By: Carson Chambers and Zoe Sirivejachipan
Since we’ve been in Thailand, we’ve experienced a wide array of subcultures within the country. Within each unique area, we have been exposed to a variety of subtle differences and similarities. All humans have to deal with the not-so-glamorous issue of waste – what do we qualify as waste? How do we dispose of it? How will it affect one’s culture and environment? So far we’ve been to two different rural villages, the big city of Bangkok and a tourist island and how waste is dealt with.
I first started to notice the differences in how the people of Kalasin deal with trash after breakfast on our first day. We (the Westminster crew) ate, left some trash scattered around, piled our plates with plenty of leftover food scraps, and started talking about plans for the day. But what was going to happen to the plastic bottles, left over scrambled egg and oatmeal packets? In the United States, once our trash is in a garbage can, it’s taken care of and out of our lives. But what about in Kalasin where there are no landfills, garbage trucks or recycling centers?
Continue reading Waste Not Want Not
By: Carson Chambers and Zoe Sirivejchaphan
The following post concerns the food we have been eating and presents the viewpoints of two people, one who is vegan and one who is Thai American.
From the Vegan
I came to Thailand expecting it to be difficult, if not impossible, to maintain my vegan diet. I also didn’t want to offend any of our Thai hosts by refusing to eat their food. And I didn’t want to miss out on the full cultural experience which inevitably includes food. On the plane ride over there were vegetarian options (but plane food doesn’t really count as food does it?). Once we actually sat down for our first meal in Thailand, the decision making began. Do I want to eat the rice and veggie dish? Do I want to try the eggs? How about the chicken with its tantalizing aromas wafting my way? No, I’ll stick with the rice and veggies this morning. For lunch, we were wandering around the big mall across the street from our hotel. Did I want to try the pad thai? What about the chicken skewers? No, I think I’ll go with some green tea cakes filled with red bean paste — so delicious.
Continue reading Yum, Yum, Yum- Thai food
By: Carson Chambers and Alexa Ferdig
Fringed with rich aquatic biodiversity both along shores and inland fresh waterways, Thailand’s marine life plays an integral role in Thai society. The farming of marine species including shrimp, prawns, muscles, finfish and cockles is a major aspect to the economy and culture of Thailand. Salt water (brackish) aquaculture accounts for approximately $1.46 billion of Thailand’s global exports and creates 662,000 jobs (Pongsri, C., & Sukumasavin, N., 2005). Freshwater aquaculture provides vast amounts of food for the local population and contributes to ancient customs and traditional cuisine.
Continue reading Aquaculture in Thailand: Economic Pressures versus Ecological Health