SHANDONG PROVINCE, China (CBS NEWS) -- Set just off a freeway inChina'sShandong Province, the farm's location isn't exactly appealing, butthen again, neither is what's inside: cockroaches -- tens of millions ofthem.
Wang Fuming is part entomologist, part farmer and chief admirer.
"I've been interested in insects since I was 8 years old," he told CBS News.
Sixteen years ago, he started farming these critters commercially. Yes, there is a market.
"Business is very good," he said. "Many pharmaceutical factories make products with them."
Almostall of his roaches are used in traditional Chinese medicine. He claimsthey can cure what ails you, from the heart to the liver to the lungs.
Ground cockroach has been used to treat wounds and even as an ingredient in toothpaste.
Wang took CBS News to see where the roaches are raised. His relaxed demeanor did not rub off.
Theyfeed the roaches wheat shavings and vegetables for four months. Thenthey're boiled, dried and some are crushed to put into pill form, whichis much easier to stomach.
Wang says he makes $160,000 a year from the bugs.
Onspecial occasions, Wang says, they can even be part of dinner. He friedsome so that we could see and insisted that peanut oil imparts the mostflavor. We took his word for it.
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