Connect with us

News

China is farming cockroaches by the billions

Published

on

China is farming cockroaches by the billions

It is a bit staggering to look at the history of China and see how many people have died as a result of disasters, famine, genocide, and war over the past two millennia. To be fair, death and suffering are common elements in every nation’s history. But, China’s perpetually massive population ensures that the scale of its tragedies dwarfs that of any other nation.

There are several tragic events throughout China’s history that have a death toll which exceeds the present-day population of most countries. Famine, in particular, has claimed the lives of countless people in China, and until fairly recently, were a regular occurrence there. Nearly two centuries of back-to-back famines in China ended in 1961 with the Great Chinese Famine, which caused more people to die of starvation than are currently alive in Canada.

Much of the blame for this tragedy can be placed on the astounding level of incompetence displayed by Mao Zedong’s Communist Party. However, in the decades since then the Party has put a lot of work into ensuring famines, especially of that magnitude, never happen again. The Party has actually been incredibly successful in that regard. For people living in China’s ever-growing urban areas even small-scale malnutrition is more or less unheard of, let alone famine.

To get an idea of how much the food security in China has improved, one need only look at how much food waste is currently being generated by Chinese urban areas. The amount of waste is so extreme that there aren’t enough landfills in the entire country to dump it all in. It was only a few decades ago that these urban areas were struggling to dispose of the corpses of the millions who had starved to death, yet now they struggle to dispose of the food waste created by millions of well-fed people who have more food than they can eat. The latter is definitely the better problem to have but a problem nonetheless, and it’s only going to get worse as the average income of Chinese citizens continues to grow.

The nauseating amount of food waste in the United States shows how wasteful a society can become when it’s so wealthy that food security is something most people don’t even think about. Fortunately, wherever there’s a problem there are entrepreneurs with clever (and profitable) solutions, and this is no exception.

Li Bingcai is one such entrepreneur, and he was so confident in his clever solution that he quit his job as a mobile phone vendor and invested equivalent to nearly $150,000 into what he believes will eventually become a large profitable enterprise. His belief is well-founded too, as his solution has proven to be incredibly successful.  According to Reuters, Li plans to increase the size of his operation tenfold in the near future.

So, what exactly is this seemingly incredible solution to China’s food waste problem? Has Li developed a method of turning food waste into an efficient biofuel? Has he found a way to recycle food waste into new food products, or created a system for distributing discarded food to under served communities? Not quite.

As with most entrepreneurial success stories, Li’s solution is simple – and just strange enough that most people wouldn’t have thought of it. The solution? Farm cockroaches, millions of them, and then feed them the waste. That’s it.

Li currently operates two farms in the province of Sichuan (the namesake of the heavily meme’d McDonald’s Mulan Szechuan Sauce) in southwest China where he raises 3.4 million cockroaches. But, he plans to eventually have twenty farms. He feeds his cockroaches the food waste generated by nearby cities. Once they’ve reached the end of their life, he then sells them as feed to fisheries and pig farms. He also sells them to pharmaceutical companies where they’re used as an ingredient in medicine, both real and fake.

I am sure many of us are unfortunately very familiar with how much cockroaches love to eat our leftover food – and how much of a nuisance they can be when they invade your home. However, it’s that voraciousness that makes these pests such an effective and efficient way to dispose of food waste, and Li isn’t the only person to discover this. In fact, his operation is minuscule compared to the likes of Gooddoctor, another Sichuan-based operation, which currently raises more than 6 billion cockroaches. Meanwhile, in the Shandong province on China’s east coast, Shandong Qiaobin Agricultural Technology Co. uses cockroaches to dispose of 50 tons of kitchen waste every day. The company is planning to open three more cockroach-powered, AI-assisted food waste processing plants next year with the intention of processing a third of the kitchen waste produced by the 7 million people living in Shandong’s capital, Jinan. Just like Li, both Gooddoctor and Shandong Qiaobin sell their cockroaches as feed and medical ingredients, but even more uses for cockroaches are currently being researched.

