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Cockroach Farming in China




The featured video, produced by the South China Morning Post, opens with these words: “If cockroaches make you uncomfortable … this could be your worst nightmare.” Indeed. Most of us would do almost anything to avoid a daily work environment that involves contact with millions of teeming roaches. In China, however, cockroaches are big business.

A number of Chinese cities contending with explosive population growth are finding cockroaches to be a helpful solution to the ever-increasing problem of food waste disposal. With landfills approaching capacity in some areas, it’s roaches to the rescue.

Not only do these pesky insects eat food scraps, but they also are a source of animal feed and an ingredient in some health and beauty products, as well as medicines. Though you may find it hard to believe, cockroach breeding farms in China are the real deal.

Roaches to the Rescue: China’s Unusual Urban Waste Disposal System

Cockroaches are big business in China, where, according to Reuters, teeming colonies of them are entrusted with the serious job of devouring tons of kitchen waste.1 Though the thought of millions of cockroaches together in one location sounds like something from a horror movie, it is actually the foundation of an innovative urban waste disposal system.

The goal: Reduce the amount of food-related garbage deposited in landfills. The issue of food waste is particularly problematic in large Chinese cities with rapidly expanding populations. Because roaches have voracious appetites and are easy to house, they are, it seems, the perfect match for China’s garbage problem.

These so-called cockroach farms are maintained in humid, near-dark conditions, which are ideal for the insects. When the bugs eventually die, they are usually transformed into animal feed. On the outskirts of Jinan, for example, the capital of eastern Shandong province, a billion cockroaches are being fed about 50 metric tons of kitchen waste a day.

That’s an amount equivalent in weight to seven elephants. With respect to how the garbage makes its way to the roaches, Reuters states:2

“The waste arrives before daybreak at the plant run by Shandong Qiaobin Agricultural Technology Co., where it is fed through pipes to cockroaches in their cells. Shandong Qiaobin plans to set up three more such plants next year, aiming to process a third of the kitchen waste produced by Jinan, home to about 7 million people.”

While some people despise cockroaches and others are disgusted by them, Li Yanrong, general manager of Shandong Qiaobin, sees these hardy insects only for their beneficial qualities. In 2017, Li told China Daily:3

“We spent six years doing research into using cockroaches after finding that they can feed on kitchen waste and create no pollutants. Using cockroaches to deal with kitchen waste is good for our country and for business. Social problems created by kitchen waste will be eradicated.”

Li claims cockroaches are able and willing to devour almost anything. He says they can consume up to 5 percent of their body weight every day. “Cockroaches have been eating plants and organic matter since hundreds of millions of years ago,” he said. “They are experts in waste composting.”4

Cockroaches Picking Up Where Pigs Left Off After Swine Fever Outbreak

Li is not the only one enthused about roaches. “Cockroaches are a biotechnological pathway for the converting and processing of kitchen waste,” says Liu Yusheng, president of Shandong Insect Industry Association and entomology professor at Shandong Agricultural University.5

This is particularly the case because it’s currently illegal to feed human food waste to pigs in China. Roaches have come to the forefront, in part, due to the Chinese nationwide ban on using food waste for pig feed.6 That ban, which has fueled the growth of the cockroach industry, came about as a result of African swine fever outbreaks first detected in August 2018.7

In October 2018, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued a statement saying, “After the provinces with outbreaks and neighboring provinces completely banned feeding of kitchen waste to pigs, the epidemic was greatly reduced, which fully demonstrates the importance of completely prohibiting the feeding of waste [to pigs].”8

The industry is primed to grow even more as a result of the new laws around pigs and food waste. In the past three years, Liu notes the number of cockroach farmers in Shandong alone has tripled to about 400. “There have been huge developments in cockroach breeding and research in the past few years,” said Liu.9

Novel Uses for Cockroaches Include Health and Beauty Applications

Beyond eating waste, cockroaches are valued for other reasons, including their eggs. Li told China Daily his company can earn 36.5 million yuan ($5.3 million) a year by selling protein feed produced from cockroach eggs.10 “A cockroach begins laying eggs when it is 4 months old. It lays one egg each week and can lay eggs for eight months,” Li said.11

In addition, roaches are being considered for their potential usefulness in health and beauty products and medications. As presented in the featured video, in Sichuan, a privately held company called Gooddoctor Pharmaceutical Research, established in 1998, is raising about 6 billion cockroaches.

Geng Funeng, president of Gooddoctor, who appears in the video, says he hopes the international science community will one day recognize the value of roaches for medicine.

“Insects are a complete and living organism,” Geng states in the video. He told the Sydney Morning Herald he personally eats 10 of them a day.12 “They contain multiple compounds to benefit our health,” he added. “I think the problems in our lives can be better solved with living solutions.”

