There are a lot of milk alternatives on the market. Oat, soy, and almond milk are pretty commonplace now, but what if there’s one alternative that we haven’t thoroughly explored—cockroach milk.

Thanks to the power of social media, a 2016 article from Marie Claire recently resurfaced. The piece extols the virtues of this unorthodox beverage as a superfood of the future. But is it enough to make you get on board with it? Let’s explore!

First of all, what exactly is cockroach milk? Is it even possible to milk a cockroach? It’s not like they have nipples or udders, right? Well here’s how it works. The “milk” is actually a protein-dense combination of liquid and crystals produced by the female Pacific beetle cockroach. (Supposedly, it looks like glitter.) The pale, yellow liquid is typically used to feed her embryos inside her. Sounds delicious, right?

You’re probably not salivating over the prospect of drinking something meant for baby bugs, but there are some amazing health benefits to cockroach milk. It boasts four times the amount of protein as milk from cows. Plus it contains essential amino acids that help promote cell growth, along with lipids and sugars that boost energy.

While cockroach milk has a ton of nutritional potential, it faces more than a few obstacles in terms of getting to market just yet. Scientists have yet to figure out a way to commercially harvest the fluid from the insect on a mass scale. And even if the technology was perfected, there’s the pesky issue of branding. I don’t envy the marketing task that has to come up with that ad campaign.

For most of the planet, eating insects is nothing new, yet the Western world still has a major aversion to adding creepy crawlers to their diet, in milk and non-milk form. However, progress is slowly being made to erode their icky reputation. With new brands of cricket flour emerging and the addition of insect meatballs at IKEA’s test kitchen, bugs are gradually crawling their way into the mainstream. Maybe we’ll be drinking roaches sooner than we think.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Jessica is an Associate Editor at Chowhound. Follow her on Twitter @volume_knob for updates on snacks and cats.
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