In other countries that generate a lot of food waste, such as the United States, solutions are more focused on reducing how much food is wasted rather than finding more efficient ways to dispose of it. The problem of food waste in these countries is less of a logistical problem caused by the amount of waste, like in China, and more of a moral problem caused by wasting so much food while nearly a billion people all over the world struggle to feed themselves. The United States alone throws out 133 BILLION pounds of food each year, worth about $161 billion according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service.

The Trump administration is making an effort with its “Winning on Reducing Food Waste”, but there’s more that can be done. That being said, the moral situation is even worse in China, unsurprisingly.

Food waste is different in the United States and other developed nations where the vast majority of people living there are well-fed. The moral question for these nations is, “We have more food than we could ever eat, so why aren’t we sharing it with less prosperous nations?” In China, however, this isn’t the case. While the quality of life for people living in China’s cities has improved immensely, especially when it comes to food security, the prosperity of Communist China hasn’t exactly been spread equally, and its rural population has been left behind. The numbers vary from province to province, but there are currently tens of millions of people in China who are struggling to feed their families, and malnutrition is fairly common in these areas.

So shouldn’t the moral question for China be, “Our fellow countrymen are starving, so why are we feeding our excess food to cockroaches?”

Advertisement

0

News

David Koch’s passing met with instant vitriol from the left

Published

on

David Kochs passing met with instant vitriol from the left

There was a time when the phrase “too soon” was used against those who vilified someone shortly after they died. It was assumed there’s a grace period in which those who are mourning do not have to suffer through insults by those opposed to their loved one. Those days are behind us, as clearly seen in reactions to David Koch’s passing.

News that Koch, the younger of the famed “Koch Brothers” known for being Republican mega-donors, has died will be addressed by the various news publications and talking heads with varying degrees of reverence or hatred. To most on the left, he was an enabler who helped many Republicans win elections. To many on the right, he was an icon who used the system to promote his political agenda, but who also engaged in undeniably philanthropic causes.

Even as Erickson’s Tweet speaks truth about the man, the comments below it demonstrate the worst of American society as we dive deeper into the abyss. The words “too soon” no longer apply.

I was going to post some of the Tweets of progressives being vile, but it’s not worth it. Trust me. They’re horrible.

I’ve had my share of disagreements with some of the policy stances the Koch brothers espouse. I haven’t always been happy with the candidates they support. I’ve criticized them in the past and I’ll probably criticize Charles Koch in the future. But today and for a time, criticism should be withheld. A human being has died and his family deserves the respect of our condolences and prayers at best or our silence at worst. To attack now is a pathetic display of the worst side of humanity.

Whether you agreed with David Koch’s politics or not, members of a civilized society should not immediately engage in hate-filled rants saying the worst possible things about the newly deceased. Civility has clearly lost to tribal feuding.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

American Conservative Movement

Continue Reading

Culture and Religion

Omar, Tlaib silent after Nadler rebuke

Published

on

Omar Tlaib silenced after Nadler rebuke

Representative Jerry Nadler is one of the bad guys. He’s leading the charge to keep the House of Representatives focused on one thing: Taking down President Trump. But even bad guys do good things sometimes. His singular moment of clarity came yesterday when he rebuked Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar of “The Squad” fame for sharing an anti-Semitic cartoon on Twitter.

To keep things in perspective, this isn’t Nadler doing the right thing for the right reasons. His interest is in making sure focus remains on the President and he views his freshmen cohorts as distractions. And even in rebuking them, he did so by first insulting the President with a lie.

The President’s comments about American Jews being disloyal to Israel if they vote Democrat is not an anti-Semitic trope. In fact, it’s not a trope at all, but since it’s a word that’s often associated with anti-Semitism, Nadler felt the need to invoke it.

As for the cartoon Nadler referred to, it came from a nefarious source:

But the real news here isn’t that Nadler went after his own teammates. It’s that the didn’t respond. It’s obvious they’re aware of the rebuke, but both have focused on playing nice on Twitter and have not addressed Nadler at all, at least not in public. This is a departure from their modus operandi as they’re known for striking back at criticism regardless of the source. Invariably, they play the race card and characterize anyone who criticizes them as bigots attacking “women of color.”

Nadler is an older straight white male, which is to say he’s a prime target for the wrath of “The Squad.” Are they suddenly playing nice or are they biding their time? Perhaps they don’t want to draw attention to the rebuke. Whatever their reasoning for not hitting Nadler back, their silence is conspicuous.

