Waste-processing plants run by Shandong Qiaobin Agricultural Science and Technology in Jinan, Shandong Province, use 1 billion cockroaches to process about 60 tons of daily kitchen waste.
Each day, the waste arrives at the plants, and is smashed into pieces before being fed to the roaches. According to the company chairman, Li Yanhong, the heat generated from the roaches is used to cultivate vegetables. When the roaches die, their bodies are milled and baked into high-protein livestock feed.
The roach business in China isn’t new. In a remote village in Sichuan Province, Li Bingcai, a former mobile phone vendor, raised 3.4 million roaches on his two farms that he sells to pig farms and fisheries as feed and drug companies as medicinal ingredients. He also sells 22 pounds of cockroaches a month to two local restaurants, where the insects are made into food, according to the South China Morning Post. Another company in Sichuan Province, called Gooddoctor, is breeding about 6 billion cockroaches, whose extract is made into beauty products and medication.