The next time you see an offensive pest scurrying across your kitchen floor at night, you may think twice about thwacking it to death and disposing the crunchy, lifeless shell after hearing about benefiting from its nutritious milk.
It's disturbing, but allegedly true.
Cockroaches have been deemed as a "superfood" and is becoming a fascinating subject among health nuts.
With over 4.600 species, the Pacific Beetle cockroach is the only one known to lactate and is rich in nutritious milk crystals suitable for drinking. The crystalline solution is used to feed cockroach infants, but a new study shows that humans can benefit from it as well.
Roach milk smoothie, anyone?
I really don't understand how anyone who has battled cockroach infestations would ever look at them and go, "You kn… https://t.co/cGHQOdpg5w— Miranda Yaver (@Miranda Yaver) 1527048474.0
@ajplus I mean the potential is insane though right?— Tauhid Mahmud (@Tauhid Mahmud) 1469753160.0
@ajplus If they behave and consume like our ubiquitous city roaches then this can be an incredibly efficient/low carbon foot print way— Tauhid Mahmud (@Tauhid Mahmud) 1469753196.0
According to researchers in Japan, India, France, Canada, and the U.S., this roach milk has essential amino acids and may contain three times more energy than in an average serving of milk.
But scientists are quick to reassure foodies that roach milk isn't ready to take over the world just yet. For one, marketing it to consumers would be a tough sell. In addition, producing roach milk for the masses is a time consuming process.
@Asher_Wolf ....how does one milk a cockroach, exactly? It’s not like it’s got mammary glands....— Dr Mel Thomson (@Dr Mel Thomson) 1527052521.0
Leonard Chavas, who co-authored a viral study published in the Journal of the International Union of Crystallography told Inverse that one person harvesting the milk – which has crystal-like consistency rather than liquid – from two or three roach's midsections via a scalpel, can take as long as half a day.
The timing is essential for harvesting the milk. Scientists would have to extract the nutrient-rich elixir when a roach reaches 40-days of age – the period when it starts to lactate for its offspring.
@DrMel_T @Asher_Wolf the cockroaches make little nutritionally dense protein crystals and feed them to their young. :3— wereoctopus (@wereoctopus) 1527054650.0
Cockroach milk crystals have more than 3x the energy of dairy milk. Seriously. https://t.co/eTfRwKROsA— AJ+ (@AJ+) 1469752904.0
@wereoctopus @DrMel_T @Asher_Wolf They "make" it which means it's internal. So they must excrete it. So which hole… https://t.co/RFubTMoZGS— Mycroft (@Mycroft) 1527110208.0
@autonomike @wereoctopus @Asher_Wolf Milk is secreted by specific glandular structures, found in mammals (and monot… https://t.co/DBy0K5LRH4— Dr Mel Thomson (@Dr Mel Thomson) 1527110379.0
So how is roach milk exactly a superfood? Chavas claims that roach milk is four times more dense in energy than cow's milk. Inverse further detailed the well of nutrients that would benefit people.
The milk itself comprises three types of very similar proteins. It contains all the essential amino acids required for proper cell growth. It also contains lipids we need to keep healthy, but which are not naturally well-produced by our own bodies. And the milk is highly glycosylated — the surfaces of its proteins are coated with sugar. All this comes together to mean that the energy profile of cockroach milk effectively kicks the butt of every other conceivable type of milk.
How game are you to quench your thirst with roach milk for the sake of a healthy diet?
@lauraleefulmer @marieclaire No chance in hell people are going gaga for roach milk.— Matt Meyerson (@Matt Meyerson) 1527051237.0
@MattRPRT @marieclaire Neh-Ver!— Laura Lee Fulmer (@Laura Lee Fulmer) 1527051290.0
Observe the statistics:
yep, I'm ready to drink cockroach milk https://t.co/9TC9ODwypD— David Epstein (@David Epstein) 1527092749.0
@BlkLightDisco haha...ok, we can do without basement-farm-to-table on this one— David Epstein (@David Epstein) 1527099881.0
@DavidEpstein Awww they're calling it Lili-mip? Don't give it a cute name! https://t.co/AijELONFqx— Ahvonne (@Ahvonne) 1527100117.0
So are there any side effects?
Cockroach milk = Crystalline protein secretions for larvae. “there is evidence that shows that GH [in roaches] ma… https://t.co/TVUdOyPTD0— Dustin Moore, MS, RD (@Dustin Moore, MS, RD) 1527057882.0
@theamericanrd side effect: larvae may hatch inside your body.— Jason (@Jason) 1527105955.0
There is only ONE segment of the population who sees this as a health obsession. Only one. https://t.co/OPzaqTQ1qe— James Fluid-Bond (@James Fluid-Bond) 1527076673.0