Inside China’s Edible Insect Industry (Part 2)

Hey! This is Mat from Vice’s Brooklin office, We’re picking up where we left off, with Vice’s China story on the culture of insect eating This is
Inside China’s Edible Insect Industry (Part 2) Hey! It’s Josh.
We’re in the Yangzhou’s country side, and I’m about to pick some bugs
to eat for dinner. Originally known for destroying soybean plants, the “doudan” is a pest that transformed into
a seasonal delicacy, like lobster. I went to meet with Lu Jun,
an entrepreneur, and a “doudan” lover, who started the bug farm to meet the local demands. So this is a doudan.
The entire green house is full of them. This one’s probably 30 days old.
Pretty soon you’ll be able to eat it. 55 of these cost about $50. I’m not really freaked out by it.
That looks like a nice, healthy green color. They eat pesticide free soybeans. This look like a 2 or 3 bite doudan to me. You can swallow it hole,
but who wants to do that? You’re suppose to savor it. Xia Zhenqiang is the business partner and
researcher behind doudan enterprise. He studied doudan for 10 years
at his lab at the School of Engineering. I asked Mr. Xia to take me to his moth breeding compound, so I can see his special techniques in action. It’s definetly a little gross. All of these doudan, basically got some
kind of weird fungal infection, or problem. And so result is that, they become like weird
brightly colored orange funguses, or turn totally white and slimy. Jun Lu invited me to a
doudan feast at a local restaurant. It turns out that cooking doudan is
as labor intensive as breeding them. It’s actually a little bit nasty because you’re basically crushing this creature from tale to nose. Bug comes on, guts come out. It looks like the consistency of an egg drop soup,
or something. I think I liked the look of them a little bit better
when they were whole. Now there’s like all this bug pulp,
in the parking lot, outside the restaurant, and some measly white flesh in this basin next to her. Unlike the insects I ate in Yunnan, which were
pretty much deep-fried and served whole, the doudan were presented in a way that was
a little bit different from how they looked in the field. Let’s try it. It doesn’t taste super strongly of anything actually. It’s just very soft, kinda slightly chewy taste. Let’s try some more. So it’s the start of doudan season now, and that’s when doudan are the most expensive. So this plate is around 2.000 yuan,
about 300 US dollars. So it’s not to be wasted. The most disgusting insect I can think of is the cockroach. It was with a mixture of dread and morbid curiosity, that I had to visit Xiao Pin’s cockroach farm,
in the middle of nowhere, in Hunan. It’s actually really nice out here, but than there’s like this gray concrete bunker
filled with cockroaches. There aren’t any cockroaches roaming around here.
Just smells like a bit musky. This is getting a bit nasty. Aw, it just reeks. It’s super warm. And there’s just bugs everywhere. They just crawling everywhere. It’s really warm and hot. So it’s like pure protein albino cockroach,
that just shed all of his skin. So like 250, more than 250 kilos of cockroaches in here. We’re in a room full of almost
$10.000 worth of cockroaches. Hey! It’s Josh, and we’re harvesting cockroaches in Hunan, to make into powder. Usually Xiao would drown the cockroaches in boiling water, but power was out in the village, so we had to use cold water and a wok. After collecting cockroaches, we set off to
Xiao Pin’s family home to cook them. It’s about seeing the world,
and trying foods you never tried before. But this like garbage. It’s really like a hot garbage smell. It smells like New York city sidewalk to me. Dig in !
LOS I just like really don’t want to eat… this. Oh God, I really don’t want to. This is Josh, this is a cockroach, this is the cockroach farmer, and I guess I’ll try one that he raised. It just taste like the smell of cockroaches. Yeah… Xiao Pin’s cockroaches are mainly used
for Chinese medicine. He grinds them up into powder form
to ship to customers from the village. I asked his neighbors if they knew
what kind of powder it was. No one really seemed to enjoy the smell. Even though I still find cockroaches repulsive, I was still interested to see how other bugs
could improve our lives in the big city. Jiangsu’s reputation as a start up paradise
is empowering a tech from, that wants to create insects based
