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China has found a innovative way to tackle food waste: cockroaches!

Waste-processing plants in China are using up to 1 billion cockroaches to process over 50 tons of daily kitchen waste.

Cockroaches farmed by the billions in China to chew through food waste

Ever-expanding Chinese cities are generating more food waste than landfills can bear, and some are turning to cockroaches as a way to get rid of mountains of food scraps, providing nutritious feed for livestock at the end of the bugs’ lifecycle and, some say, cures for stomach illnesses and cosmetic treatments.

HOW BILLIONS OF COCKROACHES ARE HELPING CHINA PROCESS FOOD WASTE

On the outskirts of Jinan, capital of eastern Shandong province, a billion cockroaches are being fed with 50 tonnes of kitchen waste a day – the equivalent in weight to seven adult elephants — reports Reuters

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 seven million people.

A nationwide ban on using food waste as pig feed due to African swine fever outbreaks is also spurring the growth of the cockroach industry.

“Cockroaches are a bio-technological pathway for the converting and processing of kitchen waste,” said Liu Yusheng, president of Shandong Insect Industry Association.

Cockroaches are also a good source of protein for pigs and other livestock. “It’s like turning trash into resources,” said Shandong Qiaobin chairwoman Li Hongyi.

Source: Reuters

Food waste is collected from restaurants around Jinan and delivered to the warehouse early each day. The waste is sorted, blended into mush, and used to feed the cockroaches, which consume around 60 tons of food waste each day. Once the cockroaches die — usually when they’re around 1-year-old — the protein-rich critters are crushed up and made into chicken feed. In the future, cockroach extract may be used to make diet pills for humans.
The cockroaches are a valuable resource even at the end of their lives Food waste is collected from restaurants around Jinan and delivered to the warehouse early each day. The waste is sorted, blended into mush, and used to feed the cockroaches, which consume around 60 tons of food waste each day. Once the cockroaches die — usually when they’re around 1-year-old — the protein-rich critters are crushed up and made into chicken feed. In the future, cockroach extract may be used to make diet pills for humans. Source: LiuZheng/SixthTone.com

In Sichuan a company called Gooddoctor is rearing six billion cockroaches for a different reason

“The essence of cockroach is good for curing oral and peptic ulcers, skin wounds and even stomach cancer,” said Wen Jianguo, manager of Gooddoctor’s cockroach facility.

Researchers are also looking into using cockroach extract in beauty masks, diet pills and even hair-loss treatments.

At Gooddoctor, when cockroaches reach the end of their lifespan of about six months, they are blasted by steam, washed and dried, before being sent to a huge nutrient extraction tank.

Asked about the chance of the cockroaches escaping, Wen said that would be worthy of a disaster movie but that he has taken precautions.

We have a moat filled with water and fish,” he said. “If the cockroaches escape, they will fall into the moat and the fish will eat them all.”

Source: Reuters

The world’s biggest cockroach farm is in Xichang, southwestern Sichuan province, where 6 billion adult cockroaches are bred a year for the pharmaceutical industry.
Cockroach farms have expanded across China in recent years, mostly to cater to medicinal demand The world’s biggest cockroach farm is in Xichang, southwestern Sichuan province, where 6 billion adult cockroaches are bred a year for the pharmaceutical industry. Source: Unsplash/JesperAggergakker
The world’s largest cockroach farm is breeding 6 billion adult cockroaches a year and using artificial intelligence to manage a colony larger than the world’s human population – all for medicinal use.
Gooddoctor Pharmaceutical Group’s cockroach farm in Xichang The world’s largest cockroach farm is breeding 6 billion adult cockroaches a year and using artificial intelligence to manage a colony larger than the world’s human population – all for medicinal use. Source: SouthChinaMorningPost
One city in China is feeding a billion cockroaches 50 tons of scraps a day to tackle food waste China banned the use of food waste as pig feed because of outbreaks of African swine fever. Now, this new process is encouraging the cockroach industry to grow. Shandong Qiaobin is beginning to serve as an example for others throughout China, with many people opening their own cockroach farms. Source: Facebook/ATTN
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5 simple ways to reduce your food waste right now

Food waste is a huge problem worldwide, with one-third of all globally produced food ending up wasted. So what can the average person do to fight back? Here is a list of ways that you can reduce your food waste right now.