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were wrong to share the anti-Semitic trope and Nadler was right to rebuke them. But don’t cheer Nadler’s action too hard. His only concerns are how their bigotry reflects on his party and keeping attention on President Trump.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

American Conservative Movement

Continue Reading

Foreign Affairs

US officials confirm Israeli strike in Iraq

Published

on

US officials confirm Israeli strike in Iraq

Editor’s Note: This story from the Associated Press does not necessarily reflect the opinions of this publication. It contains news that was deemed important. Rather than rewrite fresh content on a story that has already been appropriately covered, we know our audience is capable of seeing through any bias often associated with left leaning news outlets like the AP.

JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. officials have confirmed that Israel was responsible for the bombing of an Iranian weapons depot in Iraq last month, an attack that would mark a significant escalation in Israel’s years-long campaign against Iranian military entrenchment across the region.

The confirmation comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is strongly hinting that his country is behind recent airstrikes that have hit bases and munitions depot belonging to Iran-backed paramilitary forces operating in Iraq.

The mystery attacks have not been claimed by any side and have left Iraqi officials scrambling for a response, amid strong speculation that Israel may have been behind them. Earlier this week, the deputy head of the Iraqi Shiite militias, known collectively as the Popular Mobilization Forces, openly accused Israeli drones of carrying out the attacks, but ultimately blamed Washington and threatened strong retaliation for any future attack.

Such attacks are potentially destabilizing for Iraq and its fragile government, which has struggled to remain neutral amid growing tensions between the United States and Iran.

There have been at least three explosions at Iraqi Shiite militia bases in the past month. American officials now confirm Israel was responsible for at least one of them.

Two American officials said Israel carried out an attack on an Iranian weapons depot in July that killed two Iranian military commanders. The U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

The July 19 attack struck a militia base in Amirli, in Iraq’s northern Salaheddin province, causing a huge explosion and fire. A senior official with the Shiite militias at the time told The Associated Press that the base hit housed advisers from Iran and Lebanon — a reference to the Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah group. He said the attack targeted the headquarters of the advisers and a weapons depot.

On August 12, a massive explosion at the al-Saqr military base near Baghdad shook the capital, killing one civilian and wounding 28 others. The base housed a weapons depot for the Iraqi federal police and the PMF. The most recent of the explosions came Tuesday night, at a munitions depot north of Baghdad.

There have been weeks of speculation in Israel that the army is attacking targets in Iraq.

In an interview with a Russian-language TV station on Thursday, Netanyahu indicated the speculation is true.

“I don’t give Iran immunity anywhere,” he said, accusing the Iranians of trying to establish bases “against us everywhere,” including Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq.

Asked whether that means Israel is operating in Iraq, Netanyahu said: “We act in many arenas against a country that desires to annihilate us. Of course I gave the security forces a free hand and the instruction to do what is needed to thwart these plans of Iran.”

Early Friday, the New York Times, citing Israeli and U.S. officials, reported that Israel bombed an Iranian weapons depot in Iraq last month.

It would be the first known Israeli airstrike in Iraq since 1981, when Israeli warplanes destroyed a nuclear reactor being built by Saddam Hussein. It also steps up Israel’s campaign against Iranian military involvement across the region.

Israel has previously acknowledged hundreds of airstrikes on Iranian targets in neighboring Syria, primarily arms shipments believed to be destined for Iran’s Hezbollah allies.

Israel considers Iran to be its greatest enemy and has repeatedly vowed that it will not allow the Iranians, who are supporting the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, to establish a permanent military presence in Syria.

Striking Iraq would be far more complicated than reaching neighboring Syria.

The Israeli warplanes would likely have to travel through Turkey, a former ally that now has cool relations with Israel, or through Saudi Arabia, to carry out strikes on Iraq.

Israel and the Saudis do not have formal diplomatic relations, but are believed to have established a behind-the-scenes alliance based on their shared hostility toward Iran.

___

Baldor reported from Washington.

___

This story has been corrected to show that the last known Israeli airstrike in Iraq was in 1981, not 1980.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

American Conservative Movement

Continue Reading

Facebook

Trending