Cockroach milk may soon become the next thing when it comes to superfoods. Researchers found that crystallized milk from the Pacific beetle cockroach is unsavory but extremely nutrient-dense.
People who tested the milk said that it doesn’t taste like anything special. But the sole thought that it came from a bug may make many health-concerned amateurs back away in repulsion.
Insect experts explained that the said cockroach, unlike its peers, gives birth to live offspring. So, the mother beetle cockroach has to feed its young with a liquid substance containing high levels of protein, sugars, and fats just like the milk we know.
A research team, on the other hand, found that the bug milk does not have a liquid form. Biologist Barbara Stay said that she found cockroach embryos packed with milk crystals instead of liquid milk.
Laboratory tests showed that the so-called “milk” is more caloric and nutritious than most foods on our plates. Every pound of bug milk is packed with thrice as many energy-giving nutrients as buffalo milk.
Researchers concluded that the insect milk is a “complete food.” They explained that embryos are fed with liquid milk but the substance turns into crystals in the tiny insects’ guts. The milk helps offspring reach adulthood at a dazzling pace.
The findings may mean that we have just found a viable alternative to cow or almond milk. Cows have been criticized for fueling the greenhouse gas effects with their farts, while almond milk is under scrutinize because it requires a lot a water to produce.
Scientists believe that people could get accustomed with the bug milk if they inserted the crystals in shakes and smoothies.
Yet, one major obstacle in the way of a cockroach milk-friendly world is the fact that the cockroaches cannot be milked. Another obstacle is natural repulsion to bugs.
For the first issue, scientists plan to use bio-engineered yeast to produce more bug milk. But for the second issue, researchers believe that it is better not to tell people where the protein-packed product came from.
For now, however, the crystals need to be further tested to see whether they are safe to be consumed by humans. The team is confident that if the milk proves to be safe for drinking, there would be some brave souls willing to taste it.
Image Source: Wikimedia