Milking it - It might be the most disgusting super food yet: cockroach ‘milk’
Everyone is always looking out for the next hero food, a super-nutrition powerhouse that will make living healthily that little bit more easy. We’ve had kale, coconut oil, seaweed, acai berries - some very tasty in their own right, some more like a cruel punishment to be buried deep in a smoothie.
Now an international group of scientists think they might found another super food and it’s a contender for the strangest, and possibly the most vile, yet! It’s cockroach ‘milk’ and researchers have discovered it has such nutritional value it might become a food supplement for humans in the future.
Most cockroaches lay eggs but the Pacific beetle cockroach gives birth to live young and this type of beetle also produces food for its offspring. Not strictly ’milk’ it’s a liquid substance that contains protein, fats and sugars which are all essential for growth. The ‘milk’ crystalises in the guts of the young roaches (delightful) and has proven to be one of the most nutritious substances on earth.
These crystals contain essential amino acids and other nutrients, which are released gradually – in other words, it’s a time released, nutritionally balanced foodstuff. In fact cockroach milk crystals are more than four times as nutritious as cows’ milk and could eventually become a protein supplement for us humans. Researchers believe it will be particularly beneficial to help counter the global food shortage or to help those who struggle to put on weight, due to the high protein content.
As it would be probably quite difficult to milk a cockroach the scientists, led by researchers from the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in India, have sequenced the genes responsible for producing the milk protein crystals. Now they know what’s involved, the researchers hope they will be able to reproduce it synthetically in a lab… which would be a lot more easy to stomach!
Written by Best Ever Me Writer, Brenda McCormick