#Episode2 INSECT FARMING: Producing Edible, Nutritious, Medicinal Insects’ Product for Human Consumption.

3년 전

Hello Steemians;

I decided to go into the biological aspect of science. I remember I was inspired by two things which brought me to this topic. On Saturday 21st of April, 2018 a heavy rain hit the city of Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria some minutes after 19:00 but came to a stop not quite long.

Then around 21:00 we observed that some flies were just everywhere but they were attracted more to light. A guy from my hostel suggested we hunt a large number of the flies, I remember he called the insects “esusu” with a Yoruba (Nigerian) dialect and we agreed with his plan to hunt the flies down because he convinced us the flies are edible and nutritious at the same time so we set this trap made with a big bowl of water for them to fall in. You’d observe I’ve been calling the insect we hunted that night “fly” but they are actually winged termites, didn’t know that until Monday 24th of April, 2018.

The other thing that inspired me was a picture @mobbs shared on Sunday 22nd of April, 2018 about “A Chinese farm breeding 6 billion cockroaches a year for medicine” on the general chats channel via the Steemstem discord channel and I was like wow, the cockroach we so much hate is actually used to make useful medicines. So, I decided to go do some research on edible insects and their nutritional value.

On my last episode on “INSECT FARMING: Producing Edible, Nutritious, Medicinal Insects’ Product for Human Consumption”, I wrote about bee farming here and I really enjoyed writing that article because I learnt a lot from it.

On this particular episode we’re going to go into cockroach farming.

If you observed, it’s been a long time since I wrote my last post. I’m very sorry for that as schooling has been the main cause of that. And I have to say I’m sorry to the whole Steemit and Steemstem community for being a party to plagiarism out of some unreasonable ignorance. I really hope you guys pardon me because I learnt from my mistake and I believe my subsequent articles should be equal to your taste.


EPISODE 2: COCKROACH FARMING



AN ENTOMOLOGIST PERFORMING N EXPERIMENT ON THE AMERICAN COCKROACH {Photo by Keith Weller} from Wikimedia under CC BY-SA 3.0 License

Many of us hate cockroaches, even I myself. If there is any insect I hate the most, it should be the cockroach. But I have been hearing about some people eating cockroaches and I’m like what the …?. How can a person afford to eat such an irritating insect, not knowing that the sole called irritating insect is a very medicinal and profit making insect. I know the cockroach is a valuable insect in China.

There’s no how we’re going to be talking about how cockroaches are being kept to make a lot of money and raw materials for some pharmaceutical companies and we won’t go into what cockroach itself is. So, I would advise you tighten your sit belt as I take you on ride through the world of cockroaches.


What is a Cockroach?



COCKROACHES from pixabay.com under CC0 License

I don’t want to believe that anyone reading this post have not seen or heard of the insect called cockroach before. The cockroach is a very popular insect that can survive in almost all climatic situations because of their designed body structure. It is an insect in the order blattodea, just like the termites too. Most pests known to human exists in this same order blattodea.

The name cockroach is derived from a Spanish word “cucaracha” which was translated later to “cock” and “roach” in English from the meaning which is to ignore light. The cockroach species is believed to be around four thousand five hundred and four thousand six hundred (4,500-4,600) in number. Few of the population are the household cockroaches which we’re going to discuss as we go on in this article.

The cockroach is a very offensive nocturnal insect and leaves offensive smell anywhere it feeds or dwell. They are also pathogens of some diseases, they also trigger allergic reactions in human. The protein that is responsible for triggering allergic reaction is called the tropomyosin. Nevertheless, some cockroaches are being raised under special laboratory standards for the purpose of producing some raw materials for some drugs needed by some pharmaceutical companies mostly in China and more so as food source in countries like Mexico and Thailand.

Cockroaches survive in most habitats due to the fact that they are omnivorous and can eat anything that exists in a household, ranging from food stuffs like meat and so on, to materials like cloth, papers and some other wooden materials. They even feed on each other’s legs and wings during famine periods. They also have an advantage of not having a lot of predators around and the fact that they have a fast reproduction rate makes them outgrow in population.


