Warning: This latest health food news may bug you out.
According to research published this month in the International Union of Crystallography Journal, scientists from around the world (including the United States) have concluded that milk made from protein crystals found in cockroaches provides an ultra protein-packed beverage. In fact, the study authors discovered that a single crystal derived from a specific species of these creepy, crawling creatures — the Diploptera punctata, also known as the Pacific beetle cockroach, which are the only known cockroaches that give birth to live young — is estimated to contain more than three times the energy of an equivalent mass of dairy milk.
“The crystals are like a complete food — they have proteins, fats, and sugars,” said Sanchari Banerjee, one of the lead investigators, as reported by the Times of India. “If you look into the protein sequences, they have all the essential amino acids.”
Also, this type of protein offers a unique advantage since it delivers slow releasing energy — meaning it provides your body with slow but steady energy while keeping hunger pangs at bay.
“It’s time-released food,” Subramanian Ramaswamy, another lead researcher, told the same publication. “If you need food that is calorifically high, that is time-released and food that is complete … this is it.”
And now that the scientists are aware of the gene sequences for these milk proteins, their new goal is to figure out how to produce mass quantities of these cockroach crystals in the lab.
Repeat — in the lab.
So in other words, it may not be as gross as it sounds. Maybe.