Cockroach milk the future, especially if there is no future

At some point in the next half century, we’re going to run out of food, so it behooves us to discuss alternatives. Why not the milk of cockroaches? They can survive nuclear war. Could be handy.



There’s a joke on The Simpsons I treasure, where racketeer Anthony “Fat Tony” D’Amico bluntly responds to derision hurled at his bootlegged rat-milk setup, wondering “I don’t get it, people love rats, but they don’t want to drink the rat’s milk?”

Every time the discussion turns to questionable food sources of the future, I think of that. It also makes me think that we remain massive snobs when it comes to discussing alternate foodstuffs. And I’m no different. Blergh. However, the milk of cockroaches seems to be the next great question, one that has been re-raised by a laughable source: Gwyneth Paltrow.

But, should we immediately dismiss a foodstuff or a celebrity endorsement just because we scrape it off our shoe?

Probably. But that’s not the fault of the cockroach.

According to the minds of science, cockroach milk is four times more nutritious than cow’s milk, and is apparently a great source of protein. Which those of us who had that friend in school who’d do weird shit for attention would certainly attest.

However, before you flip over the nearest roach and wrap your lips around the teeny-tiny udders to tide you over until lunch, it’s probably best that you don’t – you freak – primarily because it’s extremely difficult to milk the aforementioned insects. For those with cockroach on their breath, I do apologise. Despite the value, the process is extremely difficult. What’s required is nerds. Many many nerds.

Considering we’ll most likely experience food shortages in our lifetime, we need to make friends with our scuttling, hairy, brown, disgusting, get-it-away-from-me-it’s-touching-my-leg-kill-it-with-fire cows of the future.

Only one cockroach, Diploptera punctata, gives birth to live young, and pumps out a type of “milk” containing protein crystals to feed its babies. Milking the cockroach isn’t feasible, so those who hail from (and I can presume also occasionally sleep in) the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in India decided to sequence the genes responsible for producing the milk protein crystals to see if they could somehow replicate them in the lab.

“Milk protein crystals are like a complete food. They have proteins, fats, sugars and all essential amino acids,” said Sanchari Banerjee, one of the team, in an interview with the Times of India.

With all the advancements in gene technology, consider it as good as on the shelves. I for one can’t wait for tales of the great retail wars over competing cockroach milk farms, where a folksy yet rugged family man tells you about the family tradition (of ten years) of using only the most startled of kitchen cockroaches. Mmm. Midnight fresh.

Still not sold?

Fine, let’s get apocalyptically Doctor Phil here. You need to take control of your life. Considering that we’ll most likely experience food shortages in our lifetime, and especially if there happens to be a nuclear war, we need to make friends with our scuttling, hairy, brown, disgustingget-it-away-from-me-it’s-touching-my-leg-kill-it-with-fire cows of the future.

Remember, they survive. We might not. See you on the farm.


Hang on. Just a wild thought. Do you think Kim and Donald have a vested fiduciary interest in the cockroach milk market? I mean, why else would they be so keen to loose the nukes?




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