BANGKOK — In case there’s any doubt whether the cockroaches creeping into your home are edible, health officials weighed in Wednesday with a reminder: They’re not.
The Bureau of Non-Communicable Diseases today played down the nutritional value of the insects’ shiny brown bodies and hairy legs in a statement warning people against consuming them – at least those that emerge from sewer pipes.
“First, you have to understand that domestic cockroaches and farm-grown cockroaches are different. Some roaches are safer,” said Piti Mongkalangkun, a bureau expert.
The reason for this seemingly unneeded bulletin? A slew of online tabloid reports that a giant Chinese farm was turning roaches into medicine to solve all manner of ills, from the common cold and stomach ache to hair loss. They were even being made into diet pills.
Piti explained that the domestic roach is infested with bacteria because they “just eat everything.”
He further crushed hopes by saying no evidence exists of roach-based hair loss remedies. However, one might be able to lose weight if they switch to insect-only protein sources, he offered.
Again, to summarize: Household roaches are teeming with diseases and eating them is a great way to get sick.