POPULAR SPECIES OF HOUSEHOLD COCKROACHES

As I did mention above that I’m going to talk about a few popular species of household cockroaches that can be found around. I’m going to outline six of the common types of household cockroaches, which are;

  1. The German Cockroaches
  2. The American Cockroaches
  3. The Australian Cockroaches
  4. The Asian Cockroaches
  5. The Oriental Male Cockroaches
  6. The Oriental Female Cockroaches

THE GERMAN COCKROACHES

The German cockroach is a winged small sized cockroach of about 1.1cm to 1.6cm long with the scientific name (Blattella germanica).

Although, the German cockroach has wings but it still barely flies. As all cockroaches are known to be troublesome but the German cockroach is known to be very troublesome and it very identical to the Asian cockroach.

The German cockroach is previously believed to have emerged from a habitat in the European continent, but the German cockroach was later considered to have emerged from a habitat in the African continent, Ethiopia to be precise.
Some further research later proved it to be an emergence of the south eastern Asia. The German cockroach is very sensitive to cold and that is one reason it exists in almost all habitats in the universe except habitats in the Antarctica.

The German cockroach is known to be omnivorous in nature. They feed on meat, sugar, starches and some other food stuffs. They also feed on soap and toothpaste and this boost their chances of survival in a household. They also have a behaviour of feeding on each other’s wings and legs during famine periods.

THE AMERICAN COCKROACHES

The American cockroach with scientific name (Periplaneta americana) is also known as waterbug though it is not aquatic. It is also known as ship cockroach. It is known to be the largest species of the common cockroaches that are found around and they are mostly seen as pest. Their existence is kin to the African and Middle Eastern habitats as they are believed to have emerged from the American habitat.

The American cockroach is a reddish brown cockroach and has an average length of 4cm. It is known to be the long-living cockroach because it has the longest life cycle of about 700 days.

The American cockroach feeds on foods like cheese, leather, beer, paper products, starchy foods, clothing materials, plants, dead materials and so on. They are also known to aid fermentation in some feeding materials they feed on. They also feed on dead cockroaches of their specie and other species.

Even with their big bodies, they can fit into small holes and burrow into cracks, cupboards, cabinets and some other household equipments. They prefer to stay in habitats with high temperature of about 29°C. They are found in basements, cracks, foundations, sewers.

THE AUSTRALIAN COCKROACH

The Australian cockroach with scientific name (Periplaneta australasiae) is a brownish cockroach and identical to the American cockroach except it is of around 2cm to 3cm long. Although it is introduced in Australia, the Australian cockroach is believed to have originated from an African habitat. It exists in different habitats in the universe but mostly found tropical habitats.

The Australian cockroach prefers to feed on plant products than animal products. They also feed on decaying organic matter. They are also known fliers compared to other species of cockroaches. They travel around and can fit into cracks with their big bodies just like the American cockroach.

THE ASIAN COCKROACH

The Asian cockroach, scientifically known as Blattella asahinai is identical to the German cockroach. It was first introduced in Okinawa Island, Japan in the year 1981 when some insects were collected for research from the island.

The Asian cockroach is about 1.6cm in length and unlike the German cockroach it prefers being outdoor than being indoor. It also distinctive character of being a strong flier and gets attracted to light unlike the German cockroach.

It was sighted in the United States around Florida in 1986. It can be found in the tropical and sub-tropical climates.

THE ORIENTAL COCKROACH (MALE AND FEMALE)

The oriental cockroach is a dark brown or black coloured specie of cockroach with scientific name (Blatta orientalis) is also known as black beetle or water bug because they like being in the dark. The male oriental cockroach is about 18-30 mm long while the female oriental cockroach is about 20-27 mm long. The female oriental cockroach has a broad body and appears to be wingless when sighted from a distance but the male oriental cockroach has long wings and a body not as broad as the body of the female oriental cockroach.

The Oriental cockroaches are found in locations like bushes, under fallen leaves and in damp outdoor places. They are unable to fly and they live as long as 1-1.5 years.

