How to Cook Cockroaches - a Solution to the Global Food Crisis

Introduction: How to Cook Cockroaches - a Solution to the Global Food Crisis

About: DIY biologist

This is a practical guide for eating cultured Blatta lateralis cockroaches.

The purpose of this guide is to raise the awareness of world hunger, food waste, and possible solutions.

Please do not proceed if you can't tolerate a lot of roaches.

Step 1: Introduction

1. Human population is predicted to reach 9 billion by 2050 (Fig1. Wikipedia).
2. Even after the effect of global economic crisis subdued, there are still 900 million people in malnutrition (Fig.2 FAO 2008).
3. Arable land is not increasing (Fig.3 World Bank)
3. Crop production reached a ceiling (Fig.4 World Bank)
4. And the global warming is certainly reduce the arable land in the near future (Fig 5. Wikipedia)
5. Food price is gradually increasing and recently became volatile (Fig 6. FAO). This will prevent many of 1.3 billion people who earn less than $1.25 a day to buy sufficient food.

However, we produce enough food to feed everyone on the planet (FAO 2002)

Where does the food go? Why there are hungry people even if we have enough to feed?
Environmental activist Tristram Stuart explains in his TED talk "The global food waste scandal".
In brief, food is wasted in the agricultural level, or inefficient food conversion in livestocks, and wasted in restaurants, supermarkets and homes.

What is the solution that you can do as individual level to reduce the food waste? Human beings had answered this question 6000 years ago when we domesticated pigs. You can feed food waste to the pig and recover it as pork meat. Yet, we are living in a modern urban environment where keeping a pig in a house or apartment is not an option. What can we do?

Further Readings
2012 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics
FAO Hunger Portal
he World Bank

Step 2: Blatta Lateralis

We have a solution. It's called Blatta lateralis. (also known as Red Runner, Turkistan Roach, and Rusty Red)
1. They eat any leftover food or vegetable peel and scraps.
2. You can culture them in a plastic container. In fact you can keep the box in your closet or boiler room.
3. They grow really rapidly.
4. They are tasty!

As you can see in the picture, I fed leftover sandwich, apple, and brown rice.

Please do not use the wild cockroaches as they might have pathogenic bacteria or parasites.

You can buy B. lateralis colony from many online roach farms.
I can recommend


Step 3: Preparation

You can put them in a Ziplock bag. Keep them in a freezer for 5 minutes to kill.

Wash the roaches and dry them on a sheet of paper towel.

Step 4: Frying

Heat a frying pan with some olive oil. Fry them until they are brown and crispy.

Remove the oil, turn off the heat, and add small amount of sugar and soy source.

When the sugar melts and turns into caramel, take them out of the pan and put then in a dish.

Step 5: Conclusion

They taste crunchy and crispy. It serves as a great snack!

In conclusion, B. lateralis culture enables us to convert food waste into highly nutritious food source. This will revolutionize how the food is produced and consumed. We can prepare ourselves for the imminent global food crisis.

Thank you.


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    9 years ago on Introduction

    They eat partially spoiled food. For example, the sandwich I gave was leftover from my daughter's lunchbox. The sandwich was kept in the room temperature for half a day, Those apples have brown spots that partially dried, too. Do you have leftover pizza sitting in your fridge more than a week? Do you have lettuce that are turning yellow? But I don't feed them something that is really rotten or with mold. If it's suitable for human consumption, then ideally it should be eaten by us not by the roaches.

    Regarding the leftovers, they have finite capability to process food. Currently I do not have enough roaches to process everything we have. So if I have plenty of chicken no one touched for a week in my fridge, I put them in a ziplock and keep them in a freezer. I feed the roaches with chicken in small portions. Once they finish, I give them more. It's scalable, so if you produce large food waste, you can increase the size of the roach colony to better handle large quantity.

    If you are interested in, you can start in small scale in a box in your closet.

    Do they eat spoiled food, too? I'm just wondering, since you could just eat what you fed them right away, to make use of the food. And is there anything they cannot digest, i.e. do they leave leftovers, too?

    Thanks for this instructable. Overall, this idea kinda tickles my curiosity just enough to consider it, but I admit to being uncertain about eating insects. Then again, I have eaten snails, so I probably shouldn't be squeemish and give them a try.

    ... if only to see my mother-in-law's face :D.