protein for a sustainable future. I went to meet Chaterina Unger,
the co-founder of “Living Hive” , a sustainable self contained solution for
growing meal worms in your own kitchen. Hi! Nice to meet you!
Nice to meet you! So this is the hive !?
Yeah, this is the hive. It starts with the beetles in the top. It’s where they have fun,
they hang out, they lay their eggs. The eggs are than hatched into baby meal worms, and out of these baby meal worms,
the big meal worms develop, so that’s already close to the end size. You feed each tray,
so in each tray is one week of development, which means in the first one there’s
week one of meal worms, week 2 , week 3, and so on. So you feed each tray, you’ve also feed the beetles. Once they are mature enough,
than they go into the harvest area. So you activate the harvest area. It looks like this At this moment of time the meal worms already
matured partially into the pupae. Looks like this. It’s kind of the cocoon. This you put back into the top to restart the life cycle, and the rest of them, all go through to the second stage, and only the good ones will crawl across a ramp, and fall into the harvest area. When you harvest it looks like this. So how long will it take to basically
fill this with meal worms? Like we see here. The life cycle is about seven weeks. Once you have the cycle full going,
you can harvest every week, continuously. For being a hard work company we found that infra-structuring “?” is just ideal for us to do prototyping very fast. Here, you order something,
and than the next day it arrives at your office. So prototyping and testing
ideas quickly is very easy here. I was looking into industrial scale meat production, production of animal protein. This led me to all different kinds of things. I looked into micro algae, into lab grown meat, I looked into all different kind of processes, and insects were just one of it. So it was just interesting to work as a food source, and it made the most sense
from the sustainability stand point. Where do you see insect eating going, say… 30 or 50 years from now? It is a future food in some ways,
but it’s also a food from the past. Here in China, in Africa, in South America, people eat them already. For the next 20, 30 years
I think is just going to become very normal. You know, insect protein powder, next to other protein powder, or next to the flour in a bakery, or area in a supermarket. And people will acknowledge it as such. Chaterina invited me to a meal worm brunch
she was hosting with some friends. It was interesting to taste how virtually indistinguishable the meal worms were from normal ingredients. OK, so this is cush-cush salad with
rosted meal worms, and Feta, and olives. OK, and these are white bean meal worms patties. Great! It’s really really good. It tastes like… Latka “?” I was “?” for a long time, when I lived in China, and we used to eat a lot of that,
like soy based meat, stuff like that. and it’s really… not particularly healthy in the digest col. – So, you’re one of the engineers for the “Living Hive” project?
– Yes. Was it engineering, plus insect interest,
that you had before, or primarily engineering? My background is aerospace engineering, and I’m really interested in… going to Mars, and all of these things. One of the things that really strike me is that, a lot of proteins and nutrients in a very small package. When you’re launching into space, that is something that you have to really consider, right? That’s something that really made me
very interested about that project. A big percentage of our customers are man. I’m not sure exactly why.
Maybe they’re just more interested in new technology. I’m not sure. We said, OK, we have to design for…
for their… for whoever they live with, really, that they are fine with it. Whoever is like:
You’re not raising bugs in my apartment! Yeah. Living in densely packed cities it’s clear that having a smaller footprint can lead to a more sustainable future. Right now, insect eating in China and around the world, has yet to be accepted on a completely wide spread level. It feels like it’s still in a faze to being a food trend, like wheatgrass, quinoa or goji berries. But there is a pretty clear irony that the
people who are eating insects in China, are either from the poorest side of society, or those who have
the financial means to enjoy it as a novelty.

