Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Why Were They Raising A Million Cockroaches In The First Place?

Flickr user: Jeff Kubina

By Bill Doyle

Yesterday, we had the story of one million cockroaches escaping from a farm in China. The reason they were being raised was kind of vague: for traditional Chinese medicinal purposes.

Luckily for us, the folks at dug up more info on the booming cockroach market in China.

It turns out China has a booming trade in cockroaches that can earn as much as 1200 yuan per kilogram, or $89 per pound. The roaring roach trade began when a Yunnan medical professor noticed elderly ethnic minorities in the area’s mountains pulverizing roaches to cure bone tuberculosis. It took more than a decade of research, but he eventually figured out what they were up to, patenting roach powder as a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) ingredient and cooperating with what’s now perhaps the world’s biggest producer of medicinal raw cockroach-related materials. The powder is used to treat cirrhosis, breast cancer and other ailments, and reputedly also has anti-aging effects.

But even with a large-scale farm in Yunnan, there’s not enough ground-up cockroach powder to meet demand. That’s why Wang and other gutsy entrepreneurs have taken up “cockroach ranching,” as the New York Times’ Chris Buckley put it. And some are already making a tidy bundle.

If you are interested in opening a cockroach farm, one pair of mating roaches can produce 10 million offspring in a year. You’re going to have a lot of work on your hands.

Best of NJ 101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.