yep, I'm ready to drink cockroach milk pic.twitter.com/9TC9ODwypD— David Epstein (@DavidEpstein) May 23, 2018
Cockroaches are repulsive. We can all agree on that. But if scientists are right, "green food" enthusiasts will no longer see these little critters in a bad light.
Researchers from India’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine learned that the crystals cockroaches secrete to nourish their hatchlings are rich in a series of nutrients that could benefit human consumers, The Independent reported.
“The crystals are like a complete food — they have proteins, fats, and sugars,” researcher Sanchari Banerjee said. “If you look into the protein sequences, they have all the essential amino acids.”
Critters investigated by the scientists belong to the Pacific beetle cockroaches, also known as Diploptera punctata.
On Twitter, some users were not too happy about the idea of drinking cockroach milk. Even Dictionary.com had something to say.
Blech is an interjection. It means "an exclamation of disgust, revulsion, etc."— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) May 23, 2018
There are many uses, including in response to an offer of cockroach milk. https://t.co/qipaCHiqqh https://t.co/9eMs6NUfa1
???????? I don't care it it cures disease IM NOT MESSING WITH ROACHES https://t.co/4pD2CMPJ1M— Aka The JetJaguar 64 (@Jetjaguar67) May 23, 2018
Cockroach milk = Crystalline protein secretions for larvae.— Dustin Moore, MS, RD (@theamericanrd) May 23, 2018
“there is evidence that shows that GH [in roaches] may exacerbate acne in certain individuals" - Dr. Nazarian
Trust me, Doc. The acne will be the furthest thing from anyone’s mind...#RDchat #disgusting #health https://t.co/PQBuqeVWG4
My first thought when reading this article was: “Enough’s enough, Gwyneth Paltrow.”— hil.i.am (@hilaryluros) May 23, 2018
cockroach milk is the new wave? pic.twitter.com/UM4OIeBqgF— Mr. Barcelona (@col1015) May 23, 2018
I really don't understand how anyone who has battled cockroach infestations would ever look at them and go, "You know what would really kick this situation up a notch? Using them for my milk." https://t.co/TUcnsf8sOX— Miranda Yaver (@mirandayaver) May 23, 2018
Others seemed to be ready for it.
Cockroach milk is how we're gonna survive the post-nuclear apocalypse— JAM (@ninjyte) May 23, 2018
The study, which was published in the Journal of the International Union of Crystallography, found that cockroach “milk” has high levels of iron, zinc, calcium, and protein. And this discovery prompted some experts to suggest insects could soon become an important source of nutrients for humans.
“In the latest studies it appears that cockroach milk is four times more nutritious than cow's milk: richer in amino acids, fats and other nutrients,” nutritionist Martina Della Vedova told The Independent. “On one hand insect farms can be easily greener and more sustainable than bovine farming, but on the other hand we don't know what the effect of this food on us in the long term is and if there is a daily maximum amount we should consider. More studies and investigation should be conducted.”
Others said this notion is a bit too unrealistic, adding there are plenty of other sources humans can get their nutrients from.
“Aside from the fact that there is currently very little research supporting these findings — and it is a very strange concept — there are far easier ways to ensure you get enough energy in your diet,” leading Harley Street Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert said. “... As long as you consume a variety of complex carbs, proteins, essential fats and fruits and vegetables, there is no need to resort to any kind of so called 'miracle' food or drink.”
Despite Lambert’s reminder, it’s easy to see cockroach milk suddenly becoming a thing once more research into this discovery is finalized. After all, there’s a vibrant market out there for “superfoods” that are also environmentally conscious, and consumers are usually ready to try anything if it means getting the health benefits they are after without harming the environment.
Harvesting cockroaches for milk might be an option.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters/Kimitsu Yogachi