You truly can make milk out of anything these days. Including, bafflingly, cockroaches. Or rather, the crystalline post-natal fluid secreted from cockroaches to feed their young. The substance was first cataloged in 2016, in a paper in the International Union of Crystallography Journal, titled “Structure of a heterogeneous, glycosylated, lipid-bound, in vivo-grown protein crystal at atomic resolution from the viviparous cockroach Diploptera punctata.”
Basically, what that means is: you can milk a cockroach. The study found that: “A single crystal [of cockroach milk] is estimated to contain more than three times the energy of an equivalent mass of dairy milk.”
Cockroach milk is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to Marie Claire, reports The Takeout, by declaring it a “new health obsession” just over a week ago. Their post was, of course, magnified by the magic of internet virality.
You might be wondering—and I wouldn’t blame you—just what the hell cockroach milk tastes like. The Guardian offers that it “is said to taste rather like cow’s milk,” which is, I suppose, the target that every alternative milk is aiming for. But as pointed out in the original study, it’s got a lot more going for it. Apparently, the crystals are, on their own, a complete food, ensconcing them in the mighty pantheon of “superfoods.”
“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,” researcher Sanchari Banerjee told The Times of India.
Gourmet Grubb, an insect-based food company out of South Africa, has wasted no time finding a palatable form for the superfood. They’re marketing Gourmet Grubb ice cream in several flavors, including Peanut Butter, Chocolate, and Chai. The ice cream is made from their “Entomilk” product which is, according to SDE, made from cockroach milk.
Gourmet Grubb touts it as being the “sustainable, nature-friendly, nutritious, lactose-free, delicious, guilt-free dairy alternative of the future.” If cockroach milk is truly the future, I’m fine with that. I just want my damn jetpack already!