Cockroach milk is being hailed as the next superfood, and objectors to alternative milks being called “milk” will have to stay quiet – this is, technically, a lactate.
While most cockroaches don’t lactate like mammals, there’s one species that does something similar. The Pacific beetle cockroach pumps out protein-dense crystals for its young, which are full of an exceptional amount of nutrients.
Cockroach milk has three times the energy of buffalo milk, making it the highest-calorie milk available – and possibly the most nutritious. The milk is packed with amino acids, protein, fat, and sugar. It’s a slow-release, energy-dense food making it a fantastic protein supplement, or food for athletes. There’s no doubt it could blend seamlessly into a smoothie bowl.
It also doesn’t taste too bad. The lead researcher on cockroach milk development is Subramanian Ramaswamy, whose colleague drank the milk after losing a bet during a drinking game. Ramaswamy hasn’t tried it himself, but assures people “it doesn’t taste like anything special.”’
It’s unlikely to be available any time soon. Milking cockroaches is fiddly work, so the researchers have sequenced the genes behind the milk in order to reproduce it in a lab. Another method suggested is genetic engineering – putting the cockroach genes into yeast cultures that might produce the same fluid on a commercial scale.
Cockroach milk should not be confused with entomilk, a milk alternative made from ground insects.