Hard up for protein

Or how about “Six legs, no waiting”?

With food shortage expected to become a major problem in the next decades, many experts believe that insects could become a major source of nutrients for people in the future. We already have plenty of insect based recipes and restaurants have begun putting bugs on their menus, but we need an effective way of using them as replacements for staples of our current diet, like wheat. Well, a couple of Brazilian food scientists have make a breakthrough in that area after successfully turning a species of cockroaches into flour and using it to bake bread.

I take back anything bad I ever said about Mrs. Baird’s.

Andressa Lucas and Lauren Menegon, two engineering students at the Federal University of Rio Grande, in Brazil, have developed a flour made from cockroaches that contains 40% more protein than regular wheat flour and can be used to make all kinds of baked goods. It also contains lots of essential amino acids, as well as amino acids and lipids. And before you start acting all disgusted, the flour is not made from bugs like tho ones crawling through your kitchen at night, but of a species called Nauphoeta cinerea. They are sourced from a specialized breeder, where they are produced according to the hygiene requirements of the ANVISA, the Brazilian health surveillance agency, and fed exclusively on fruits and vegetables.

In other news, Brazil has health standards for cockroaches.

And no, this bug doesn’t crawl through our sort-of-northern kitchens, but it’s got plenty of range.

Still: why?

“We chose the cockroach because it was the insect that had the highest protein content — almost 70 percent. It contains eight of the nine essential amino acids, it has high-quality fatty acids (such as omega-3 and omega-9) and we can use almost 100 percent of it, with very little residue,” the two scientists told VICE Munchies.

Something deep down inside of me doesn’t want to believe any of it, and the link where VICE had this story has gone 404. And I’m not sure what to make of this:

Um, no, I didn’t ask for a sandwich. Why do you ask?

Perhaps the most reasonable observation comes from the Friar: “No damn way.”


  1. McG »

    4 March 2017 · 2:50 pm

    Venezuela’s already having a food shortage and I suspect cockroaches aren’t the answer there. The bugs, no fools they, go where there’s food.

  2. fillyjonk »

    4 March 2017 · 3:35 pm

    I’m allegedly allergic to cockroach proteins (it came out in allergy testing). So yeah, double nope from me.

  3. Dan T. »

    4 March 2017 · 3:41 pm

    The protagonist of this story can help find you some good bugs: https://parahumans.wordpress.com/

  4. jsallison »

    4 March 2017 · 3:47 pm

    River Tam never did mention whether it was tasty or not.

  5. zigzag »

    4 March 2017 · 11:04 pm

    I’m hungry, but not THAT hungry.

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