If you tend to steer clear of dairy products, or are always up to try the latest trend, the next big superfood, Cockroach milk, sounds like it’s for you.
If you’ve just read that last sentence and thought “you’ve got to be kidding”, we’ve got some bad news for you: unfortunately, it isn’t just a clever name for a product – milk from cockroaches is a thing.
Cockroaches – yes, those repulsive insects you find lurking around your garbage that reportedly can survive a nuclear explosion, could be the source of the next superfood.
Cockroach milk isn’t exactly a new idea. It first came about after a study in 2016 explored the nutritious value of milk from the bug. Even though cockroaches aren’t mammals, they give birth instead of laying eggs, and feed their young with a liquid similar to human milk
So what actually is Cockroach milk?
Though it may sound like an email hoax, cockroach milk is a real thing. Although, it is not ‘milk’ as we know it to be. Cockroach milk is made up of crystals that are packed with fats, sugars and protein and given the name ‘milk’ due to their liquid substance, and as they are produced by the mother for her offspring.
A study from 2016, conducted by India’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine established that the crystals contain a high nutrient profile which could be valuable for humans.
When will you be able to try it?
Even though cockroach milk is more environmentally-friendly than any other milk alternative, you won’t be able to try this product any time soon. Firstly, in order to make only 100ml of milk, 1000 cockroaches would have to be milked. Obviously, that’s a huge number of roaches, but in order to be milked, the bugs must first be dead.
The milking process for the insect requires farmers to cut open pregnant cockroaches, take apart an embryo, and extract the liquid. The milking process for these cockroaches is difficult and intensive, with scientists still needing a way to make it easier to harvest and market. On top of this, the study shows that above all else, it remains unclear whether the substance is actually safe for human consumption.
Even though seeing cockroach milk for sale would be quite the experience, we think it is safe to say that if we were given the option of a crystal-liquid substance that is extracted from a dead bug that cannot be proven to be good for us over literally anything else… we would have to decline.
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