Now, I think I can go into the main business of the day which is Cockroach Farming;


COCKROACH FARMING



COCKROACH from pixabay.com under CC0 License

Cockroach farming is the act of breeding cockroaches under special condition as livestock for the purpose of producing edible products from it. The act of cockroach farming is vast in China where cockroaches are produced as food for human consumption or for raw materials used for drugs. Cockroaches are also raised for the purpose of feeding reptiles like lizards that are later consumed too. The cockroaches can be eaten raw but it’s preferred by most consumers when it is fried.

Cockroach farming is now a wide-spreading form of farming in China as cockroach farmers produce millions of cockroaches for some pharmaceutical companies and with that reason, I believe cockroach farming is a very profitable form of farming.

Cockroach farming produces products like cockroach itself that can be used as a source of protein in place of beef and other forms of meats. The wings of the cockroach are also in demand as they contain a good amount of cellulose. Pharmaceutical and Research companies also get cockroaches to produce or work on possible drugs for curing AIDS and cancer.


FEEDING THE COCKROACHES IN A COLONY



A WINGLESS COCKROACH FEEDING from Wikimedia under CC2.0 License

As I’ve mentioned above, cockroaches will always find a way to survive even if food is scarce. But to avoid competition amongst them you have to feed them on daily basis. Vegetables and Fruits will be a very good option when feeding the cockroaches in your farm as we all know that all living things survive well with the right vitamins provided. Cockroaches can also be fed with dry foods like millets and cereals. One important thing to be considered when feeding the roaches is that the food has to be like 40% moist.


BENEFITS OF THE PRODUCTS OF COCKROACH FARMING



DRUGS from Pxhere.com under CC0 License

  1. American cockroaches are used as source of protein in place of meats. The taste resembles that of cottage cheese.

  2. Creams made from powdered cockroaches are used in Chinese hospitals for treating burns.

  3. Cosmetic facial masks are made from cockroaches in Korea to aid facial beauty.

  4. Syrups made from cockroaches by pharmaceutical companies are used to cure gastroenteritis, pulmonary tuberculosis and duodenal ulcers.

  5. Cheap drugs are produced in China for the old ones to help China’s ageing population problems.


CONCLUSION

The cockroach is a winged nocturnal insect with about 4600 species, though not all species of the cockroach fly. It is also known that cockroaches can survive in different situations, as we all know that they are very stubborn.

Cockroach farming, though not really practised by a lot of people has been proven to be very profitable by the few farmers that are into cockroach farming. A lot of pharmaceutical companies, mostly in China, see cockroaches as a raw material for making drugs for stomach ache, ulcer, skin burns and some other ailments. It is even under observation by researchers for creating cures for AIDS and cancer.

Cockroaches also serve as food for human and pets as they can be used as a source of protein in place of meats.

I hope I’ve been able to educate at least a good number of my readers on what cockroach farming is.


REFERENCES:

  1. Wikipedia Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4, Source 5, Source 6, Source 7

  2. Thecut.com

  3. Telegraph.co.uk

  4. Wikihow.com

Watch out for the next episode of “INSECT FARMING: Producing Edible, Nutritious, Medicinal Insects’ Product for Human Consumption.”


If you write STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related posts, consider joining #steemSTEM on steemit chat or discord here. If you are from Nigeria, you may want to include the #stemng tag in your post. You can visit this blog by @stemng for more details.

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Wow... I really am enlightened. Cock roach?

This is like the best article this week... Nice one

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Thanks, Man. So you can decide to eat your rice with cockroach now. 😂

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I never port to being Chinese.... I pass 😂

The Australian cockroach looks like the stronger of all, poor Australians but I bet they get use to it.

Cosmetic facial masks are made from cockroaches in Korea to aid facial beauty.

I wonder if the people using those masks are aware of that? It would be fun to see their reactions once they realize this.

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Lol, most of em don't know. You know how ladies hate cockroach.

You actually took us through every bit of cockroach farming that I even feel like starting a farm of my own, but I actually don't like cockroaches.

Their odor is something I can't stand and I can't imagine that I might have consumed products from cockroaches. I sometimes used a drug that smells like cockroaches, probably the drug contained some portion of cockroaches.

All the same, you have done well.

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Thanks for going through the the post.

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You are welcome.