You may recall a recent story about one million cockroaches escaping from a cockroach farm in China. You may have then reasonably wondered, “Why are the Chinese farming cockroaches?” For medicinal/culinary purposes, naturally.
Reports the Telegraph:
The cockroach, whose innards resemble cottage cheese, has an earthy taste, with a slight twinge of ammonia. But they have become popular in China not for their taste, but for their medicinal benefits.
“They really are a miracle drug,” said Liu Yusheng, a professor at the Shandong Agricultural university and the head of Shandong province’s Insect Association. “They can cure a number of ailments and they work much faster than other medicine.”
Prof Liu said a cream made from powdered cockroaches is in use in some Chinese hospitals as a treatment for burns and in Korea for cosmetic facial masks.
Meanwhile, a syrup invented by a pharmaceutical company in Sichuan promises to cure gastroenteritis, duodenal ulcers and pulmonary tuberculosis.
Now, you may be wondering if running a cockroach farm is worth it financially. Well, yes — yes it is…
“Oh, the money is good,” said Xiao Zhongwu, a wiry 49-year-old who has a smaller set of farms in the countryside near Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius. “I have a trucking business too, transporting marble, paper and farm products for local companies. But that brings in pocket money: it is cockroaches that bring in the big money.”
Now if all that doesn’t creep you out enough, watch this video from the Telegraph that shows the inside of a Chinese cockroach farm. You may not want to watch this if you’ve just eaten lunch.
Just for good measure, here’s another…