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Cockroaches: Bug, Breakfast, or Breakthrough?

Cockroaches are synonymous with dirt and filth, often making people’s skin crawl and the hair on their arms stand up. While most of us would like to stay as far away from them as possible, some folks in China have a different opinion about these creepy crawlers. A few brave and creative individuals are beginning to use cockroaches for:

  • food
  • a solution for food waste
  • medicinal purposes

So how should we see cockroaches: Bug, Breakfast, or Breakthrough?

Cockroaches: The “Bug”

cockroach infestation
Our experiences with cockroaches here in Minnesota (and the rest of the US for that matter) are quite certain they bug us. Sure there are a few roaches like the Australian cockroach that do their thing outside and end up inside by accident, but when it comes to the pest status roaches like the German roach, it is another story.

German cockroaches are prolific reproducers and are much more difficult to get rid of than any of us would like. They are happy to invade restaurants, packaging facilities, apartments, hotels, and residences. We have to wonder why such demon insects even exist. Interestingly, the other side of the world is working on answering this question more fully than we ever hoped to.

A Spicy Plate of Fried Cockroach

In a remote village in Sichuan, China, former mobile-phone vendor, Li Bingcai, has roughly 3.5 million cockroaches. Yes, you read that right. Million.

This is not an infestation though, he’s working with a local restaurant to turn them into a delicious treat. This restaurant fries them in a famously spicy Sichuan sauce and serves them up to daring customers.

Brave diner, Luo Gaoyi, described the roach as “quite tasty, very fragrant, very crispy.” He also stated, “I think that anything good for health should be eaten. These have high nutritional value and are high in protein.”

A Solution to End Food Waste

About 1,000 miles in Jinan, over a billion cockroaches are being fed roughly 100,000 pounds of food waste every day. That’s about the weight of seven adult elephants!

This food waste arrives before dawn at a plant run by Shandong Qiaobin Agricultural Technology Co. Once it arrives, it travels through pipes where cockroaches devour it in their cells.

Business is so good, they’re aiming to set up three more of these plants by next year, giving them the ability to process ⅓ of the city’s food waste.

Cockroaches Curing Diseases

In the city of Xichang, China, a two-story building is raising six billion — yes, billion — cockroaches that will be used as treatments for various ailments.

“The effectiveness of cockroaches has been tested by the bodies of our ancestors and proven by lab experiments,” Geng Funeng, chairman of Gooddoctor Pharmaceutical Group, who owns a similar facility, stated.

This sort of cockroach potion can reportedly help heal skin burns and wounds, cure oral and stomach ulcers, and can even prevent stomach cancer.

This Begs The Question

Are we going to change our minds about cockroaches being just a pest? We’re going to have to say yes, they’re still a pest in our books, but that’s just us. If you are dealing with roaches outside of a tasty treat or medicinal subscription (see more about warning signs of roaches), reach out to the roach experts at Rove Pest Control for the plan, tools, and techniques to get rid of them quickly.