As if there weren’t enough superfoods we didn’t want to eat (we’re looking at you, kale), there’s another one you’ll want to add to your list. But as opposed to the general distaste you might feel for leafy greens, this one is downright gagworthy. OK, let’s just lay it out there — it’s cockroach milk, and we are so sorry.
According to research from the journal IUCrJ (a peer-reviewed journal from the International Union of Crystallography), milk from a species of lactating cockroaches might be the hottest new food since quinoa. This lactating cockroach is also known as the Pacific beetle cockroach and it has live, horrible cockroach babies instead of laying eggs. Like any good mother, the cockroach feeds its babies a form of milk that crystalizes within their horrible little cockroach stomachs. Just one crystal, according to a team of international scientists and the National Institutes of Health, has more than three times the energy of buffalo milk.
This “milk” is also apparently very nutritious and contains all of the essential amino acids, plus carbs and fats. It is also important to take note of the milk’s so-called “release mechanism,” which enables the milk crystal to release protein at the same rate your body consumes it. Yes, it’s time-release milk. This combination of health factors could make it an ideal post-workout supplement.
If all this sounds not only exciting but delicious (who are you?), then, by all means, you can have our serving. But don’t get your hopes up yet — cockroach milk is far from being safe for human consumption. Significant research is necessary to see if roach milk is toxic to humans, and if it’s ever produced, it probably won’t even come from cockroaches. The substance would probably come from the bioengineered yeast, researcher Subramanian Ramaswamy told The Washington Post.
“I don’t think anyone is going to like it if you tell them, ‘We extracted crystals from a cockroach and that is going to be food,’” Ramaswamy — who is a biochemist at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in Bangalore, India — told the publication in 2016. Further examination of the crystals will also tell if the roach crystals are toxic to humans.
No matter where it’s from, a roach or a laboratory, I think I can say pretty firmly that I will not be dunking my Oreos in it. Superfood or not — would you give cockroach milk at try if it became a thing? In my opinion, it surely makes eating broccoli or Brussels sprouts akin to enjoying a slice of chocolate cake.