Asians in particular favour the supposedly nourishing birds' nest soup as part of their supplementary diet if they can afford it. Many people believe that birds' nest is valued for giving a person longevity.
Besides what is good for the Chinese emperors a long time ago must be good for any one who can afford it today. Birds' nests remain one of the mysterious and yet popular food today.
However simply expalined it is just the saliva of the sea swiftlet.
You can buy birds' nests (not what you think of as a nest but a nest that you steam with chicken or a pigeon as a food supplement or nourishing soup) in Chinese drug stores and they cost around RM180 per 300 gm to RM2000 of the best for the same weight.
Today people have gone a little crazy about home farmed domesticated birds' nest. Are they as good as the organic cave birds' nests?
Swiftlets like these make their nests under eaves in many seaside towns in Sarawak like Miri and Bekenu. Can their birds' nests be eaten?
Today as consumers look at birds' nests in a different way because they are getting more expensive more and more entrepreneurs are looking at different ways of farming the nests.
In one report the going price of one kilogramme of unprocessed bird's nest is between RM4,000 and RM5,000.
Legal and illegal swifltet farms have been set up by converting empty shoplots in urban and residential areas into birdhouses. (Actually the illegal bird houses contraven the Wildlife Protection (Edible Bird's Nest) Rules 2006. Yes it is good to encourage good enterprise and improve birds' nests businesses in Sarawak. The export business would be good for the economy of the state. But we have lots of questions to ask...And then the birds are not there to defend themselves or speak for themselves.
One of the converted houses - below - is found near Sibu. Are the birds happy to be housed like this? Are they suffering from stress because their habitat is so artificial?
|How happy they are to build their own nest and enjoy parenting one day at a time. What's their future like?|
|It is good to leave the birds to roam freely and happily in the Sarawak skies.|
|This is a photo by Sarikei Time Capsule. And this may be a legal bird house|
Swiflets have the right to fly freely too.