Milk, sugar, flour, eggs ... and pulverized corn kernels typically fed to farm animals. If that doesn't whet your appetite, then consider the health benefits of that final ingredient, known as "dried distillers' grain," or DDG. The substance is left over in the process of turning corn into ethanol, and it's jam-packed with fiber and protein. It can serve as a substitute for a portion of the flour in, say, a cookie, but there are a few pretty big hurdles keeping such items off grocery store shelves. For one, on its own, the stuff tastes like sawdust and smells like a pub, reports the Wall Street Journal. And did we mention pigs and cows are its current consumers?
For two decades, researcher Padu Krishnan has been trying to find ways to introduce DDG into everything from snickerdoodles to tortillas to noodles, using lab students, his wife, and the general public as tasters for his creations. So far responses have been more or less positive. But the real issue, he says, is getting people over the stigma of eating something that's normally found in pig troughs. "It is now about making it economically feasible and developing the demand," says Krishnan. In terms of facilitating the latter, one dietitian who has studied DDG recommends enlisting a celebrity to gobble up some of his baked goods in public.