Cockroaches have long been known as one of the most notorious pests in the world, invading homes and business in every continent. They are an ancient pest that has been on earth for over 320 million years and have adapted to survive in most conditions with the ability to eat a large variety of foods. Anyone who has tried their hand at cockroach extermination knows very well how persistent these creatures are. Cockroaches are attracted to residential and commercial properties usually due to the easy access to food. Once they find their way in, they can easily contaminate open food packages and surfaces such as dishes or kitchen counters with their feces and urine. This contamination can be dangerous for humans as it can lead to some quite severe illnesses if accidentally consumed.
But what if cockroaches could actually provide some sort of value to humans? Although this sounds like a crazy thought, one specific cockroach species is now under research for the milk like substance that they produce, which may in fact be a highly beneficial superfood for humans.
Since when do cockroaches produce milk?
There are over 4,600 known cockroach species on the planet, most of which lay eggs and do not produce any type of milk like substances for their young. The Pacific Beetle Cockroach, however, is different than most. Pacific Beetle Cockroaches, as opposed to the majority of cockroach species, give birth to live cockroaches. In order for their young to grow into strong roaches at incredibly fast rates, they produce a liquid substance that contains tiny crystals rich in proteins, fats and sugars essential for growth. This substance has been termed “cockroach milk”.
Can cockroach milk really be a superfood?
Research on the milk like substance produced by the Pacific Beetle Cockroach is still in its early stages, but so far the findings have been very promising. Some of the first studies on this substance have shown cockroach milk to have three times more energy than buffalo milk, which has long been considered the top contender for producing milk with caloric rich proteins in it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsRfXi6DfLc This energy rich cockroach milk also has 4 times the nutritional value of cow’s milk and is packed full of amino acids. As disturbing as it sounds, cockroach milk can actually be a valuable superfood of the future.
So, would you give it a try?
At the moment cockroach milk is still being investigated for its potential to be a highly valuable energy rich food source. Although early studies do look promising, there still hasn’t been a way to humanely remove this milk from cockroaches and no studies have been completed on the potential toxicity this substance may have on the human body. If it does turn out to be easily accessible and safe for human consumption, this energy rich superfood may provide more than just nutritional value to us. It can also help curb greenhouse gas emissions by reducing our dependence on cows, which have been documented as being one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases on the planet. At the moment there has only been one documented case of someone actually trying cockroach milk and it was the result of losing a drinking game at a party. Without the influence of alcohol, would you try milk extracted from a cockroach if you were told it can be highly beneficial?