We’ll answer the question about how to milk a cockroach in a second. Here’s a hint: They lack udders.
An international team of scientists has discovered that the Pacific beetle cockroach, found in Hawaii, produces milk to feed its newborn. This species doesn’t lay eggs like most cockroaches, instead birthing babies that grow in brood pouches inside mom’s body until the kids are large enough to survive on their own.
This milk crystalizes in the guts of the baby roaches. They then feed on those crystals like human babies sucking at their bottles.
That milk, it turns out, is packed with protein, fat and sugar. In fact, researchers found it contains three times more calories than buffalo milk and four times more than dairy milk. That makes it one of the most nutritious substances on earth.
The internet has been abuzz with speculation about roach milk eventually making its way into our coffee, ice cream or energy drinks. But this milk isn’t ready for primetime.
For one thing, scientists need to confirm it’s not toxic to humans. A colleague of one of the cockroach researchers, however, had a sample after losing a dare at a party. This person reported it didn’t taste like anything special.
Also, a roach’s milk production lags far behind the average cow’s.
The biggest reason you won’t see roach milk in your refrigerator any time soon is that, as you might expect, it’s just really hard to milk a cockroach. Researchers have to substitute a paper filter for the embryos in the roach mom’s brood pouch inside its body, wait and then harvest.
Milking a cow, by comparison, is child’s play.