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Thursday, January 21, 2010


Every participant in an ecosystem has an important part to play and if one becomes more dominant than the others, the ecosystem can develop problems.

We'll start with the producers. These are living things which take the non living matter from the environment, such as minerals and gases and uses them to support life. 

1)Green plants are considered producers and the are at the beginning of the food chain.
Next are the consumers. These living things need the producers to be their food. 

2)Animals who eat plants are called herbivores. They are considered consumers and are next in the food chain. 

3)Animals and people who eat both animals and plants are called omnivores, and they are also part of the consumer piece of the ecosystem. 

4)Animals who eat other animals are called carnivores. They also considered consumers and are a link farther along on the food chain since they need the herbivores for their food.

4)Animals and people who eat both animals and plants are called omnivores, and they are also part of the consumer piece of the ecosystem.

5)Finally, the last part of the ecosystem is the decomposers. These are the living things which feed off dead plants and animals and reduce their remains to minerals and gases again. Examples are fungi, like mushrooms, and bacteria.

I love snail and love eating snail. It is very delicious.
Snail can be found every where in Langkawi Island. Being surrounded by sea, sea snail is very famous to Langkawian. Fresh water snail also very famous over here and can get very easily. 

The plant grows using energy from the sun. 
 The plant is eaten by pond snails.
The plants and the pond snails are eaten by fish.
The fish are eaten by birds. 
Here are a few more living things that you might find in a garden, connected together as a food web.

The shell of a snail is made up of calcium carbonate. The shell becomes very strong and remains that way as long as the snail consumes a diet that is full of calcium. Without it the shell will start to crack. Since the rest of the body is very soft and slimy, they must have a hard shell if they are going to survive the elements in the world around them.

The parts of the snail are described below

I live in Kampung Bakau (Mangrove Village), 2 km from Kuah, the main town in Langkawi.  My house is actually surrounded by sea water twice a day when the sea water tide is high. Usually at 12 am and 12 noon but sometimes it varies a few hours. When the tide is low, we have a large field in front of our house. I used to play football with my brothers. When the tide is high, our house is just in the middle of a big blue-green salty lake. Incredible and amazing life!! There are lots of sea snails hanging at the mangrove trees. Just pluck them and cook.

When the tide is low....

The sea water starts to surround my house

When the tide is high...I love swimming and fishing . The water is so crystal clear.

This time I want to show you the mud snail. These snails leave in the mud and it taste really good. It is quite expensive if you buy at market. I am lucky to get it for free. Come I show you to the location.

This is part of Kampung Bakau( Mangrove Village). I will show you the way to mud snail habitat.

I have to walk through a big field of mangrove shrubs before reaching the location.

At last....this is the habitat of mud snail.

The snails are every where, just pick them up

You can see them clearly on the mud......

You can get 2 kg of mud snails  within a few minutes if you are fast enough. The current price at market is RM 10 per kilo.

The mud snails are ready to be cook after washed several time.

At last....the snails are ready to be eaten. We  called this dishes is GULAI LEMAK SIPUT.

Nutritional composition of raw snails (per 100 grams of edible portion) is:

- Energy (kcal): 80.5
- Water (g): 79
- Protein (g): 16
- Available carbohydrates (g): 2
- Fibres (g): 0
- Fat (g): 1
- Magnesium (mg): 250
- Calcium (mg): 170
- Iron (mg): 3.5
- Vitamin C (mg): 0

Recipes: Snail kebab

Snail farming: pros and cons of the business

raising snails advantages disadvantagesSo you want to start a snail farming business, huh? Well, let me tell you, you have set eyes on a exciting and profitable type of business.

However, before you make any big decision you must be aware of the pros and cons of snail farming.

