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 Post subject: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 10th, '12, 22:33 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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a newsletter just came out that I must disagree with. Here is the blog post I just wrote on the subject.
http://www.aquaponiclynx.com/no-gator-ponics-is-not-as-safe-as-aquaponics

ACK. I don't like to do this but........ a popular aquaponics newsletter has just gone out with a statement I believe is dangerous so I have to speak up.

Here is the statement I must disagree with.

Quote:
Gator poop, and the alligators themselves, should be totally safe in an aquaponics system. Alligators are cold-blooded animals, just like fish, and they don't harbor the dangerous varieties of e. coli the way warm-blooded animals do. If what you feed the alligators is clean, and you don't create any paths into your system that will transmit pathogens into the water (in other words, use the same care to prevent contamination you would with any normal aquaponics system you want to eat lettuce out of!), then everything should be sanitary and safe.


Come on Guys, e. coli is not the only food born pathogen we need to watch out for. Salmonella is something I don't want in my salad either! Now while there are lots and lots of strains of salmonella and some might not make a healthy person too sick, there are others that constitute a terrible case of food poisoning. It is also true that you may be unlikely to catch salmonella from a wild lizard or gator just in passing, just like you won't catch it from looking at chickens. Now if you handle those animals and then eat, smoke, or put your fingers in your mouth without washing your hands thoroughly first, then you can catch it. What does this mean for aquaponics using lizards or turtles instead of fish? Well it means you are contaminating the food with possibly salmonella tainted water by sending the feces laden water to your bio-filter and then on to your veggies. HAY, am I the only one who sees a problem with this? It is the same reason I don't recommend chickens over your aquaponics system. And the Reason my Duck A Ponics doesn't grow salad for human consumption. We grow things like banana trees in the duck system.

This really shocks me, the same people who claim worms are a pathogen danger and should never be added to an aquaponics system will recommend gatorponics? And say it's sanitary and safe? WOW.

Here is one abstract I found with a quick google search "alligators and salmonella"
http://discover-decouvrir.cisti-icist.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/article/?id=1296064

Now I don't mean to be an alarmist because gator meat is less likely to test positive for salmonella than chicken but... don't take salmonella lightly especially for young children, the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.
GATOR PONICS IS NOT Appropriate for growing Salad and other small leaf crops likely to be eaten RAW. I will admit that is just my opinion but I'll stand by it unless there is some easy way to ensure a reptile is totally free of salmonella before putting it into the system (fecal analysis can provide false negatives so simply holding them separate for a few weeks while running a test on a fecal sample may not be enough. It might take months and rigorous sampling and testing to be fairly certain an animal is free of the bacteria.)
Now I'm not against the idea of Gator Ponics, However I wouldn't grow salad with it or sell salad from the system. Some other produce would be more appropriate. Like perhaps something that gets thoroughly cooked before eaten or something where the fruit is quite distant from the water or perhaps something that is not a food but useful for some other purpose.

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 Post subject: Re: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 10th, '12, 22:40 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Sadly TCL... the "friendlies" seem to be getting more and more "out there" with their rantings...

They issued a similar sort of rant about "salt" in aquaponics.... without any foundation as usual... and a total disregard for aquaculture... or even aquaria experience concerning the subject... let alone the many academic papers that have been written regarding the role of "salt"....

I think they need to consider "rehab" perhaps... or just complete withdrawal.....

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 Post subject: Re: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 10th, '12, 23:38 
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TCLynx wrote:


Come on Guys, e. coli is not the only food born pathogen we need to watch out for. Salmonella is something I don't want in my salad either! Now while there are lots and lots of strains of salmonella and some might not make a healthy person too sick, there are others that constitute a terrible case of food poisoning.



Quote:
Researchers reported in the March issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases on cases of bacterial infections serious enough to send some children to the hospital with high fever and bloody diarrhea. The infections stemmed from a multidrug-resistant strain of Salmonella paratyphi B that was traced via DNA analysis to fish tanks in the patients' homes.