100 Replies to “Inside China’s Edible Insect Industry (Part 2)

  1. VICE China harvests — and eats — what many consider to be some of the world's most disgusting pests.

    Have you seen Part 1 yet? Watch it here:

  2. I think josh is very rude. I like watching videos like these, but i can not get into this because he is just such a tool!

  3. When a moth visits my home ..,i saves it from the lizard and gives them treats like mangoes or apples..and later leaves them outside ……bt if i see a cockroach in my home ..i will lock the room and put my cat inside that room..let thm have fun.😁.i hate cockroaches

  4. 14:57 – ''It just tastes like the smell of cockroach''

    How stupid is this guy? You can't taste smell.

  5. 11:20 A lil cockroach in the left side :
    " see ya nibbas I'm outta tha shit, I ain't down for you cooking my ass" 😂😂😂

  6. This reporter is so annoying i think i would rather slowly kill myself with a broken rusty spoon gouging at my eyes than spend a night at a bar having a discussion with him. Which by the way seems to be a recurring theme that i've noticed with Vice. They have this weird, almost sick propensity to send the most stale, boring and uncharismatic people at these interesting journalistic endeavours. I mean fuck me, could this guy atleast pretend to be interested in the subject and give the vibe that he wants to be there, but no instead he gives the appearance off a depressed five year old toddler that already discovered the crude and fundamental truth of reality which is suffering, Fuck me indeed.

  7. I HONESTLY think vice picks which reporter can cause the most hate (by picking obnoxious hipstery totally out of place types) by contrast so that the viewers side with the subjects of the documentaries.

  8. Yeahh uhh no thanks im fine with just interviewing no tastings for me .. 🙅🏽‍♀️🙅🏽‍♀️🙅🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️

  9. While living in china I ate silk worms, still 4 years later the worst tasting food with the worst texture I have ever eaten.

  10. The meal worm chick is so gorgeous. Like why isn't there a ring on that? Those green eyes and that accent! Gahhhb

  11. Vice should have gotten Trevor James / Food Ranger to report on this. He would have been way more respectful, enthusiastic and his mandarin is 100% better. This reporter is annoying, rude, ignorant.

  12. He shouldn't praise them in Mandarin and criticise to the viewers while standing beside them, in their home in English. ( Good Mandarin btw )

  13. Host should be a little more appreciative. They are wasting their time and money to feed him and instead it gets insulted. Smh

  14. i dont know why people are so disgusted by cockroaches. i have seen cockroaches only a few times in my life while gathering plants for my pets. its a tiny bug like any other to me

  15. Aside from the shitty reporting and erroneous "facts" (i.e. 10 Yuan equaling $150 instead of $1.50), how does 55 worms equal $50 in value if they are worth $1.50 each?

  16. Yep most likey not someone who is going to eat that, as tolerant as i may be to gross stuff both in taste and look. I would want to try it in Crispy format and Deep Fried but not as a Soup. On a pizza would be a Maybe but i'll take Fish and Shrimp over it any time.

  17. mandarine speaking slenderman, says that eating cockroaches are like eating garbage right infront of buissiness owner. what a selfrightious prick. must been nice eating your fancy food from your Ivory tower up in New york City.

  18. Everyone is talking about how it's better to have a reporter that speaks the language of the natives, who caressss??
    As long as you get a good report, then it's good anyway.

  19. I love the Chinese people, they leave no rock unturned. Always pushing the boundaries on foods and philosophy. When you gotta feed 1.x billion people, u think about how to stay nourished and alive, and have energy to perform manual work. One thing for sure these people outside the big cities in China look fit and healthy.

  20. I would be to too scared to eat 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  21. Speaking Mandarin- a big plus… However- the complete lack of willingness to try other cultures cuisine was embarassing for me as a fellow American. I mean this reporter did sign up to report on people eating insects, he had to have some inkling that he'd be munching on some bug butts and thorax and what not.. Otherwise I found it interesting and informative

  22. Population is rising, farmers, farming land and forests are decreasing day by day. So only way to sustain is to culture insects or planetery real estate . Future is here. Decrease population or die like a worm. Iur planet is dying minute to minute, so government's need to do something else instead of developement. We had the technology to develop electric vehicles from 1832 to 1835, we didn't develop and governments and politicians never approved because of fossil fuel maffia companies. Fossil fuel companies are distroying our world, we have the sun which is the best energy source on the entire planet. Matals quantity are decreasing, planet is dying by pollution and other wastes people are begin to starve due to overpopulation, price of everything is increasing because of low production.

  23. 在上集里我正想说 知了和蚂蚱是我们江苏徐州那一带的传统美食。没想到第二集就真的去江苏了。vice 威武!

  24. I feel like the reporter is kinda rude when he only says good things in Chinese.. but talks shit in English. Maybe I am too sensitive, maybe I am not..

  25. The proper plural of fungus is FUNGI not freaking funguses. Master in mandarin but shite in english…i guess that's the future!

  26. Why would you have such an ignorant reporter covering some controversial shit like this? This guy straight up diss the locals in their own house. Pretty terrible reporting

  27. MY DOGS don't even eat insects. WHY?! Because it's disgusting and UNHEALTHY…. whoever is pushing this agenda does NOT HAVE your best interests in mind!

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