Eating cockroaches, cockroach dishes. Extreme cuisine.

Question. What could be more disgusting than a cockroach in a sandwich?
Answer. Poltarakana. 

Eating cockroaches, cockroach dishes. Extreme cuisine.

This simple joke conveys the attitude of most people to the humble person of a cockroach. Although there are those who believe that in the foreseeable future we will all change our mind about these insects. According to some scientists and nutritionists, over time, cockroaches will turn into a tasty and healthy paste for us, which can be spread on bread like peanut butter. Or turn into a casserole with Italian pasta.

, living quietly, calmly, like other innocent representatives of terrestrial fauna, and for the most part quite clean, peaceful and funny. It is no coincidence that a site appeared on the Internet with the name Cockroach Care, on which everyone can get tips on keeping (including heating and litter composition), feeding and breeding these insects. There is also the Cockroaches Home Page, launched by the 1986 Blattodea Culture Group with the mission of promoting the study and cultivation of cockroaches worldwide..

This organization regularly publishes a newsletter with information on their individual species. With articles related to this topic, encourages the practice of free exchange between members of the organization of excessive livestock. We should also bear in mind that many nations and cultures existed and exist in the world for which cockroaches are an important source of food. True, only a few of these people live within the borders of the so-called civilized world. Although Nicolas Cage ate a cockroach in one of the films (Kiss of the Vampire), the appearance of these insects on the table of Euro-Americans will put the most daring and adventurous of them to flight. By the way, Cage later said that this was his most stupid act, and not because he was somehow particularly disgusted or had a terrible taste, but because the press and fans even now, after years, remind him of that scene with a question : Did you really eat a cockroach then?

Yes, it is safe to say that when cockroach products appear on the market, manufacturers will need a massive and inventive PR campaign to bring them to the consumer’s table. To get started, get to know these insects better. Cockroaches have been living on Earth for at least 250 million years and, in a sense, are very perfect living organisms. So, they are armed with a complex eye, consisting of two thousand separate lenses, while the human eye has only one. The hairs on the legs provide the cockroach with touch, the antennae – the organ of smell, and two small antennae on the back work as indicators of movement. So if someone tries to sneak up on the cockroach from behind, they will warn him of danger and allow him to run on time.

The cockroach’s mouth distinguishes not only taste, but also the smell of food. As the insect grows, its outer shell is discarded several times and replaced with a new one. The cockroach is able to hold its breath for 40 minutes and spends 75% of its time at rest, that is, it rests. The largest cockroaches live in South America – they reach 15 centimeters in length and have a wingspan of up to 30 centimeters. The courtship process for reproducing the offspring of cockroaches is ignored. When the female is ready for mating, she secretes pheromones that attract males. Some females mate only once and then lay eggs for the rest of their lives. Females of some species during their life produce seven capsules (puff), each of which contains up to 48 eggs. The life of some cockroaches does not exceed 140 days. But at the same time more than 35 thousand cockroaches can easily breed from the offspring of one female.

Decapitated, this insect is able to live another week, because, unlike us, the cockroach’s brain is not localized in the head, but distributed throughout the body. Therefore, the cause of death of cockroaches is often thirst and accidents, such as a collision at full speed with the wall. Entomologists admit that a person’s long relationship with a cockroach began with people’s interest in these insects as food. Given the availability of such a valuable source of protein in any hut and cave. Later, when a person began to make preparations for the winter, the number of cockroaches probably increased significantly, and they turned into his constant companions.

And now I want to refute one common opinion. Never in the history of human-cockroach relations has the latter been associated with any specific diseases, which distinguishes it from fleas and mosquitoes, which are considered carriers of plague and malaria, respectively. Nevertheless, today people perceive cockroaches as carriers of infection, which, apparently, is explained by the love of these insects to dark and humid places. However, I was distracted, because the above is not related to the use of cockroaches in food.

The cockroaches that we meet at home and on city streets really should not be eaten. But there are still about 3950 species, representatives of which we, perhaps, have never seen in our lives. They can become the food of our future, as they are able to satisfy the need of the rapidly growing population of the Earth for food, a need whose level exceeds the productive potential of the planet. Simply put, getting protein from cattle is perhaps the least effective of all the methods that have been used in the entire history of agriculture. Too many stores are destroying steaks and hamburgers for supermarkets around the world. On the other hand, it’s clear to everyone that a shoe box is enough to breed a myriad of cockroaches.

Exaggerate, of course. Cockroaches as a source of protein of the future will be bred not in boxes, but on special cockroach farms. Insects will be offered a carefully developed diet, in relation to it there will be a whole system of norms and control, similar to the one that operates today in other sectors of animal husbandry. It is possible that over time, society will reach such a level of tolerance against cockroaches that no one will sue the restaurant, having discovered parts of this insect in their salad. Moreover, exquisite signature cockroach salads will appear! And this is not a joke.

Based on the book Extreme Cuisine.
Jerry Hopkins.

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