Friday, July 29, 2016

Leche de cucharacha? Pass me the Oreos.

I am fortunate that I have not actually seen a cockroach in years. An occasional silverfish, yes. But no cockroaches.

This was not always the case. I had my first apartment when I was in college. Although my roommate and I gave it a thorough scrub down we moved in, I turned on the light in the kitchen to find a herd of roaches scuttling around under the toaster. Our apartment was not a colossal dump – it was clean (we saw to that), freshly painted, and we even had a new kitchen floor: a piece of jaunty blue and green linoleum that my roommate’s boyfriend (now her husband: thanks, Tom) installed for us -  but it was pretty rundown and in a building occupied by students, older people who didn’t have a lot of money, and recent immigrants. One of the features was a trash chute that emptied – could this possibly be the case? – directly into the building’s furnace. Some of the residents didn’t quite get the plot. There was a family on our floor from out of town. Make that out of continent. They would leave open brown paper bags, spilling over with all sorts of chicken-boney garbage in the tiny little room that contained the trash chute. It’s a wonder we didn’t have worse than roaches. But we did have roaches.

I’m sure I encountered them at other places along the early way. But it’s been 40+ years since I had a roach problem.

And I want to keep it that way. I don’t have a lot of bug-phobia, but I find them disgusting. Bring on the Raid. Kill them dead before they spread. Open up a roach motel and let ‘em check in but not check out.

So cockroach milk? No thanks.

Cockroach milk, you may well be asking?

Most roaches – including the kind I’m familiar with – lay eggs and, thus, don’t give milk.

Not the Pacific beetle cockroach. It gives birth to live young, sort of like humans if we kept babies by the dozen in fleshy organs called brood sacs. Also like humans, mother Pacific beetle cockroaches produce food for their offspring. The embryos dine on a liquid substance packed with fats, sugars and protein. You can think of this like cockroach milk. (Source: Washington Post)

Personally, I don’t like to think of anything like cockroach milk. But now that they mention it, there’s plenty of food  - or beverage – for thought.

After all,

Experiments suggest that cockroach milk is among the most nutritious and highly caloric substances on the planet, according to researc published recently in the journal for the International Union of Crystallography, IUCRJ. Pound-for-pound, cockroach milk crystals contain three times more energy than buffalo milk…the previous top contender for producing a protein with the most calories.

And it’s just in the nick of time, apparently. Environmentalists look down on cow’s milk because cows give off methane, which contributes to greenhouse gases. Nut-based milks aren’t so great, either, from an environmental standpoint, as nut cultivation is too water-intensive. Roach milk, I guess, is more eco-friendly. Plus it will put roaches to good use.

The taste may not be that great, but one scientist exploring the wonderful world of cockroach milk foresees that they might work in protein drinks.

I can see the ads now:

Got cockroach milk? With a picture of some celeb with a cockroach milk mustache.

But what I can’t see is pouring a glass of the white stuff and sitting there with my stack of Oreos enjoying the moment.

1 comment:

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