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Is Cockroach Milk the Superfood of Tomorrow?

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It’s easy to find milk made from rice, almonds, soy beans, and hemp in most health food stores, but milk derived from cockroaches may be a harder sell. As Popular Science reports, the milky protein crystals produced by a certain roach species contain at least four times the nutritional value of cow’s milk.

The Pacific beetle cockroach (Diploptera punctata) is one of the few roaches to give birth to live offspring. Mother Pacific beetle cockroaches nourish their embryos with a nutrient-packed liquid substance that’s high in sugar, fat, protein, and amino acids. According to new research published in the journal IUCrJ, this roach “milk” is one of the most nutritious and calorie-dense foods known to science. Buffalo milk, which has a higher calorie content than that of most animal milk, only packs one-third of the energy of roach milk crystals.

Cockroaches don’t lend themselves as easily to milking as dairy cows, so any commercial product would likely be synthetic. Researchers are currently looking into bioengineering yeast to produce the substance in a lab, and they still need to test whether or not it's toxic to humans. If they come up with a successful version, roach milk manufacturers will still face the challenge getting consumers to try it. Cricket flour-based products are slowly making their way into the mainstream, so perhaps there’s room on the market for one more insect-inspired health food.

[h/t Popular Science]

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Don't Have Space For a Christmas Tree? Decorate a Pineapple Instead
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Christmas trees aren't for everyone. Some people can't fit a fir inside their cramped abodes, while others are turned off by the expense, or by the idea of bugs hitchhiking their way inside. Fake trees are always an option, but a new trend sweeping Instagram—pineapples as mini-Christmas "trees"—might convince you to forego the forest vibe for a more tropical aesthetic.

As Thrillist reports, the pineapple-as-Christmas-tree idea appears to have originated on Pinterest before it, uh, ripened into a social media sensation. Transforming a pineapple into a Halloween “pumpkin” requires carving and tea lights, but to make the fruit festive for Christmas all one needs are lights, ornaments, swaths of garland, and any other tiny tchotchkes that remind you of the holidays. The final result is a tabletop decoration that's equal parts Blue Hawaii and Miracle on 34th Street.

In need of some decorating inspiration? Check out a variety of “Christmas tree” pineapples below.

[h/t Thrillist]

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A Pitless Avocado Wants to Keep You Safe From the Dreaded 'Avocado Hand'
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The humble avocado is a deceptively dangerous fruit. Some emergency room doctors have recently reported an uptick in a certain kind of injury—“avocado hand,” a knife injury caused by clumsily trying to get the pit out of an avocado with a knife. There are ways to safely pit an avocado (including the ones likely taught in your local knife skills class, or simply using a spoon), but there’s also another option. You could just buy one that doesn’t have a pit at all, as The Telegraph reports.

British retailer Marks & Spencer has started selling cocktail avocados, a skinny, almost zucchini-like type of avocado that doesn’t have a seed inside. Grown in Spain, they’re hard to find in stores (Marks & Spencer seems to be the only place in the UK to have them), and are only available during the month of December.

The avocados aren’t genetically modified, according to The Independent. They grow naturally from an unpollinated avocado blossom, and their growth is stunted by the lack of seed. Though you may not be able to find them in your local grocery, these “avocaditos” can grow wherever regular-sized Fuerte avocados grow, including Mexico and California, and some specialty producers already sell them in the U.S. Despite the elongated shape, they taste pretty much like any other avocado. But you don’t really need a knife to eat them, since the skin is edible, too.

If you insist on taking your life in your hand and pitting your own full-sized avocado, click here to let us guide you through the process. No one wants to go to the ER over a salad topping, no matter how delicious. Safety first!

[h/t The Telegraph]

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