guardian spirits.

For further information on Chinese New Year celebrations in Thailand, please check outhttp://www.tatnews.org/events/events/2012/jan/5775.asp