Eating bugs has become a thing lately. Ants and grasshoppers are served up at fancy-pants restaurants; crickets are ground up and made into energy bars. The latest gag-worthy insect edible: cockroach milk.
Here are the deets: Most roaches lay eggs, but one species (the Pacific beetle cockroach, if you’re keeping notes) gives birth to live young, which it feeds with a milky substance made from protein crystals in its gut.
Recently, an international team of researchers discovered that this substance is hella nutritious. As in, it contains tons of good-for-you protein, essential amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids.
Researcher Subramanian Ramaswamy, a biochemist at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in India, told The Washington Post that he could see the beetle juice being used in protein shakes, among other, um, delicacies. (Before you hurl, he also said that, to be mass-produced, roach milk would likely need to be grown in a lab, from yeast. No tiny bugs hooked up to milking machines.) And before that can happen, researchers still need to figure out if the milk crystals are toxic to humans.
In the meantime, we’re gonna have to give this one a hard pass.