Pros of snail farming

  • Snails have a great demand.
  • Snail farming has a bright future
  • As long as responsible snail raising and consumption continues, the high demand of snails will rest assured.
  • Nowadays there is a huge concern about eating natural and healthy.
  • Other meats have nothing on snails
  • The great quality and nutritional value of snail meat can compete with poultry, pork and beef.
  • Snails reproduce in large quantities and adapt to most climates
  • Feeding snails is cheap and easy
  • Snail food is mostly vegetables. To make them grow larger, there are low-cost wholesale flours enriched with calcium.

Cons of snail farming

Lack of acknowledge on
  • Raising snails: understanding their biology and conditions they need.
  • Laws and regulations on your country regarding to the raise, sell, export and import of snails.
  • How to start a business of this kind.
  • Dealing with middlemen.

Snail slime is not what you think

There is a lot of hype surrounding snail slime. It is heavily marketed as the greatest natural wonder for skin care and rejuvenation. Although there is proven scientific evidence of the properties of snail slime, there are many detractors of the snail slime products.

First, we have to make the difference between snail slime and snail secretion. The slime is the fluid the snail uses to slide and that has no healthy quality for human beings whilst the snail secretion that can help delay skin aging and repair it, among other properties. Snails produce this secretion with the merely purpose to defend themselves from environmental aggressions.

Skin creams with repairing and antioxidant properties must have been manufactured with “snail secretion”, obtained through stimulation such as radiation or mechanical stress, and not with the snail slime for sliding.
It’s proven that legitimate snail products can produce a gradual reduction of fine and deep wrinkles, improves aged skin and hydrates it. It works in two ways: it stimulates collagen production and elastin, the skin components that repair skin aging; and reduces damages produced by free radicals, responsible of

Sea snails amazing benefits

Scaly-foot sea snail (Crysomallon squamiferum)
There is no doubt that snail slime has plenty of qualities like curing pain. Snail slime contains chemical products that allows them to catch their preys when they bite them. Researchers at Queensland University, Australia, have used it to develop an oral medication to ease the most severe cases of pain with an efficacy as similar to morphine’s. 
Snail medication creates no addiction and is required in small doses to work. After proving these effects, scientists used to relive pain in humans. At first it had to be injected directly onto the spine, with a limited usage.
In its oral form, snail slime gets to ease the severe pain as the one suffered by people with a peripheral neuropathy, in much more smaller doses than the regular medications used to treat this condition, and with no risk of addiction.
Another amazing quality of sea snails is the strength of their shells. According to the MIT, the shell of the Crysomallon squamiferum snail (that lives in the Indic Ocean) is so resistant that it can be used to as base to make shields for soldiers and to improve of military vehicle armour. 
Familiarly called scaly-foot snail, the shell of this gastropod is different from any other natural shell. It has three layers, able to divide the energy that could weaken or fracture it. This makes of it the strongest of protection.

Snails under stress

Not only snail breeders can get stressed out about their snail farms, but snails themselves can suffer stress too. Very snail breeder knows how delicate the process of raising snails is since they need specific humidity and temperature conditions.
The farm conditions must be the best, since they are very small animals, plastic containers and pet carriers seem like a good first solution. Snails do not feel comfortable when they are so close to each other. Cold water also causes them stress. A sponge helps create a humid space.
During the stress phase snails segregate a substance –its reaction towards external aggressions- in order to obtain the famous "snail slime” that is used to elaborate cosmetic products. 
Snails go under a registered physical stress procedure of rotation that “makes no harm” to the snails. Ten snails are needed to produce 4 mm of the snail beauty products.

