It’s the stuff horror movies are made of. Billions of cockroaches (the larger American kind, not the small, fast brown German roaches we all know and hate) are being held captive in a secure escape-proof facility. The air is warm. The humidity is high. The crunch, crunch, crunching is loud.
Then there’s an earth tremor. The fail-safe moat designed to capture roach escapees so fish can eat them has drained through a fissure. The fish are dead. The roaches – billions and billions of them – are invading the city. Desperate for food, they’re eating everything in their path.
And you thought The Birds was a scary movie.
But this scenario except for the earth tremor is real. It’s taking place in China where cockroaches are being cultivated in facilities to eat food waste that is piped in to the insects. Being non-discriminate eaters, they crunch away on just about everything and, after dying in about six months, are cleaned, processed and fed to farm animals as sources of protein.
If you haven’t stopped reading yet, for various provinces in China this ecological solution is working out well. It’s a burgeoning business in a country with a huge population and limited food waste landfills. Also, so far, there have been no large-scale escapes from cockroach Alcatraz.
In addition to providing nutrients for farm animals, the processed roaches are being used medicinally and for beauty products in China. For the latter, I assume the fragrance is Ewww de Roach.
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Steven J. Schleider, MAI, LEED-AP BD+C
President, Metropolitan Valuation Services