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Cockroach Milk Tastes Like Cow's Milk And Packs More Nutrients: Meet The Next Superfood Trend

May 29, 2018 01:34 AM EDT
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A new fad among superfoods enthusiasts: cockroach milk. Researchers say that not only it is perfectly safe, but it's incredibly healthy too.

Much like cockroaches themselves, cockroach milk just won't go away. Two years since a landmark study hailed cockroach milk for its nutritional value, the bizarre superfood choice is back in the spotlight.

Introducing Cockroach Milk

The 2016 study published in the Journal of the International Union of Crystallography reveals that the Pacific beetle cockroach found in Hawaii possesses milk-like protein-packed crystals that are used to feed the developing embryos. These crystals are able to provide complete nutrients for the young, with a single crystal estimated to have over three times the energy that an equivalent amount of dairy milk has.

"The crystals are like a complete food — they have proteins, fats and sugars," Sanchari Banerjee, one of the study's researchers, explains to the Times of India back in 2016, according to TIME. "If you look into the protein sequences, they have all the essential amino acids."

Plus, NPR reveals that it tastes "like pretty much nothing."

Difficult To Produce

In this age of increasingly out-of-the-box superfood crazes, it's not that far-fetched to believe that cockroach milk will eventually be accepted as a supermarket staple.

It might take a while, though. For those who jump on the wagon, trying to maintain a regular fix of cockroach milk may be challenging even when it reaches the market.

Cockroaches are reportedly difficult to milk, a process that involves killing the insect, according to Inverse. The size of a cockroach also means that each one contains just a miniscule amount, with just 100 grams of milk produced from killing over 1,000 cockroaches.

Lead study author Subramanian Ramaswamy and her team are considering genetically engineering yeast instead, which will produce the same type of milk.

For now, it appears as if people will still stick to regular cow's milk.

Insect Choices

Cockroach may not be an instant favorite, but a number of companies are already offering insect-centric food choices for those who are interested in trying something new.

Gourmet Grub offers insect milk or Entomilk, which the website says is made from sustainably farmed insects. Benefits of this particular milk include a high protein content as well as minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium.

The UK-based Crunchy Critters is an online shop offering a wide range of products from crickets to locusts to canned zebra tarantulas.

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