by Graham Pierrepoint
‘Superfoods’ have come and gone across the years – these are dietary choices which are thought to contain incredible amounts of nutrition per serving – and while some of the choices made by leading nutritionists have been more than a little surprising to say the least (British staple black pudding, or blood sausage, was an odd contender), recent study into a certain animal’s milk may suggest that the weirdest superfood to go viral could well be on the horizon. Don’t go killing your cockroaches if you have any – as you may – believe it or not – want to milk them. If you have a strong stomach, keep reading!
The milk – or post-natal fluid, to put it better – has been analysed by the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, based in India – and it’s been found that there are immense nutritional benefits to its consumption, specifically from the genus Diploptera punctata, or Pacific Beetle Cockroach. The milk is deposited in crystals – meaning that it’s not your average moo juice – but according to studies, one crystal alone is thought to contain over triple the energy that a similar amount of average dairy milk would provide – pushing it into superfood status. However, there are ethical decisions which need to be made – as cockroaches die when the fluid is removed.
▶ Cockroach milk is the gross new superfood you didn't know existed
“The crystals are like a complete food,” researcher Sanchari Banerjee advises. “If you look into the protein sequences, they have all the essential amino acids.” It’s fascinating to learn that cockroaches have access to such incredible nutrition from such an early age – could this be in part to explain their seemingly indestructible nature? There are already certain companies and outlets selling insect-based ice cream – as a dairy alternative – meaning that a future where cockroach crystals are added into existing cuisine may not be too far away.
However, nutrients have continued to advise that a balanced diet is far more recommendable than increased consumption of so-called superfoods – such food is seen by some to be a miracle cure – one which cannot be safely depended upon for healthy, balanced nutrition. It’s not the first time that a diet of insects has been seized upon as one which could be nutritionally beneficial to humans, however – though we’re sure plenty of you out there would much prefer to go on drinking cow’s milk than to swallow some bug crystals!
▶ Cockroach milk may be a new food trend