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EDITORIAL: Expand those taste buds

The LJ editorial board encourages everyone to try alternative foods (at least once)

When it comes to our diet as college students, we tend to stick with the same routine. Either cooking some ramen noodles, or grabbing a bite to eat at the various food courts or restaurants around HSU. Sometimes we don’t have the time to cook for ourselves but that shouldn’t hinder our chances of trying something new every once in a while.

Let’s talk about cockroach milk. Cockroaches are without a doubt to some people disgusting and a pest to have running around at home or in public. A trend that has been going on recently is cockroach milk. The milk itself comes from the gut of one cockroach species, and is actually produced in crystalline form.

While it may come in small amounts, scientists at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in Bangalore, India discovered that cockroach milk is very nutritious and has three times the calories of buffalo milk. However, it should be noted that more studies on cockroach milk need to be done before it’s deemed safe for consumption.

Cockroach milk is not the first insect food involving dairy. Casu marzu is a well known meal in Italy and France, consisting of a block of pecorino cheese that is left outside so Cheese Flies (Piophila Casei) can lay eggs inside the cheese. The cheese is then eaten with the larva inside. People who’ve eaten it have described the taste as a strong Gorgonzola.

While it’s considered a delicacy in parts of Europe, Casu marzu is considered a dangerous food to eat, and illegal to produce. According to All Things Interesting, it’s important correctly chew and kill the maggots before swallowing.

“Otherwise, they can live in the body and rip holes through the intestines. No biggie. But kind of a biggie.”

If you are interested in eating insects safely, grasshoppers are considered to be rich in protein. Coming in a variety of flavors and varieties from chocolate-covered grasshoppers to toasted grasshoppers with salt and lime.

In Thailand, it’s very common to walk through a market and find vendors selling stir-fried insects, ranging from giant water bugs to Bamboo worms.

So if you’re a picky eater, try something new. Just be informed on what you eat, and be sure to chew hard if what you’re eating is still alive.

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