By: Luis Eduardo Forero Medina
It is not common to speculate on a worm; you may experience disgust or shock when holding them or in the garden, because of their unpleasant appearance; however, there are hamburgers that are offered prepared with Californian worms; where composting and vermiculture are derived from; two of the five best known waste management systems; This consists of raising worms for agricultural fertilizers of optimum quality and fresh meat or flour, as a consumption option towards organic.
Vermiculture consists of the production of organic fertilizer from coffee pulp or cattle manure, using the Californian earthworm (FAO). The worms are like yellow, purple-red in color, they measure between 8 and 10 cm, they are blind, and thus they dig, they dig in the earth; participating in this way “in the aeration, fertilization and formation of the soil,” they do not like light, it is found in the first 15 cm of the soil; they don’t have lungs; They have a brain, muscles, and intestine, 5 hearts, and 6 pairs of kidneys. it is very prolific, it produces 13,000 earthworms in a year, so they live for 15 years; Regardless of the climate, they swallow, voraciously eat all kinds of agricultural waste, some with an unpleasant odor, consuming approximately their own daily weight of organic matter. The worm diet includes orders of garbage, slaughterhouse waste, manure from domestic species, fruits and tubers unfit for human consumption. The worms excrete 60% of what they consume, transforming it into fertilizers. “The food that will be provided will be partially or totally decomposed organic matter. If not, the high temperatures generated during the fermentation process (up to 75ºC) will kill the worms. ” (infoagro). It is one of the most interesting animals that exist (Janire Manzanas); others wonder if it is the perfect animal. (Maritza Padilla Valdés).
The participation of the academy and gastronomy in the Latin American and national vermiculture comes to light. “A simple investigation on composting, and specifically vermicomposting”, carried out by several first semester students of Civil Engineering of the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo, based on the model of the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples, 2009, determines that nine products or elements are needed in the house, building, in the garden or on the terrace, to engage in this trade, so missed in Colombia, and a key point for the promotion of that trade. A wooden crate is needed; It is covered with black rubber, which holes are made at the bottom. The guacal is successively filled with a layer of black earth, a layer of eggshells and vegetable residues (pieces of lemon, pumpkin, tomato, onion, etc.); on which the Californian red worms and a layer of manure are placed, then water. The crates must be safe from birds, rodents and ants that could spoil the crop. “Every week, the vermicompost was turned and moistened, to achieve a recommended humidity of 70%. This is how we proceeded for 4 to 8 weeks, until our vermicompost matured to be able to use it as fertilizer for the institute’s green areas ”. During that time the area acquires a smell similar to that of wet earth. In a study carried out by the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the application of vermiculture in the transformation of sludge from urban treatment plants was evaluated, estimating the adaptability of the California red worm to different mixtures of sludge with other organic waste, thus as the agronomic quality of the resulting products.
Since 1936, the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana de Medellín has carried out the Lombricultura project, based on organic waste that remains in the kitchens of the cafeterias, located within the PUB; Processed, they are transformed into high quality liquid and solid fertilizers, which are used for the maintenance of the gardens and plants that exist in the 13 hectares that the campus covers. This saves the purchase of fertilizers and fertilizers, and reduces the weight of the garbage cans. The Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC), granted an invention patent to earthworm flour as a fermentation substrate, an alternative for food companies or manufacturers of alcoholic beverages, a project directed by Liliana Serna Cock, professor at the UN of Colombia, Palmira Headquarters.
The worms are prepared roasted, breaded, with scrambled eggs or in tomato sauce. “They are a source of protein and the literature refers to them as the indicated food for malnourished or anemic children. To ingest them, they should be washed with clean water and soaked overnight or a day. Afterwards, they are prepared to taste, ”said Laureano García, a technician for a vermiculture project in Guatemala, where organic fertilizer made from coffee pulp produced by worms has increased. Vermiculture is becoming increasingly important, if one takes into account the increase in the size of cities, with the consequent generation of more organic waste, with the negative effects they produce and the economic bleeding of municipal budgets in its management, than most of the time it is classified as improper.