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Superfoods of the future

By Zane Cerpina & Stahl Stenslie

Ancient Greeks told legends about ambrosia, the gods’ mythical food that provided immortality to anyone who consumed it. The Greek poet Homer wrote about fruits that were produced without the need for farming. And the medieval fantasy land Cockaigne portrayed tasty dishes that reproduced by themselves, flowed down rivers, and fell from the skies with no effort. Centuries later, thanks in great part to a deep-pocketed food industry, we haven’t stopped searching for the one and true “superfood.” 

The search for the ultimate superfood has led to some truly wild scientific studies and speculations about food futures, even if the food in question is of natural origin. A research paper from 2018 speculated that the next superfood might be something quite unexpected—cockroach milk. According to the article, the cockroach species Diploptera functata has evolved the trait of viviparity: It can provide nutrients to developing embryos during the gestation period. It produces a substance that contains protein crystals claimed to be more nutritious than any animal milk. Even if cockroach milk was more nutritious than cow’s milk, one question remains: how to milk a cockroach?


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