In a fish market of Lombok Indonesia

Dead Dolphins for food
From a trip to Bali and Lombok

Dolphins slaughtered for meat in a Lombok Fish Market. The meat is traditionally eaten by the locals. While I was there, the dead dolphins were left over in the hot morning for a few hours, I was wondering why they were laying dead there.

I had missed out on the butchering while snapping photos of the other parts of the market. Can't imagine how dolphin meat taste like, its not usual for fisherman to feed on them as dolphins get caught in their nets following schools of fishes.

Food Miles, the cost of your Food Choices

From Times Online
May 24, 2008
Green kitchen: food miles
Richard Ehrlich

The distance that food travels from the site(s) of production to the dinner table has been a hot topic since the mid-Nineties.

But it has long been known that food miles are a much more complicated subject than the mileometer can convey, and now a paper called Food-Miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States proposes a drastically different picture from that painted by local-food advocates.

Its authors, Christopher L. Weber and H. Scott Matthews, are two US academics, and their study undertakes an “input-output life-cycle assessment” of the greenhouse gases (GHG) associated with the food consumed by American households.

Weber and Matthews scrupulously acknowledge the methodological and statistical uncertainties in their work; care must also be taken in applying the findings to the UK and Europe. Nonetheless, their conclusions are sobering.

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Transport accounts for just 11 per cent of total GHG emissions associated with food. Production accounts for around 83 per cent. This means that: “Buying [100 per cent] local could achieve, at maximum, around a 4-5 per cent reduction in GHG emissions…”

What can would-be green eaters do? Cut down on red meat and dairy products, by far the most GHG-intensive of food groups. According to Weber and Matthews, shifting a bit less than one day’s total calories a week from those sources to “chicken/fish/eggs or a vegetable-based diet” would achieve as much as buying 100 per cent local.

There are still good reasons to buy local food. By definition, it is in season. And you are supporting a local business. But don’t think it’s a major blow in the war on climate change. You’ll do more by eating a chicken leg once a week instead of a steak – and with boiled spuds not milky, buttery mash. That's easier than restricting yourself to local produce 24/7/52.

The True Cost of eating your prawns

This article makes me think twice about eating prawns in singapore, since most of our supply comes from Thailand and Indonesia.

Vol.4 Week 18 30/04/2008
Labour standards in Asia's shrimp industry
by Richard Welford rwelford@csr-

Workers in Asia's shrimp industry suffer regular abuse and often live in what amounts to virtual slavery, according to a report by the Solidarity Center, a human-rights organization based in the USA. The 40-page report says that sexual and physical abuse, trafficking, debt bondage, child labour and unsafe working conditions are common in the industry, citing particularly bad examples in both Thailand's and Bangladesh's shrimp processing factories.

The report, "The Degradation of Work: The True Cost of Shrimp," is based on various sources of evidence including the police but it also contains information from interviews with workers in both Thailand and Bangladesh.

The report cites on example of workers in a Thai factory who told police who raided the establishment that if they made a mistake on the shrimp peeling line, asked for sick leave, or tried to escape, they could expect to be beaten, sexually abused, or publicly tortured. Moreover, the plant, Ranya Paew, was said to be more like a fortress than a factory, with 16-foot-high barbed-wire topped walls, armed guards, and an extensive internal closed-circuit television system, said the report based on evidence from the Thai police.

"Behind the walls, the police found a scene that one report described as 'little short of medieval,' with hundreds of workers literally trapped inside the compound, living in squalid conditions, forced to work long hours, and subjected to physical, emotional, and sexual intimidation and abuse. Workers who angered the employer were often 'put to shame' in front of others by having their hair cut or shaved in patches. Women and girls were stripped naked and publicly beaten as a form of discipline."

The report says the owner of the factory, who was charged with some offenses, received little in the way of punishment.

"Despite widespread worker rights abuses, including child labour and human trafficking, the owner was charged only with employing children under 15 and failing to provide holidays and time off. Although these charges are serious, they were treated as first-time labour code violations. The owner initially only paid a fine of about $2,100 and has returned to work."

The Solidarity Center also reports on workers at another factory owned by a major Thai shrimp processing company, alleging hazardous working conditions as well as an intimidating and discriminatory work environment. Workers complained of forced overtime and non-payment of wages if production quotas were missed. They also claimed regular exposure to harsh chemicals, lack of access to first aid or health care and poor air and drinking water quality.

