Dairy milk alternatives have made a big splash recently. And with good cause. Subs like almond milk, soy milk and coconut milk are tasty and packed with nutrition benefits for those of us trying to stay away from lactose or embrace our inner vegan. But according to a new report, one of the best nutritional alternatives to dairy milk might be—wait for it—cockroach milk. Not kidding. (Here are 13 Types of Milk That Do Your Body Good.)
Didn't know the creepy crawlies produced milk, you say? We don't blame you. The cockroach in question is the Diploptera punctuata variety, which is the only species of roach that actually gives birth to live babies as opposed to laying eggs. As such, much like a cow, it produces milk. And according to researchers from India's Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, that milk looks to be four times more nutritious than the kind you get from a cow. (Related: Are Crickets the Next Big Protein Trend?)
In their study, the researchers found a specific protein crystal that packs in way more energy than the protein crystals in other milk sources. Protein is an especially important nutrient if you are, say, avoiding the standard dairy as part of a vegan diet, or in parts of the world where getting adequate nutrition is still a challenge.
Despite the nutritional benefits, you're probably not going to be seeing actual cockroach milk on shelves anytime soon. And don't worry, since experts isolated the specific protein that delivers the nutritional gains, researchers will likely be able to recreate it in a lab setting. In other words, you can still focus on keeping cockroaches out of your kitchen.