The future of flour

As much as I was dreading using it at the beginning of the semester, I’ve enjoyed using Twitter for this class as well as personally. One of the things I like about it is that it has become my go-to for quick science news. I have a list of about 40 scientists and science journalists/outlets that I follow, so if anything happens, I know about it pretty soon after and sometimes even before major outlets get to it. The snarky, almost cynical sense of humor a lot of these people have also help with shooting down bad science (or journalism) as soon as it’s up.

I’ve also learned that it’s a good way to learn about flour. I love to bake – I make myself useful for parties by catering with brownies and cookies – but the majority of my Twitter stuff isn’t food related, which is why I was confused when I was followed a while back by Exo, a company that makes energy bars out of cricket flour. And yes, you would be correct in assuming cricket flour is flour made from dried and smushed up crickets. I’m curious to see what cricket dust tastes like, but money…

They’ve since unfollowed me, but then this week I saw a bunch of stories on coffee flour, which is not a way to make super caffeinated cookies but rather a way to utilize the pulpy leftovers from coffee roasting (the fleshy part of the coffee fruit is discarded while the seed is kept). They’re not rolling out their product until next year, but like my tequila story from earlier, it sounds like a good way to utilize the stuff we’re throwing out anyway.

And then this happened:

It turns out that Next Millennium Farms does bug stuff like Exo, except they sell the raw flour and use a few different insects like mealworms and whatnot. They also have a bunch of recipes for their products and other things like pet food (though I’m not sure how that’ll work with many pets being carnivorous, but that’s aside the point).

I think these are really neat premises considering the whole snafu over finding a reliable protein source for an explosively expanding population, plus they utilize things we already have in excess. Like I said earlier, being a broke college kid has some of its downfalls, such as preventing me from checking out these neat products, but perhaps in the future (and maybe with NMF’s sample…) I can have a coffee bug baked good party.

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