[permaculture] Chinese farmer unleashes 300 million hungry cockroaches to eat food waste - Nation | The Star Online
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Sun Apr 29 11:46:57 EDT 2018
Chinese farmer unleashes 300 million hungry cockroaches to eat food waste -
Nation | The Star Online
Li Yanrong’s farm in Zhangqiu district in Jinan, Henan province, houses 300
million American cockroaches that together munch through about 15 tonnes of
food waste a day, or about a quarter of the district’s kitchen scraps.
“These cockroaches are not afraid of anything soft, hard, sour, sweet,
bitter, or spicy,” Li was quoted as saying.
China generates at least 60 million tonnes of kitchen waste annually and
most of it is processed through fermentation, an expensive, inefficient
system that pollutes the environment, according to the report.
Li said cockroaches offered an alternative, non-polluting way of disposing
of food waste.
He said he already had about 300 tonnes of cockroaches and planned to
expand that total to about 4,000 tonnes to be able to process 200 tonnes of
food waste from Zhangqiu and neighbouring cities per day.
The American cockroach is one of the world’s bigger varieties, with a body
around 4 centimetres long and a life cycle of around 700 days. It is often
used as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine to heal wounds and
Cockroach farms have expanded across China in recent years, in large part
to cater to medicinal demand.
The world’s biggest is in Xichang, southwestern Sichuan province, where six
billion adult cockroaches are bred a year for the pharmaceutical industry.
Nearly 28,000 full-sized cockroaches per square foot were produced there
annually, the Sichuan government said in a report submitted to Beijing
early this year.
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