Quick, Everybody Convince the Lifestyle Bloggers to Drink Cockroach Milk

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For reasons that are still above my pay grade to figure out, humans are hell-bent on finding an alternative to cows’ milk. Why we wish to slurp down a creamy, white beverage at all when there is both water and beer to purchase at even the nearest bodegas, is a mystery of our lifetime.

But let’s say you are one of those people who is certainly not interested in the milk from a cow, and almond milk never really caught your fancy. Soy milk is too sweet and well, the more obscure variants like pea milk, goat milk, or camel milk aren’t readily available to you, the consumer. Have you, then, considered cockroach milk? Hm?

“One cannot milk a cockroach,” you are thinking, which is true. But one can garner nutrients from their little midguts, and those nutrients could potentially be fueling our milk-free future. “Although most cockroaches don’t actually produce milk,” Science Alert tells us of a new study published in IUCrJ, the journal of the International Union of Crystallography, “Diploptera punctate, which is the only known cockroach to give birth to live young, has been shown to pump out a type of ‘milk’ containing protein crystals to feed its babies.”

One protein crystal from the belly of this type of cockroach contains three times more energy than an equivalent amount of buffalo milk and could be useful in feeding the world’s unsustainably large population well into the future. The proteins are dense in calories, sugars, and fats, so it’s just like the real thing. “Now [that] the researchers have the sequence,” Science Alert writes, “they are hoping to get yeast to produce the crystal in much larger quantities - making it slightly more efficient (and less gross) than extracting crystals from cockroachs’ guts.” Lucky for any New Yorkers out there reading this, it’s never been a better time to start a milk lab right in the comfort of your own apartment.