Tracking Retail Cricket Flour Prices

(Updated January 7, 2017 with new price data) I have been following the field of entomophagy (insects as food) for a little while: watching the news, occasionally writing news roundups or more detailed pieces (see notes section).  So I have been wondering, as news coverage has increased, new products are launched, and companies start scaling up […]

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How Much of an Orange is Edible?

(Updated, 3/15/17:  new chart) For the last few months, I have been weighing oranges before and after peeling to see what fraction of the orange is edible (by weight). I had done similar work previously to measure the edible percentage of avocados, finding that Haas avocados are roughly 70% edible by weight across a span of 125 […]

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The Incredible Shrinking Fava Bean

I bought some fava beans yesterday to use in a recipe from Elizabeth Andoh’s “Kansha” and decided to pull out my scale to document the tedious bean peeling routine. I started with 552 grams of whole fava bean pods. Pod removal netted me 192 grams of skin-on beans.  I blanched the skin-on beans for 1 […]

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The Age of Shrimp

During an interview on To the Best of Our Knowledge, Ellen Ruppel Shell, the author of “Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture,” dropped an amazing fact: we eat more shrimp today in the U.S. than tuna fish. It was one of those “wow” statistics that I had to check out for myself. Fortunately, the […]

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Pizza Pie Charts: Looking at Pizza Service

Although pizza baking in the San Francisco Bay Area and other locations (e.g., Sunset’s list) has undergone a renaissance in recent years with higher-quality ingredients, improved techniques, and better ovens, I think that the service side of the pizza scene needs some serious work. I’m not talking about the people who take your order or […]

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Afternoon Tea in the Laboratory: Part 2

A few weeks ago, I reviewed an academic paper on tea brewing — how brewing technique and tea brand affect caffeine and dissolved solids levels. In that paper, the authors demonstrated that the highest level of dissolved solids (which correlates with flavor and possibly anti-oxidants) come from loose leaves or a well-agitated tea bag, and […]

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