Every year there is a new “superfood” that becomes all the rage. Kale, chia seeds, almonds and even wheatgrass have been superfoods that were once very popular. But a new superfood has stepped into the spotlight, and it is possibly the most unusual superfood yet: cockroach milk.
In 2016, an article on sciencealert.com said that a team of international scientists sequenced a protein crystal that is located in the midgut of cockroaches. Although it was sequenced two years ago, it has become popular just recently.
But what makes this a superfood? It has to do with the fact that it is four times as nutritious as cow’s milk, and many researchers think this could be a solution to feeding a “growing population in the future.”
Most cockroaches do not actually produce milk, but the “female Pacific beetle cockroach is one of a kind,” said an article on npr.org. It is the only cockroach that gives birth to live young. After birthing her young, she feeds them “a pale, yellow liquid ‘milk’ from her brood sack.”
It does appear to be nutritious, but, according to Subramanian Ramaswamy, a biochemist at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in Bangalore, India, there is no evidence yet that the cockroach milk is safe for human consumption. Because of this, it might be some time before we see cockroach milk sold at local food markets.
Senior Stephanie Wang, said, “I think there’s a lot of things in the health world that I don’t understand. If you want to eat that, all the more to you, but I [won’t eat it].”
The other problem with using this comodity is that it is hard to milk a cockroach considering their size. But according to sciencealert.com, an international team of scientists took it upon themselves to “sequence the genes responsible for producing the milk protein crystals to see if they could somehow replicate them in the lab.”