If regular cow’s milk, goats milk or even camel milk isn’t cutting it for you these days, scientists now claim cockroach milk could be the next superfood trend to take over the world.
While most people associate the critters with germs and filth, scientists claim a specific species of the insects are actually full of an energy-rich substance that is very similar to milk. You’re probably asking yourself how someone even milks a cockroach, but it turns out the miracle substance isn’t sourced from the bugs lurking around your home or through your garbage.
According to a 2016 report published in the Journal of the International Union of Crystallography, a specific type of cockroach called the Pacific beetle cockroach – which are found in Australia and other pacific islands like Hawaii – contains crystals that contain three times the energy of regular milk.
Unlike other species of cockroaches, Diploprera punctate, as they’re also known, give birth to their young live. Similar to how human babies rely on their mother for milk, the crystals provide baby cockroaches with vital fats, sugars and proteins. Scientist found the crystals were full of amino acids and sugar-coated proteins, which are said to be extremely beneficial to humans.
Given cockroaches don’t have nipples or udders, it’s no easy task actually obtaining the crystals. According to a report on website Inverse, it’s particularly difficult to source the miracle crystals, taking around half a day to process the milk of two or three roaches. Scientists only have a few days to work with, as mother cockroaches only begin lactating for their young at around 40 days old. This process involves killing the cockroach to obtain the crystals.
At present, it takes around 100 cockroaches to produce just one pill containing the nutrients. This means 1,000 cockroaches would need to be killed for just 100 grams of the product.
Still, countries around the world are already jumping on board and even mixing the milk into other tasty treats. South African ice-cream company Gourmet Grub already uses the cockroach nutrients in ice-cream and a product known as Entomilk.
“One of the most pivotal benefits of Entomilk is that it has a high protein content and is rich in mineral such as iron, zinc, and calcium,” the website writes. “Think of Entomilk as a sustainable, nature-friendly, nutritious, lactose free, delicious, guilt-free dairy alternative of the future.”
While Millennials and others are already consuming the product, it’s important to note further testing needs to be complete to truly assess the health benefits to humans. There are fears that consumption could be toxic.