More recently, links to pet fish have been suspected in isolated cases in North America and Europe as well as in Australia over the last 10 years, according to Dr. Diane Lightfoot, a microbiologist and salmonella specialist at the University of Melbourne, who contributed to the Australian study.

"I'd be interested to culture some of those fish and see what else is infecting them," Dr. Feldgarden said.


ref: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/18/health/18cons.html


Quote:
Aquaria may harbour dangerous bacteria responsible for causing gastroenteritis in children and adults, according to NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) researchers.

Although rare, in some cases the gastroenteritis was severe enough to cause hospitalisation.

A study led by DPI microbiologists Steven Djordjevic and Renee Levings found that ornamental fish and their tanks are a reservoir for a type of Salmonella bacteria which is resistant to seven antibiotics.


ref: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/research/upda ... ella-alert

It would seem you can catch salmonella from fish as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 11th, '12, 02:27 
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Oh man that's scary. I'm cooking my AP carrots.


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 Post subject: Re: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 11th, '12, 03:26 
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maybe we should look into turtleponics too... or iguanaponics... that has a nice ring to it. actually... iguanaponics is just fun to say out loud...

it's not just disease you have to worry about with reptile... parasites get throw into the mmmix as well... and land parasites can be a bigger problem than aquatic parasites... ease of access to the animals, and the number of parasite that can afflict the animals. gators can get ticks which cause lyme disease, as well as many sorts of worms and other dangerous things...

yes, aquatic animals have parasites as well... but transmission from one water source to another water source is much less likely... and it's easier to take preventative measures to separate your tables of standing water form the outside environment... like hanging nets to prevent birds from landing in the water and things of that nature... if you've got an open pen for the gators... good luck keeping the outside world outside....

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 Post subject: Re: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 11th, '12, 03:32 
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Does anyone know if salmonella is absorbed into the veggies or is it just a matter of not getting the water splashed on the outside. Would a hot soapy bath kill everything on a tomato that was to be eaten raw?


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 Post subject: Re: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 11th, '12, 13:07 
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Manure and animal excrement has been used for many a day as a form of fertiliser for edible crops. Although an AP system is defined as a closed system, it in fact it is not due to ongoing in/outputs - water top ups, new plants, water empty (excessive rain), plant respiration....hence still alowing for alterations and changes occuring (all be it slight) in this dynamic system. Surely exposure to pathogens is hence likely in any system of food production then?


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 Post subject: Re: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 11th, '12, 13:58 
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Borby wrote:
Surely exposure to pathogens is hence likely in any system of food production then?


Pretty much. The only thing is that some sources of contamination are much more likely to cause issues than others. I'm pretty sure reptiles are more likely to cause salmonella problems than fish. Wash your produce as you would from any source is probably the best advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 11th, '12, 14:38 
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washing isn't always enough for most pathogens... food safety requirements are different for each expected disease... it's onlt been since last ear that the prep temp. (minimum temperature required) for pork was reduced to be acceptable to serve medium rare or around 135F.

what ever was in the pork for the last 15 years, they've succeeded in wiping it out...

pathogens and parasites are problematic... some more than others... like i said preventative measures can be taken to keep pests, parasites and pathogens away from your animals... but you're not always going to be able to keep out everything. different animals have different risks... just being a land animal opens the door to literally thousands of pests, parasites, and pathogens that fish simply cannot get... this is largely thanks to mosquitos which are basically flying hypodermic needles... since fish are under water... there's less of a chance that a female mosquito will be feeding on their blood after having previously fed on an infected animal... the same cannot be said for cows, chickens and in this case gators...

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 Post subject: Re: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 11th, '12, 20:18 
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kthignight24 wrote:
Does anyone know if salmonella is absorbed into the veggies or is it just a matter of not getting the water splashed on the outside.

There is evidence that Salmonella can be absorbed into plant cell tissue...

I'll try and find the paper...

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 Post subject: Re: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 11th, '12, 21:07 
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Damon Polta wrote:
what ever was in the pork for the last 15 years, they've succeeded in wiping it out...


In Germany they eat pork tartar (mett: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mett), which takes some getting your head around as an American. Tastes good.

