Kunming – Damp but well fed…

May 14th, 2009

We have decided to feature favorite culinary experiences from each day as a way of sharing some of the cultural highlights.  Since we have been eating a lot, this takes some serious consideration.  Today’s feature is an unknown, deep-fired, whole fish.  This was served with salt and chili pepper rubs that one could apply as desired.  Susan captured a wonderful image and commented at how photogenic they were.  We all enjoyed them, but we were allowed to eat everything but the heads.  Had the heads been required, they may not have made today’s feature.  While on our way to the bathroom outside, we were able to capture a photo of the restaurant’s master chef.  With a smile like that, it is no wonder the food tasted so good!

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After lunch, we were able to go see Dian Lake, the research site that had been the focus for the two-hour seminar we participated in during the morning.

Shi Jing presented the work of Zhang Janining that he had conducted over the past several years on the eutrophication Dian Lake.  Shi noted that the Yunan provence is one of the most important provences for agricuural production and diversity, and Dian Lake represents the collision of these two priorities.  In fact, Dian Lake has the worst water quality of any lake in China – most of which has occurred in the past 20 years due to population growth and fertilizer for crops (fertilizer represents the laregst source on non-point ground polution).  Soil type, slope, fertilization techniques, and application rates all effect the impact on the lake water. 

As you can in the images below, the lake at a distance is very beautiful (an is still a tourist attraction and source of pride for locals), but up close the polution is staggering.  Noted, swimming is prohibited, and we were struck by the lack of bird, aquatic, and insect life.

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In the afternoon, we took a short tour of the Fubao village.  Due to the torrential rain, it was a driving tour, but we were able to stop at the Fubao Culture Town and Spa. Though none of us spa-ed, we did tour the grounds and visited a wetland are (not a bog or marsh) they created adjectent to Dian Lake.  It appeared cleaner (people were fishing) but there was very little that separated the two.


Tomorrow we head to the Stone Forrest, the flower market, and a cultural experience TBA.

6 Responses to “Kunming – Damp but well fed…”

  1. Bill Morganon 14 May 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Question about IMG_3217

    I’m wondering about IMG_3217. Is this simply an algal bloom or is it mixed with oil pollution?

  2. Bill Morganon 14 May 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Science controversy on eutrophication:

    I noticed that the current (8 May 2009) issue of Science had several Letters related to proposed measures for controlling eutrophication. Your post spurred me to examine these more closely. A previous Policy Forum article in Science argued that the current emphasis on limiting phosphorus input often wasn’t sufficient, and that controls to reduce nitrogen input were needed in addition. However, most of the Letters argued that reducing nitrogen input wasn’t necessary and would be too costly. I found the following quote striking:
    “Swedish nitrogen (N) reductions in a very ambitious abatement plan for the Baltic Sea may not be possible to fulfill unless a large part of Swedish agriculture is permanently shut down, according to recent calculations by the Swedish Department of Agriculture.”

    From your morning meetings with Chinese scientists, do you have a sense of the current control measures and their likelihood of success?

  3. mabrodaon 17 May 2009 at 9:20 am

    It is primarily a bloom due to the pollution source being the fertilizer from the surrounding farms. The is some additional pollution, but the fertilizer is of greatest concern.

  4. mabrodaon 17 May 2009 at 9:22 am

    They did not discuss the viability of curbing the issues in the long term. We tried to get a better understanding of the next phases, but the language was a barrier for this conversation.

  5. Melissa Schultzon 17 May 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Lake Erie has had similar issues with eutrophication. In the 1960’s, the Lake was claimed to be dead. Then in the 1970’s, policy was instituted to ban phosphorus in detergents and to reduce other nutrient loads from agricultural and industrial run-off. This appeared to solve the problem at that time; dissolved oxygen levels increased to support aquatic life. However, the dead zone in Lake Erie has returned despite the nutrient reductions. Research continues…..

    Did you collect a water sample from Dian Lake for me? 🙂

  6. mabrodaon 19 May 2009 at 9:32 am

    “I was not sticking ANYTHING in that lake!” – Susan

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