Million Dollar Maggots in Costa Rica

Flies came in and transformed orange peels on waste lands over time, replacing invasive grass species and weeds with a lush forest rich in biodiversity. Daniel Janzen’s approach cost $3,000 per episode compared to $600,000 spent doing the same work with human labor and tractors. After orange juice is squeezed and oil from the skin is extracted for cleaning products, a vast amount of orange peel residue requires processing. Doing the right thing for the economy and the environment was still a political battle, which may come as no surprise.

Daniel Janzen at a Long Now Foundation meeting speaks of his work at Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, which has made Costa Rica “a widely studied model of the wise protection of natural systems” according to the Google Video description.

Ecotourism has become a greater source of income to the nation’s economy than even its world leading agricultural production.

Janzen also describes the development of a portable device able to recognize any of 10 million different species with on site DNA sampling. Such a device may save lives, instantly identifying potentially dangerous species in the field with greater accuracy than even the handful of top world experts can do, thus allowing appropriate treatment in case of bites or poisoning.

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