How to get snails ready for cooking

How to breed land snails

Breeding land snails is not a hard task, but it does take time and patience. However, you can have a clear scope of snail breeding through this easy-to-read article, where I explain the process step by step.Understanding land snails
Snails are ‘vegetarians’, they love lettuce leaves, carrots, cucumber and legumes. They have told us they are hermaphrodites, they do not neat a partner for reproduction, but in order to preserve the specie, snails require a partner to copulate.
• Plastic aquarium for transportation.
• Manual water sprinkler.
• Sponge or rag.
• Pebbles holes.
• Cactus flowerpot.
• Soil (humus, you can get it at any gardener’s shop).
• Ashtray or small plastic box.
Building process
First phase
Clean up the terrarium with regular soap and plenty of water, be thorough to get rid of the minimum debris, and dry it well.
Prepare the substrate by scattering a 2-inch-high humus layer on the bottom of the terrarium. Fix the soil with your hands –not very hard – in a way it looks like the soil out there, not a flat as a carpet.
Second phase
Make a trough with the cactus flowerpot, but since snails have no mouth to drink with, you have to help them out -especially when they are babies because that is the first or second thing they do once they are born- with a sponge or a plate to moisten them. Be careful the water does not evaporate. You can place the flowerpot half buried on a corner so the land snails do not turn it over.
Third phase
Place the pebbles on the soil, leaving a free corner for the ashtray and the plastic box, in which you will out gravel or any rock for balance, so it does not turn over when the snails eat.
Fourth phase
Moisten the soil mildly with the water sprinkler every night or every two nights since snails are night creatures and seek for food when they feel moist around.
The best locations for collecting snails are cities with green areas, in a day that is about to rain or where it has rained already, because that is the time when land snails come out.
Make sure to collect snails of about the same size, other wise the reproduction will not be fertile enough. Pick no more than 6 to 8 snails, those are necessary to start a decent snail farm with the right care.
For feeding snails you have to keep in mind their ‘vegetarian status’, therefore you will have to feed them with lettuce, carrots, cucumber and aromatic plants as laurel. You can also give them old bread (in good condition) or calcium-rich cuttlebone, necessary for shell formation.

Snail maintenance is not big deal; you have to change their food once a week to prevent rotting, and give them a monthly-bath with lukewarm water in case they present fungi.
Important: be careful with baby snails, their shells are very fragile.

Snail slime as a beauty product

One of the reasons why snail farming is so profitable these days is because of its slime. That’s right; snail slime is used in the manufacturing of skin care and skin beauty products as the famosue "snail cream".

Medicinal properties of snail’s slime are known from Ancient times. It was used as syrup for cough and ulcers. But in the late 20th century as snail farming grew for culinary use, they were discovered the skin regenerating effects it had in snail farm workers for healing their wounds and the smoothness for their hands. Snail has, among other properties, regenerating its very own tissues and shell.

The slime of the Helix Aspersa specie is the one used for the beauty industry to prevent as to treat skin problems such as:

• Acné
• Warts
• Cellulites
• Scars
• Stretch marks
• Wrinkles
• Skin blemishes
• Wounds
• Burns

Dermatologists and pharmaceutics guarantee the efficacy of snail slime, but warn that for beauty products made of it to have antioxidant en regenerating properties; the slime must have been extracted when snails are stressed out.

Snail eggs, the white caviar

Snail eggs are known as white caviar, it’s a product gaining more acceptance and, demand, especially among gourmets. The fact that main chef are using snail eggs in their cooking has allowed this snail product to gain select and exclusive status. Moreover, the price has incredibly risen; half a pound of white caviar can cost up to $2100 in the European market.

After the mating of snails and the necessary time before starting snail spawning, snail breeders try to force the laying of eggs in boxes full with very fine soil, of which every grain is no bigger than 2mm of diameter.

Snails dig holes of 1.6 inches deep in these boxes, laying an average of 150 up to 200 eggs. After this, it only takes gathering them and sieving each box. Snail eggs have a longer diameter than the soil’s grains. The next process is an exhaustive cleaning and keeping them in brine in a temperature between 23 Fº and 28.2 Fº.

Every snail egg laid weighs 3.6 grams, which means, in order to obtain a pound of white caviar it takes over 44 000 eggs from the spawning of 550 snails that obviously makes white caviar quite expensive.

Who have the change to taste white caviar affirm is a true delicacy and has great versatility in cooking. If we ever get lucky to try it, we definitely won’t miss it. Have you ever has the pleasure of trying snail eggs, yet?


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