Socialist Cuba’s Latest Superfood: Cockroach Milk

A local Communist Party-controlled radio station in Cuba published an article on Monday promoting the consumption of ‘cockroach milk’, a substance it said tasted ‘rancid’ but could become the new ‘superfood’. “.

Cuba, once the wealthiest country in Latin America, has been an impoverished communist dictatorship since Fidel Castro took power in 1959. It has struggled with intense food shortages for the past five years due to poor management under the second “president”, Miguel Díaz. -Canel, who responds to the Castro family and has repeatedly asserted that being named president would not change the direction of the country in any way. Díaz-Canel’s leadership resulted in severe shortages of bread, staple meats like chicken and beef, and cooking oil, among other commodities.

The Communist Party responded to the shortages with increasingly bizarre nutritional recommendations, including the consumption of rats, crocodiles, ostrich eggs and banana peels.

The company based in Spain Cuban Diary reported that the article advertising cockroach milk appeared Monday on the webpage of Radio Guamá, a local government station in western Pinar del Rio. The article disappeared from the website on Tuesday but is still accessible through the Internet Archive.

“It sounds strange, but cockroach milk does exist,” the article read. “Its protein content is far higher than any mammalian milk and its fat content – which contains fatty acids like oleic acid, linoleic acid, omega-3 acids and fatty acids short and medium chain – is an important source of energy. ”

The article admitted that the “milk” was “opaque yellow in color, thick and with a high rancid taste”, but claimed that it had “high nutritional value” and could be a new “superfood”.

Cuban Diary noted that the article had appeared on the radio station’s Facebook page with a disclaimer alleging that it came from a European media outlet and was not original Cuban content. The warning appeared to follow an outpouring of outrage and disgust in response to the article from Cuban social media users, who are already suffering from a lack of basic food items in their local markets.

“The experiment, which has nothing to do with our reality, offers some details that could prove very interesting,” the disclaimer read in part, according to Cuban Diary. “We invite you to read this scientific curiosity to the end.

The radio station allegedly claimed that the original article had been published in a Spanish media called “Mercatrace”. An Instagram account by that name with less than 200 followers posted an article about cockroach milk on March 17 that appeared to share much of the content of the Radio Guamá article.

Breitbart News could find neither a published version of the article on Radio Guamá nor the Facebook post that Cuban Diary referenced appearing on the radio station’s page at the time of going to press.

Cockroach milk is a secretion produced by a species of cockroach, Spotted Diploptera, or Pacific beetle cockroach. The species is native to Hawaii and has no known natural occurrence in Cuba. It is one of the few insects known to give birth to live young and its “milk”, according to scientists since at least 2016, does indeed have nutritional potential for humans.

“Cockroach milk is one of the most nutritious substances on Earth. It is three times higher in calories than buffalo milk (the former main contender for the highest protein and calorie milk),” reported NPR in 2016.

Cuban communist officials have for years promoted bizarre attempts at food supply solutions that don’t seem out of place alongside cockroach milk. The Interior Ministry suggested last year, for example, that Cubans start eating crocodile and jutia, a rodent native to the island that became an essential food item after the Socialist Revolution. Prior to the ministry’s suggestion, state television ran a report promoting rodent meat as a welcome addition “to the family dinner table” due to its allegedly higher protein content and “sustainability”. .

In 2019, Cuban state media encouraged citizens to eat banana peels and ostriches, which are not native to Cuba. A senior Communist Party official, “Commander” Guillermo García Frías, then 91, appeared on state television claiming that ostriches produce “more [food] than a cow” and should be seen as a serious investment for the regime, prompting outrage and derision. García notably encouraged the consumption of jutia Meat.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.


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