Reading Practice 5: Cockroach Milk Superfood
Time yourself for one minute while you read this article. You can select multiple levels.
It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but scientists say cockroach milk could become a new superfood. Insect dairy could be the next big thing on supermarket shelves and in our diets. Scientists say insect milk could be a perfect non-dairy alternative to cow’s milk, no matter how hard it might be for people to accept milk from bugs. Scientists studied the nutritional value of the milk from the Pacific Beetle cockroach. They discovered that the milk was much richer in nutrients than dairy milk. Scientists said: “A single crystal [of cockroach milk] is estimated to contain more than three times the energy of an equivalent mass of dairy milk.” The crystals were also full of amino acids and proteins.
Most cockroaches do not actually produce milk. The Pacific Beetle cockroach is the only one known to feed milk to its young. However, milking enough cockroaches to satisfy a growing human population clearly isn’t as easy as milking cows. An alternative is to try and replicate the milk in a lab using stem cell technology, and then turn this technique into a large-scale industrial process. A South African company called Gourmet Grubb has already started selling insect-milk ice cream. It says the milk is, “a sustainable, nature-friendly, nutritious, lactose-free, delicious, guilt-free dairy alternative of the future”. It won’t be too long before other companies jump on the bug-milk bandwagon.
- superfood: a food that is considered to be very good for you (lots of nutrients, maybe lots of trace minerals)
- dairy: anything made of milk (milk, yogurt, cheese)
- diet: all the food you eat (not just when you try to lose weight)
- rich in nutrients: has many nutrients, is healthy
- crystal: a solid form of the minerals and nutrients without water
- amino acid: the chemical in animals which make proteins
- protein: the molecule which is made of amino acids. proteins are used to make muscle
- jump on the bandwagon: join the group, used for something very popular
Next, give yourself one minute to find the answers to these questions if you don’t already know.
- What company is selling products made with insect milk?
- How do they make the milk?
- What insects can make this highly nutritious milk?
- Insect milk is very hard to obtain. What method is being considered to make insect milk profitable?
Finally, take note of any new vocabulary. Look up the new words. Writing sentences using the new words can help you learn how they are used and help you remember them.