'Like a horror movie': my day in a Chinese cockroach factory
April 26, 2018 5:32 PM   Subscribe

The Sydney Morning Herald's Kirsty Needham investigates: Xichang, China: It is like a scene from a horror movie. A door opens to a dark room, and in the beam of a torchlight, you see them. Hundreds of cockroaches, moving up the side of cupboards, and across the floor. It's about to get worse. Previously
posted by misterbee (27 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Should this get added to last week’s horrifying cockroach post?
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 5:43 PM on April 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


To think that a “cockroach factory” is a real place, and not just an insult for your local sketchy buffet.

There are more shivers in this article than in entire horror novels I’ve read.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:58 PM on April 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Pretty sure this is set in my friend Craig's midwestern midsummer apartment after midnight that one time we each did a fourway and wandered back at four am while peaking and went into the adolescent overheated and humid kitchen-composter to get a drink of water and unthinkingly turned the overhead lights on whereupon thousands and thousands of heaving layers of feasting cockroaches fled the light before our lysergic eyes and we screamed and screamed and screamed and ran down the stairs in our own layers of horror in 1986.

Pretty sure.
posted by mwhybark at 6:07 PM on April 26, 2018 [12 favorites]


The moat full of hungry carp is a fantastic idea.

The giggle-and-point "ewwwww people willingly eating cockroaches" framing of this article, less so.
posted by inconstant at 6:11 PM on April 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


“It is like a family pet in our home,” she continues. “It is cute, it never bites. It is not as horrible as people imagine.”

When I was 10 or 11 our family lived in an apartment complex back in Texas. It was the middle of the summer and our air conditioner was not working. I woke up in the middle of the night because I was sweaty, itchy and couldn't sleep well. I turned on my bedside lamp, reached behind my neck to scratch and when I pulled my hand back, I realized that a cockroach had been nuzzling in my neck and sweat. I jumped out of bed and screamed, woke up my family and our downstairs neighbors. So yeah, fuck roaches. I've hated them forever since.

Nope, nope, nope.
posted by Fizz at 6:22 PM on April 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


brb, digging carp moat.
posted by ardgedee at 6:24 PM on April 26, 2018 [16 favorites]


If the people of Sydney would eat a few million of their own cockroaches, I might consider returning someday.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:24 PM on April 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I get acupuncture treatments regularly, and they feel like a bath of blissful energy. That said, I do not understand TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) at all. Especially after reading the dubious propositions supporting cockroach ingestion as somehow helpful. Color me an inscrutable Occidental.
posted by kozad at 7:39 PM on April 26, 2018


COOOOOL, photos! I'm so happy.

Hey, I used to live in South Florida. I have had palmetto bugs trashing electronics, eating books, skittering away when lights are turned on, leaving egg capsules in my clothes, putting droppings on everything, getting into everything, making the house stink.... I mean, they're so gross. But now I can appreciate them because I live in Canada. No cockroaches! At least in this apartment building.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:42 PM on April 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


“It is a good insect,” he declares. For millions of years the cockroach has been unaffected by the diseases, bacteria and viruses that humans carry, and he believes this is because of the cockroach’s anti-inflammatory qualities. Personally, he eats 10 a day.

Bullshit quackery, in other words.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:43 PM on April 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


My former roommate had a lot of pets that feed on roaches (frogs, lizards, etc) so he had a breeding colony of roaches in tank. Fortunately, we lived in Montana, so I knew they couldn’t survive for long if they escaped (and the cat LOVED to hunt them), and they kinda grew on me. I’d regularly watch them devour bits of food waste. But that noise...the rustling of roaches crawling over other roaches...the horror.
posted by Grandysaur at 8:21 PM on April 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


It was one of my favorite party tricks to grab a roach out of the tank and hold it out for one of the chameleons to grab with its big ol tongue in front of my grossed out but impressed guests.
posted by Grandysaur at 8:25 PM on April 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


If "Unaffected by disease and unchanged for millions of years" is the criteria, shouldn't we be eating horseshoe crabs and sea sponges?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:25 PM on April 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


"...shouldn't we be eating horseshoe crabs and sea sponges?"

Horseshoe crabs are already being pimped, to death.
posted by shoesietart at 8:53 PM on April 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Nope.

Nope. Nope. Nope. No. Nope.
posted by asteria at 9:14 PM on April 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


That was a delightful little read. I appreciated how it was decidedly not an in-depth journalistic expose. It was simply a little description of the cockroach factory (farm?) with a few gentle narrative flourishes. Bravo!
posted by latkes at 9:55 PM on April 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


For the record, deep fried cockroach tastes like it smells.

And what's the smell? Nutty? Onion rings? I'm pretty sure if they had the siren's call of a bloomin' onion I'd say screw it and eat a bug; I know my weakness.

Interesting article, though! I agree that the moat is a genius idea. Personally, as long as they're contained and in the spot they're supposed to be (i.e. bug farm, versus, the ceiling corner above my bed), I'm much more inclined to view the idea with an open mind.

I also agree the framing was... not the best. Something like 80% of the world's nations have some form of insect consumption, if Wikipedia is up to date. And to be fair, I'm not saying eating insects is a moral imperative (even whole prawns are a firm NO for me, but I'm working on it), but send someone less jumpy, perhaps?
posted by lesser weasel at 10:01 PM on April 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


"Cockroach Factory" would be a terrible name for a bar.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:41 AM on April 27, 2018


to prevent escapes, the building is surrounded by a one-metre wide moat of water, full of fish.

That'll stop the occasional wanderer. If a billion roaches rush out of the building, I doubt the fish are going to stop them all.
posted by ctmf at 2:02 AM on April 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


I actually don't understand her description of the roach factory smelling like an old chicken shed, unless she and I know different kinds of cockroaches or chickens. but i definitely know how the local cockroaches smell, that's how i know to be ready with a folded up magazine.
posted by cendawanita at 2:08 AM on April 27, 2018


> “It is a good insect,” he declares. For millions of years the cockroach has been
> unaffected by the diseases, bacteria and viruses that humans carry, and he believes
> this is because of the cockroach’s anti-inflammatory qualities. Personally, he eats 10 a day.

Bullshit quackery, in other words.


Indeed. That’s as stupid as eating a fungus to fight a bacterial infection.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:47 AM on April 27, 2018


Or is it as stupid as eating a zombie fungus that makes insects do its bidding?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:58 AM on April 27, 2018


"Cockroach Factory" would be a terrible name for a bar fantastic name for a band.
posted by mistersquid at 7:16 AM on April 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


Also previously.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:40 AM on April 27, 2018


I'm afraid to open it, but would like to know if people are truly breeding cockroaches and, if so, WHY??
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 12:49 PM on April 27, 2018


Yes, billions of them in one building. So they can be eaten, as medicine or just food.

Cheers!
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:54 PM on April 27, 2018


I bet it smells amazing in there.
posted by ostranenie at 6:55 AM on April 28, 2018


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