If you are squeamish, then please turn away or make sure that you’re not eating at the moment. There is a delicacy in Jinan, China that may not be to everyone’s liking, but a farmer of this crucial ingredient says that business is doing very well.
Wang Fu-Min is the owner of a farm that houses and breeds cockroaches, particularly American cockroaches. He breeds and ships them by the ton to interested buyers, netting him what for outsiders is surprising profit.
Cockroaches have long been a staple in traditional Chinese medicine as a cure-all for stomach, liver, and heart illnesses. Wang has been taking a lot of orders from pharmaceutical companies in the country. Take note, though, that this is the same country that grinds up rhino horn and mixes it in water for alleviating fever. (No, it’s not an aphrodisiac.)
As with a lot of the ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine, they’re also for eating. Cockroaches make for a delicious snack when deep-fried in peanut oil, or so says Wang. His next goal is to promote the little critters as a good source of protein, which may be a bit more challenging.
The insects that are usually seen as household pests have long been a fascination for Wang. He seems to show genuine affection and care for the little critters that have become his livelihood.