They also had unexplained deductions from their pay and worked without a written contract, the report says and that native Thais and migrant workers were segregated by the use of colour-coded uniforms.

In Bangladesh one worker is quoted as saying "I make US$30 a month but the room in Chittagong, including electricity comes to US$23 a month. This means I have US$7 to spend on food, clothes and anything else."

Much of in the industry is made up of migrant workers. The report tells the story of three female workers picked up by a broker and taken to the Thai-Burma border, where they were joined by other Burmese migrants. They walked for three days until they found transportation to Bangkok. The broker took them to the Ranya Paew seafood processing factory where the broker was paid US$300 for each one of them. They were told that this would be deducted from their pay. They work 18-hour shifts.

The Solidarity Center tracked shrimp from factories it criticized directly to some of America's best-known retailers and restaurants, though it did not allege wrongdoing on the part of the U.S. companies. I don't doubt that we can find the shrimps elsewhere in this region too.

The Solidarity Center says that its report is not intended to overwhelm readers with depressing stories of abuse (although there are many). It wants to encourage companies (and governments) along the shrimp supply chain to take positive action. The real cost of this inexpensive seafood is represented by the experiences of the workers illustrated in the report.

In the last 30 years the shrimp industry has been revolutionized through an unprecedented increase in efficient production, resulting in huge profits for producers. But there is still a need for a significant amount of hand processing and the workers doing the processing are often subject to abuse, misery and damaged lives, says the report.

Processing companies receive raw shrimp from farms or fishing boats and prepare and move the processed shrimp along the supply chain. Most processing companies operate in a highly fragmented market. Secondary processing plants convert prepared shrimp into more marketable products through cooking, packaging and other preparations. Processing plants are labour intensive and work to tight deadlines.

But the rapid expansion of the processing industry has created a regulatory vacuum, says the report, where there are major failings in labour standards, environmental protection and, worryingly, food safety.

As for any law enforcement, the report quotes one worker as saying "the inspectors come, they have to come at least once a year. But they always inform the management first. The management then arranges everything: they change the shifts and only put people on who agree with them. They prepare a separate salary sheet. The inspectors know the management. They are all friends."

Correcting the abuse of labour in this industry is going to be tough. Migrant workers, bonded labourers and children can all be found in the processing factories. Yet whatever talks about sweatshops in the shrimp industry in the way that we have seen in apparel and footwear factories. Well, perhaps now we have this report, we should starting asking some tough questions about what we eat as well as what we wear!

Eggs and Condiments

Still Life

Still Life

A typical breakfast or afternoon tea at the coffeeshop often have this.
Gone are the old coffeeshops with great coffee (where they roast their own beans), soft boiled eggs and charcoal grilled bread.

Raw Vegan Food at California

Leaf Cuisine Cafe in Los Angeles Culver City that serves Raw Vegan Food
website :

After spending time in Central America in April where there is hardly any vegan food, I was delighted to be eating vegetarian food again, a great little raw food outlet, Leaf Cafe serves decent portions, it feels like a regular good cafe with none of that foo foo fashion types which you see at other raw food restaurants. The raw food portions were large and rather filling. Me and my friends shared a few dishes. The smoothies filled us up immediately and we took takeways after that. There were a few disappointing dishes like the chilled soups each of us had, just lacked the flavors and more like blended vegetable pulp. Overall most of the dishes were pretty good and decent.

Leaf Cuisine Cafe Raw Food

Leaf Cuisine Cafe Raw Food
Raw California Maki, my favorite dish at the cafe with intense flavors. Fillings of Nuts, tomato, carrots and wakame seaweed. Yummy

Leaf Cuisine Cafe Raw Food
Raw-torilla with nut cream, a little disappointed with this, perhaps some redesigning of the recipe. Basically cabbage with nuts, sprouts and avocado slices arranged together, it is more like a salad than a torilla.

Leaf Cuisine Cafe Raw Food

Leaf Cuisine Cafe Raw Food
Raw-lasagne with rich avocado, sprouts and dehydrated tomatos, I was already filled up with the rest of my dishes, but was delicious and I had doggy bagged it for breakfast.