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Eatable News: Coffee flour, toxic pizza boxes, a drinking robot and more

Justina Huddleston is an editor and the head writer for TDmonthly Magazine. She has been a freelance writer for several years, though her real passion is cooking. You can see the recipes she creates on her vegan food blog, A Life of Litt...

A friendly robot that makes it so you never have to drink alone, coffee flour is a thing and more food news

At SheKnows Food, we spend a lot of time reading about — you guessed it — food (and drinks too!). And we’ve come across some stories that are too good to not share. Here are the food items from the week that you don’t want to miss.

1. Coffee flour could be just the thing your Monday morning breakfast needs

We all basically carbo-load on Monday mornings (nothing makes the week seem more manageable than a blueberry muffin, right?), but thanks to a new invention, your weekday comfort carbs could come with a caffeine boost. A professor at Brandeis University has invented coffee flour, a caffeine- and antioxidant-rich flour made from par-baked green coffee beans. Because of its high caffeine content, you wouldn't want to substitute it for regular flour at a 1 – 1 ratio, but a tablespoon here and there gives baked goods a boost. And because it's an all-natural source of caffeine that's digested in food, the caffeine enters your system slowly, giving you a sustained burst of energy that's a lot less jarring than chugging a sugar-free Red Bull at 7 a.m. — Eater

More: Foodborne illness: Everything you need to know about the most common types

2. Your Friday night pizza box may be tainted with toxic chemicals. Yum?

The pepperoni on your Friday night pizza might kill you, sure, but now it turns out the boxes might pose a threat too. Can't a gal catch a break? Apparently water- and grease-resistant pizza boxes contain perfluoroalkyl ethyls, a group of chemicals the FDA is worried might cause birth defects or cancer. They're also found in sandwich wrappers, microwave popcorn bags and other food packaging. Luckily the FDA has approved a ban of these chemicals in food packaging, which should go into effect 30 days after being published in the Federal Register. In the meantime, you might be better off skipping the delivery pizza and making your own instead. — Food Safety News

3. Trader Joe's is allegedly underfilling its tuna cans. "Oh no..."

Alley cats and thrifty seafood lovers alike are in a tizzy over findings that Trader Joe's may be underfilling its canned tuna. Two of its tunas, Albacore Tuna in Water Half Salt and Albacore Tuna in Olive Oil Salt Added, seem to be chronically light on actual fish. The government requires 5-ounce cans of tuna to contain at least 3 ounces of fish, but testing done by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that, on average, these two labels contain just 2.43 – 2.87 ounces of tuna per can. This is bad news for aficionados of cheap, diner-style tuna salad sandwiches but good news for those of you who are just suffering through each mouthful of tuna because it's a healthy lean protein and you accidentally had a steak 'n' cheese sub for lunch three times this week. Trader Joe's is now facing a class action lawsuit from a group of tuna-loving customers, and if it goes anything like a similar lawsuit for StarKist tuna did, it could be forced to shell out vouchers of up to $50 to customers who attempted to feast on even a single can of tuna. — New York Post

More: Sugar alternatives that make following the new USDA dietary guidelines easy

4. Burger King's 5 for $4 deal is the easiest way to derail your New Year's resolution

Life is tricky. A kale salad pretty much anywhere is going to set you back at least $12, but at Burger King you can get a bacon cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, french fries, cookie and a soda for just $4. And they're not alone — McDonald's recently launched a McPick 2 for $2 menu, Wendy's offers a 4 for $4, and Pizza Hut just launched a $5 value menu too. It's like they want us to fail our healthy eating resolutions or something! I mean, after a busy day of work or running errands, when you're pressed for time, are you going to opt for stopping in at your favorite takeaway restaurant and ordering a salad that costs more than a month's subscription to Netflix, or fly through the Burger King drive-thru and spend 4 bucks on a five-course meal? This clever pricing makes BK pretty hard to resist, but if you're really trying to not fall for the bacon cheeseburger more than is strictly necessary, you can try one of these healthy recipes instead.  — USA Today

5. The robot drinking buddy is the best/saddest invention ever

In a story that will truly have you pining for the weekend's first glass of wine, South Korean inventor Eunchan Park has introduced his, er, special creation to the world. Robot Drinky is an alcohol-drinking robot he created so he wouldn't have to drink alone when he was depressed over not having a significant other. I mean, the sentiment behind the creation is relatable, but if I'm depressed and want to drink with a robot, I'm going to queue up some Futurama, open the spigot on a box of pinot grigio and get to it. Park was decidedly more ambitious: "I put an extra glass in front of me and poured Soju into it. And then, I cheered by myself with the glass of Soju, as though there was someone in front of me. Surprisingly, after that, the taste became totally to be changed!!!!!! WOW!!! So, I could finally find the secret of taste of alcohol totally depends on existence of partner. This is why I made this robot." So goes his YouTube video's description. Isn't this literally why bars were invented? Go find another lonely patron, and offer to buy them a brewski. Sitting at home playing Cheers with the BB8 replica you got for Christmas is not going to make you happier, trust me. Uh, not that I can speak from experience... — Eater

More: How to organize your fridge to keep food fresh longer (INFOGRAPHIC)

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