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Mulberry Paper and Elephant Paper
By Jerry Krulik
Having just returned from Thailand, I thought that I would share a (tenuous) link to the bromeliad
enthusiast. There are many traditional activities in Thailand, and one is paper making. Mulberry tree bark
has been used for many centuries to make high quality paper, but was never made in Thailand. This
paper is very smooth and was imported for use for temple documents. One entrepreneur has set up
some rural factories to train people in how to make it, and sell it to both local and tourist markets.
Traditional papermaking uses pretty toxic chemicals and gives off a lot of waste. The process they use is
a newer type which uses hydrogen peroxide for treating the raw fibers. This is a lot more environmentally
friendly. The peroxide sterilizes and bleaches the paper raw materials. They have experimented with a lot
of different fiber raw materials, including (here is the link) pineapple waste. Pineapple, which of course is
the typical bromeliad which everyone knows, is a major crop in Thailand and other countries. I have seen
tourist papers make from pineapple waste.
However, their major paper product now involves the use of elephants! For those who have not kept up
with current affairs, the plight of the elephant in Thailand is quite serious. Domesticated elephants
are/were widely used throughout the country, for two big markets. These were jungle logging, and
tourism. Unfortunately rogue logging became a major problem, with deforestation of protected parks,
landslides, and huge floods due to tree removal. The King of Thailand prohibited all timber cutting in
Thailand more than ten years ago, which is helping that problem. However, the secondary effect is that
these large expensive animals are unemployed and cannot pay their expenses for upkeep.
I used to see elephants quite regularly on the streets of Bangkok. I always stopped and paid one of the
trio of helpers (one to lead the elephant, one to hold the elephant feed, and one for cleanup duty) to allow
me to feed and pet the elephant. About 3 years ago, the city government decided that they were too
modern to allow this any longer and prohibited the animals from Bangkok. Thus another large segment
of domesticated animals became unemployed. They are still found in the animal shows and in rural
areas, but there are too many stories of neglect and worse because the animals can no longer support
This papermaking entrepreneur became aware of this problem, so decided to try to make paper from
elephant dung. They do produce a large amount of papermaking raw material every day. Elephants of
course have only 4 large teeth at any one time, and being big animals, do not chew their food very finely,
so the resulting waste, and the paper from the waste, is rather coarse.
The entrepreneur came up with a very useful innovation to sell this elephant paper. He markets two types
of paper. Mulberry bark paper is for good news—invitations, announcements, thank you notes, diaries,
and so on. Elephant dung paper is for the bad news—complaints, bills, diatribes, tax returns, rejection
slips for writers, and so on.
I am inspired by this success story. All I need now is the right marketing gimmick, and I could be the king
of pineapple waste paper. Anyone want to invest with me?
FOOD EXPERIENCES WHILE Still in Korea--BY GERALD KRULIK
To: stevekrulik@ , SUSIEKRULIK@
Here I am, 30 days straight over in Asia. I have told everyone today that I positively must leave no later
than April 11. Maybe I can even get back a few days before then. I need to rest up at home and do bills
etc before I can take a vacation.
You would really love the cafeteria food here at Anam Semiconductors. All you can eat for only US
$1.25. Maybe that should be, all you can keep down? Tonight's meal was special (I worked 9am to
midnite). Rice of course, as much as you want to put on your tray. And good old kimchi, just the thing
to give that garlic odor first thing in the morning. Lots of chili and garlic and cabbage and radish.
Sometimes they give two different kinds, as a treat. Tonight however, the extra side dish was stewed
tiny whole fish, maybe 1-1.5 inches long. In a special sauce, but I decided to skip it.
The hot spicy potato and mystery meat tiny pieces curry was just the thing to go with the hot spicy
kimchi. To wash it down there is always soup. Todays was whole herring--I am not kidding--soup. The
guy next to me got a big piece of bare backbone, and even better, got most of a headbone, sans skin,
but with the tasty gills still attached. I looked in my soup and decided to pass.
Really, really looking forward to getting back to the states and eating some familiar disgusting
chorizo etc. By the way Steve, will be bringing you back some pop--pine bud drink. It actually isn't too
bad, just tastes like eating a fresh pine tree. At that it is far better than another one I bought. I couldn't
tell from the picture whether it was fresh cashew nut drink, or monkey's kidneys. I think it was
cashew; the monkey's kidneys would have tasted better.
all for now. Dad
FURTHER ASIAN FOOD EXPERIENCES, KOREA AND THAILAND
BY GERALD KRULIK
I am now back in Korea, making connection with the web. Three days without it in Thailand was difficult, I
had to make do with other distractions. I did get you a can of spotted lizard fish; and some squidly
flavored roller processed squid. Too bad you don't want some better stuff, Korea is the home of the dried
squid and fish. There is one hanging on display in the Hyundai supermarket which would not fit into my
biggest suitcase unless I folded it. Vendors have carts of fat dried apple sized squid, covered with some
powdered white stuff--sugar? salt? burned dog dung? outside of the McDonald's, where I have begun to
Had another interesting food experience. Last night I ordered a dish of fresh strawberries here in
Thailand. No way to go wrong with that, right? They came with a dish of what I assumed was coarse
dipping sugar. Well, there was sugar in it, maybe as much as half. The rest was salt and ground chili
peppers. Very interesting flavor on fresh strawberries, almost any fruit would have the identical flavor if
dipped into this stuff.
Another time in Thailand I was served a large plate of piping hot french fries, done perfectly. There was a
side dish of white granular material to dip it in---pure sugar of course.
THAILAND FOOD SURPRISE
BY GERALD KRULIK
Further Adventures of the Scurrying Gourmet
I was in Chang Mai Thailand this last weekend. This is the second largest city in Thailand, up in the
Northwest corner of the country, near the Burma/Laos borders. This is the "Golden Triangle" area.