Beyond the use of cockroaches in medications, researchers at Gooddoctor are also investigating the possibility of using roach extracts in beauty masks, diet pills and even hair-loss treatments.13 Another source says it can be used to treat diabetic ulcers and severe skin wounds.14

“The essence of cockroach is good for curing oral and peptic ulcers, skin wounds and even stomach cancer,” asserts Wen Jianguo, manager of Gooddoctor’s cockroach facility.15 According to Reuters, “At Gooddoctor, when cockroaches reach the end of their life span of about six months, they are blasted by steam, washed and dried, before being sent to a huge nutrient extraction tank.”16

“They really are a miracle drug,” Liu added. “They can cure a number of ailments and they work much faster than other medicine.”17 In 2013, Liu told The Telegraph a cream made from powdered cockroaches had been used in some Chinese hospitals as a treatment for burns and for cosmetic facial masks in Korea.18

Beyond that, The Telegraph reported a syrup invented by a drug manufacturer in Sichuan promises to cure duodenal ulcers, gastroenteritis and pulmonary tuberculosis.19 “China has the problem of an aging population,” said Liu. “So, we are trying to find new medicines for older people, and these are generally cheaper than Western medicine.”20

Cockroaches Used to Feed Chickens and Humans

At Shandong Qiaobin, Li and his employees bake and mill dead cockroaches into high-protein powder that is added to chicken feed. He claims the powder has been found to “reduce body fat and boost immunity in the 1,000-plus chickens he has raised.”21

The South China Morning Post calls out the high protein content of cockroaches, suggesting they can be useful as food not just for animals, but humans as well.22 Consumer Reports notes the use of insect protein in energy bars and other food items sold in the U.S. In a 2014 review of such products, they stated:23

“[T]he cricket products popping up on store shelves in the U.S. don’t contain insects that are rounded up in the wild. These critters are raised on domestic cricket farms, where they are fed a grain-based diet. They’re dried or roasted and then milled into a fine flour. About 40 crickets are packed into an average snack bar.”

According to Liu, restaurants in major cockroach-farming provinces like Shandong, Sichuan and Yunnan already sell cockroach dishes for human consumption.24 Very often, he notes, molting cockroaches are seasoned with salt or spices and then deep-fried or stir-fried.

Although nobody has made a commercial venture selling edible cockroaches on a large scale, Liu said he believes businesses will soon make the move. “They can easily mill the molting cockroaches and make flour with them,” he said.25

Given the increasing interest in insects as food, in May 2018, the 2nd International Conference “Insects to Feed the World” was held in China to discuss the role of insects in helping to sustain human life and promote nutrition.26

In 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (U.N.) published a report suggesting people start eating insects as a possible solution to global food shortages.27 As for the types of insects most commonly eaten for food, the U.N. notes the following breakdown:28

Beetles (Coleoptera) — 31 percent

Caterpillars (Lepidoptera) — 18 percent

Bees, wasps and ants (Hymenoptera) — 14 percent

Grasshoppers, locusts and crickets (Orthoptera) — 13 percent

Cicadas, leafhoppers, planthoppers, scale insects and true bugs (Hemiptera) — 10 percent

Termites (Isoptera, also known as Blattodea) — 3 percent

Dragonflies (Odonata) — 3 percent

Flies (Diptera) — 2 percent

Other orders — 5 percent

As members of the same order as termites, cockroaches rank No. 6 on the list of most commonly eaten insects. You can learn more about the U.N. report by checking out my article “Eat Insects, Save the World.”

Speaking of roaches as a food source, more intriguing still is the notion of cockroach milk as a potential super food. Yes, that’s right, cockroach milk. A certain type of cockroach (Diploptera punctata), found mostly in the Pacific Islands, is the main source of this bug beverage.

A 2016 study29,30 from India asserts cockroach milk contains more than three times as much energy as cow’s milk. That said, the researchers indicated there is a lack of evidence roach milk is safe for human consumption, so further investigation is needed.

To learn more about this, you may want to read my article “Cockroach Milk — The Most Nutritious?” Roach milk aside, the potential for other roach-inspired food products has captured the interest of at least one cockroach farmer in Sichuan province’s rural Yibin city.

He sells about 22 pounds of cockroaches a month to two local restaurants, where they are used in various dishes. Says Li Bingcai:31

“I plan to produce food products like cockroach meatballs and cockroach flour in two years. I’ve always wanted to make food products from the beginning. People were scared of [cockroaches] at first, but now so many are eating them. The taste is special and they are full of protein.”

Cockroaches Are a Lucrative Business in China

While it is clear there is money to be made across the board with cockroaches and cockroach breeding farms in China, it seems operations focused on using roach extracts for medicinal purposes are among the most lucrative.

As reported by The Telegraph,32 Wang Fuming operates a cockroach farm in China’s Shandong province, where he houses more than 22 million of the insects in concrete bunkers in the suburbs of Jinan. Wang raises the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) exclusively and sells his output to pharmaceutical companies for top dollar.

Previously, Wang says he bred a particular type of wingless, flightless cockroach (Eupolyphaga sinensis) whose dried body is prized in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

The increases in demand for the American cockroach are such that from 2011 to 2013 he claims to have quintupled production to more than 100 tons a year. “There are hundreds of species of cockroaches, but only this one has any medicinal value,” says Wang.”33

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Gooddoctor’s 2017 sales amounted to 6.3 billion Chinese yuan ($914 million). Their best seller, worth $1 billion yuan ($145 million), was a cockroach-containing “Recovery New Potion” that can be consumed orally or used on your skin.

While using legions of cockroaches as waste composters or as food and medicine continues to make news in China, most people in the U.S. and other Western nations still consider this insect as nothing more than an unwanted pest.

Unless you are looking to shock your family or friends by eating cockroaches, I recommend waiting for researchers in China and elsewhere to further develop the science around how cockroaches may benefit human health.


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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high




(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine




(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states




In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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