According to the minds of science, spider milk is the next greatest alternate food source. It may be made out of tiny spiders, but it is far superior to cow’s milk. Keen?
Straight from the darker corners of the “just shut up and eat it” file comes another alternate food source. From the same minds that nudge us closer to a quart of cockroach milk (which is actually quite excellent) comes the idea that the milk of arachnids is not only totally fine, but also far superior to the milk of bovines.
The spider in question (which jumps, blergh) reaches puberty extremely quickly, but the kicker is that neither the mother, nor her younglings leave the nest for food.
Zhanqi Chen (and his underlings) at the Chinese Academy of Science had a rather radical thought. What if the super-fast growth of spiders is down to some sort of maternal juice? Chen, in conversation with New Scientist, said: “We couldn’t figure out how they just keep growing without food until one night, I saw a baby spider clinging onto its mom’s belly…I had this radical idea that maybe spider moms feed their babies with something they produced.”
To prove it, they caught some and separated some newborn spiders (called ‘midgets’, look it up) from their mother’s thorax and studied what happened. Spoiler alert, they died. Quickly.
But, one spider’s maternal angst was worth it, as Chen and co. decided to squeeze the parts of the mother under a microscope to discover that they secreted a milk-like substance.
Thank you for your sacrifice, spider. Sorry about your troubles.
Anyway, it matters, as secretion of milk has long been solely the possession of mammals. Nevertheless, the dorks believe it serves the same purpose as the mammalian flavour: nourishment for the babies. What they don’t know, is how. Chen suspects the milk may be made from unfertilised eggs that the mother spider has recycled. Science already believes that some invertebrates do feed their offspring in that fashion.
But what of us, and what of breakfast? The number of meals that we can blithely burn through our worldly resources are numbered. One day in the very soon future, it’ll be crickets on toast, cockroach latte and smashed spider-avo.
And for those who fear spiders, drinking the milk is fine. Don’t be baby. Sure, it’s made out of the possibilities of teensy tiny spiders, but I’m sure it’ll be fine.