Anyway, I was walking one evening, looking for a place to eat dinner. I found a restaurant with
sidewalk tables so I could watch the people passing by. The menu featured tiny little colored pictures,
so I just needed to point to order. One of the entries was 'Special Mixed Vegetables'. I did say that it
was not all that well lit around the sidewalk table? As I was eating, I gradually realized that there was
something unusual about the food. I got it near the light and inspected the 'Special Mixed Vegetables'.
They sure were special--they were mixed with huge queen ants, complete with their wings on.
And No, I did NOT finish the meal.
MISCELLANEOUS LISTS OF THE WORST CANNED FOODS
BY Jerry Krulik, STEVE KRULIK, AND THOMAS GLAVICH
Re: The 8 Worst Canned Foods
Date: 2/15/99 10:46:35 PM Pacific Standard Time
NOTE: The first part is something that was passed to me, from Mr. Glavich originally. I added my own
comments at the end.This is his list. My listing follows.
From: Thomas.Glavich@jpl.nasa.gov (Thomas Glavich)
To: addresses removed
The 8 Worst Canned Foods
And I thought nothing could top Hormel's pickled eggs ...
8. Meeter's Kraut Juice (Stokely USA): Yes, that's sauerkraut juice, which is even worse than it sounds.
The taste and smell can be a bit, well, harsh, but KJ is reputed by its fans to have certain medicinal
benefits (as a source of vitamin C, cure for intestinal bugs, etc.), which adds up to a classic case of the
cure being worse than the disease.
7. Guycan Corned Mutton with Juices Added (Bedessee Imports): The best thing about this Uruguayan
canned good is the very pouty-looking sheep on the package label -- he seems to be saying, "Go on, eat
me already." The second-best thing is the presence of both "cooked mutton" and "mutton" in the
ingredients listing, which would seem to have all the mutton bases covered.
6. Armour Pork Brains in Milk Gravy (Dial Corp.): If you're really looking to clog up those arteries in a hurry,
you'll be pleased to learn that a single serving of pork brains has 1,170 percent of our recommended
daily cholesterol intake. All the more ingenious, then, that the label on this product helpfully features a
recipe for brains and scrambled eggs.
5. Sweet Sue Canned Whole Chicken (Sweet Sue Kitchens, Inc.): From its size (think growth-impaired
Cornish hen) to its overall appearance (it's stewed in a quivering mass of aspic goop), this product may
change forever your idea of what constitutes a chicken. Gives new meaning to the old line about meat
"falling off the bone."
4. Musk Life Savers (Nestle Confectionery): You may think musk is a scent, but over in Australia, they think
it's a candy flavor. A candy flavor that tastes disturbingly like raw meat, to be precise. But what did you
expect from a country where everyone happily consumes Vegemite?
3. Blind Robins Smoked Ocean Herring (recently discontinued by Bar Food Products): Possibly the
world's most bizarre prepackaged tavern snack. Interestingly, the product's titular robin isn't actually
blind, he's blindfolded -- the better, presumably, to avoid looking at these heavily salted herring strips,
which look like giant slugs.
2. Kylmaenen Reindeer Pate` (Kylmaenen Oy): This Finnish canned good may not be particulary tasty, but
at least it answers the age-old question of why Rudolph was so eager for that safe, steady job on
Santa's sleigh team -- he didn't want to end up as a cracker spread
1. Tengu Clam Jerky (Tengu Co.): Nothing you've ever consumed can prepare you for the horror that is
clam jerky. Still, this product does score a sort of conceptual coup: If you're the sort who's always
found raw clams too slimy and gelatinous for your taste, these dried, shriveled mollusks will help you
dislike clams on a whole new level.
To: GKRULIK , CAWUJCIK
BY STEVE KRULIK
Okay, here we go. I personally own a comedy food collection,
consisting of things which I find far to humorous to consume. Special
thanks to my father, email@example.com, for adding to my collection
during his trips to Asia, and to my chinese girlfriend for eating some
of these items.
1. Jalapeno flavored tuna.
2. Roller pressed squiddy seasoned cuttlefish
3. Spam, (tied with) spreadable spam
4. Libby's Potted Meat Food Product (I am not making the name up.
Partial ingredient list: mechanically seperated chicken (?), tripe,
partially defatted cooked pork fatty tissue)
5. Garlic Slugs. The Olympia brewery in Washington has a variety of slugs to choose from.
6. Grass Jelly drink
7. Essence of crocodile
8. Rice cracker with flossy pork
9. Clam Juice
10. Spork. (like spam, only worse)
AND FINALLY, MY REPLY---
MY PERSONAL WEIRD FOOD LIST
You sent this to the wrong person. My favorites include
1. Whole cobra in alcohol from Vietnam
2. Kelp pickles. Did you ever try to wash the slime off of pieces of kelp found on the beach.
3. Minced pork with black beans. From mainland China, on trying it I found it to consist of minced pig
4. Birds Nest Fungus soft drink
5. Birds Nest Soup ( the dried saliva of a type of bird, a swift, which nests in caves) with sugar syrup
6. Picked jelleyfish
7. Dried squid in plastic sealed packages, found in a Chinese market in Singapore. Not quite sterile
however, as there were live carrion beetles inside the package.
8. Deep fried rotted tofu from Taiwan/China. Smells like burning tires, with the consistency of melted
tires. Not too bad after at least 5 beers.
9. Spam. There are numerous varieties of this. If you can get thru reading the labels, some feature things
like partially defatted fatty pork by-products.
10. Real Mexican chorizo sausage. Again, the label can be difficult to get through. If you ever wanted to
know what is done with leftover lymph glands, etc, which never make it into pet food.