As 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 biggest 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 (links in Chinese).
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