The Next Superfood? Cockroach Milk, Naturally

We should have seen this coming. Nutrition scientists are declaring that cockroach milk will be the next hot new superfood. According to Sanchari Banerjee, Pacific beetle cockroaches produce milk crystals that possess an impressive nutritional profile:

The crystals are like a complete food – they have proteins, fats and sugars. If you look into the protein sequences, they have all the essential amino acids.

Banerjee is lead author of a newly published analysis of this potential superfood.

Cow’s milk has its detractors. Mark Bittman famously wrote in the New York Times that “you don’t need it” and that his health has been better than ever since he eliminated milk from his diet. He went on to describe how millions of dairy cows “live tortured, miserable lives while making a significant contribution to greenhouse gases.”

Almond milk has its problems, too. In Mother Jones, Tom Philpott says it’s time to “lay off the almond milk, you ignorant hipsters.” He says that caution is justified because “your almond habit is sucking California dry.” What a killjoy.

On top of that, our growing soy milk habit may be part of a bigger problem with soy that is helping to destroy rainforests in the Amazon. Bummer.

Urban legend has it that cockroaches might inherit the earth after humans do their worst to destroy the environment. Maybe that urban legend will morph into a more hopeful one that has cockroaches saving us from ourselves.

This may take a while. Cockroaches can’t be milked. So the process to produce cockroach milk in sufficient quantities will require significant ingenuity and development work before it’s ready for prime time.

Stay tuned.

Click here for the scientific analysis of cockroach milk and here for more from the Washington Post.

Cockroach, photograph © Mike Keeling / flickr

Subscribe by email to follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health, obesity, and policy.


July 30, 2016