You may have heard about cockroach milk recently, as it has gotten some attention in the news, including an article in the Washington Post. The idea might sound disgusting, but could it be the next big thing? Cockroach milk is the food produced by certain female roaches for their young that are still in the brood sac. According to researchers, this milk is some of the “most nutritious and highly caloric substances on the planet.” That being said, we are still a long way from being able to actually reap the benefits of cockroach milk, even if you could get past the source. Let’s take a closer look.
Where does cockroach milk come from?
Cockroach milk is unique to the Pacific beetle cockroach because it gives birth to live young instead of laying eggs like other roaches. While the embryos are developing, they will drink this liquid that has lots of proteins with amino acids, fats, and sugars. The proteins will harden into crystals in the guts of the embryos. These concentrated nutrients help the baby roaches to grow very fast.
Pacific Beetle Roaches by Scot Nelson on Flickr
What are the potential benefits of cockroach milk?
Some scientists say that cockroach milk may be the next great superfood because it has more calories and nutrients than dairy milk and three times as much protein as buffalo milk, which is the current leader for a protein source with the most calories. In short, cockroach milk is a complete food and could be beneficial.
What are the problems with cockroach milk?
While it may be a potential superfood, there are many, many obstacles to making it a reality. “Milking” cockroaches is a time intensive process that yields very minimal results. You get the “milk” by cutting the roach open and removing the crystals. This process takes hours, so it would be impossible to milk roaches at a scale large enough. Instead, scientists are seeing if they can grow it as a bioengineered yeast. Even if they could figure out how to manufacture it at sufficient levels, it is unlikely that the cockroach brand would catch on and be marketable.
For the vast majority of us, cockroaches do not represent the future superfood. Instead, we just want them out of our homes! Cockroaches spread disease, contaminate food, may cause allergies and asthma, and are major nuisances. Get rid of roaches today with some great Harris pest control products. Save money by ditching the professionals and taking care of your own pest control. You will get great results at a fraction of the cost.