Got Roach Milk?


It may be gross to think about, but a group of scientists believe that cockroach milk could be the next big superfood, and could be important to feeding our rapidly growing population.

Roach milk is not the same as the cow’s or goat’s milk we eat and drink today. In fact, it is a protein crystal produced by the only species of cockroaches known to have live babies: Diploptera punctate. These protein crystals form a milk-like substance that mama roach uses to nourish her babies. Each one of these crystals is three times more nutritious than the equivalent amount of regular cow’s milk, and contains all the essential fatty acids, as well as protein, fat, and sugar. Of course, it is not easy (or appealing) to extract the crystals from the cockroach’s gut, so scientists are looking for a way to grow them in a lab in much larger quantities than is readily available in nature.

Although roach milk may never become part of your normal diet, it could act as an excellent protein supplement for people experiencing food shortages and nutritional deficiencies. I will be keeping a look out just in case this “milk” shows up at my local grocery store!

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