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 Post subject: Re: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 12th, '12, 02:08 
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Damon Polta wrote:
washing isn't always enough for most pathogens


Very true but you have to decide what's adequate food prep and for most veggies from the garden that's washing and or scrubbing. Hopefully your immune system will take care of the rest.

Damon Polta wrote:
what ever was in the pork for the last 15 years, they've succeeded in wiping it out...


Trichinosis. It's still around but very rare in pork (at least in the US) much more common in wild game. This has been around longer than 15 years - maybe they just changed the cooking requirements around then? There is a cooking chart on Wikipedia near the bottom with different times and temps for anyone who is curious.


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 Post subject: Re: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 12th, '12, 03:01 
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RupertofOZ wrote:
kthignight24 wrote:
Does anyone know if salmonella is absorbed into the veggies or is it just a matter of not getting the water splashed on the outside.

There is evidence that Salmonella can be absorbed into plant cell tissue...

I'll try and find the paper...



ref: http://www.fwf.ac.at/en/public_relation ... 5-2en.html

Quote:
Salmonella can also infect plant cells and successfully evade all the defence mechanisms of plants. As a result, cleaning the surfaces of raw fruits and vegetables, e.g. by washing, is not sufficient to protect against food poisoning. This surprising discovery, made during a project supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, has been published today.

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 Post subject: Re: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 12th, '12, 05:11 
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tartar is good, but you normally pay the price to have it done right... and if it's not done safely, you pay an entirely different price... lol.

cooking anything to around 180 will kill most disease... but most of the produce in the U.S. is eaten raw... and even fully cooked,you're not always safe... someone could touch an infected veg. cook it to kill the disease, and then touch the finished product with their hands or come in contact with the food touching end of a cooking utensil and then use that utensil to touch the food, re-contaminating it...

it's talks like this that'll make you skeptical anytime you go out to eat. lol.

most commercial facilities are required to have a "trace back book." this book is used to document each batch of food that is grown and where it's shipped... normally this book is actually compromise of a few books... a planting log, a harvesting log, and a shipping log. by combining all of those together you can normally trace back a case of food poisoning all the way back to the animal it came from or the person that harvested or planted the seed. this is how they always print up in the paper "the food poisoning of e-coli was caused by a worker not washing their hands while harvesting the such and such." in some cases if you can't pinpoint where the contamination came from, you get to burn your whole farm to prevent further disease... and by burn i just mean getting rid of all stock and cleaning everything, not literally burning it to the ground...

onto a different topic of this thread... the whole gator aspect is just asking for problems... harvesting fish can be problematic enough with their spines and pokers... how about trying to harvest animals with the capability of killing you out right. there's a reason the popular show "swamp people" is televised and there isn't a show about the normal everyday chicken farmer... it's because there aren't many people doing it for obvious reasons... yes, the price for gator meat and skin is sky high, but the associated risks of farming gators makes it that way.... thats why a good portion of the gators used and consumed are snared then shot from the safety of a boat...

lol i know i didn't sweat it when a tilapia jumped out of the tank... but can you imagine what it would be like to realize that a gator go loose? when they get around 5ft long those things can run as fast as a horse...

another thing is gators aren't exclusively aquatic creatures... they need stable ground as part of their habitat... so how are you going to go about getting the poop on the land into the troughs? sweep it in with a broom with a 200lb gator in the pen? and how you would go about regulating that fact? if you provide ample space and gator density to allow for a 50/50 land to water poop ratio, what happens if one day all the gators decide to stick to the water because it's hot out and they all poop in the water, thus making it's way into the system... you'd have a poo overload... and vise versa... if the waters cold they'll be reluctant to be in the water, making them poo on land, starving the system of required nutrients... yes you can supplement for a lack of nutrients or dump water and refill with clean water in the case of too much poo... but that just seems like more work than it's worth..

really im still trying to figure out if they were being completely serious about the whole thing, or just poking fun at some extreme ideas...

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 Post subject: Re: Gatorponics
PostPosted: May 12th, '12, 09:25 
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They probable had the munchies at the time as well... :mrgreen:

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