Would you drink cockroach milk?
Dr Nick Fuller
Leading Obesity Expert at the University of Sydney and founder of Interval Weight Loss.
It’s the new ‘superfood’ that we are all talking about. But has the world gone mad?
Picture this...You’re on your way to work. You drop into the supermarket to pick up your daily supplies which includes dried insects to snack on and then pop into your local café for your morning coffee - “Could I have a latte with cockroach milk, please”.
Fortunately, we are unlikely to see this scenario any time soon – at least for the latter - but a clever marketing campaign sees cockroach milk back in the spotlight after a 2016 research paper reported on the isolation of milk crystals from the Pacific beetle cockroach - scientifically known as Diploptera punctate. And it’s not the same type that we see crawling around in our Australian homes. These type of cockroaches are predominantly found in Hawaii.
The Pacific beetle is the only cockroach that gives birth to live young instead of laying eggs. The milk crystals provide the necessary nutrition for the young to feed on and are now touted for their ‘superfood’ qualities that we are supposedly turning to.
Superfoods are marketed as those foods containing a high concentration of nutrients and often promise to have all sorts of miracle health benefits. But unfortunately cockroach milk is not one of them. Worryingly, the cockroach crystals may not even be safe for human consumption as we have no certainty of their toxicity.
There is no doubt that these cockroach milk crystals are high in protein and also a source of minerals like iron, calcium and zinc but they are also high in fat and very high in calories. In fact, cockroach milk has more than three times the energy of cow’s milk. So it would be a sure addition to our waistlines if we were to start including it in our morning latte every day.
Even if you could bear the thought of cockroach milk make sure you leave it on the shelves and stick to the morning coffee with anything but insect milk!