Submitted by: Jasmine Pao
As a kid, the most exciting thing about baking is trying to sneak off a little bit of the raw cookie dough before your mom can stop you. She chastises you about getting salmonella from the raw eggs and you roll your eyes and look longingly at the cookie dough, hoping for just one more bite of the gooey dessert before it goes in the oven. I don’t know about you, but as I grew up, I stopped eating the raw cookie dough. It would be too hard to miss school for something so preventable. Still, there were times when I wished for that raw goodness. That longing made the discovery of flaxseed powder so much more exciting. Flaxseed powder can be an alternative to eggs. One egg can be replaced by a tablespoon of flaxseed powder and 3 tablespoons of water. This meant that I could finally eat raw cookie dough again without the risk of salmonella from the eggs! Still, I turned to Google to make sure cookie dough would still be fine to eat. I was heartbroken at what I found.
Yes, eggs have the risk of salmonella. However, that’s not all that makes cookie dough dangerous. It turns out that raw flour, the irreplaceable base of all desserts, is dangerous for you. When the flour is harvested, it isn’t treated and the bacteria isn’t killed because it isn’t meant to be eaten raw. This means that if an animal feels called to “do it’s business” right on the field, you’re eating that unclean grain raw in your cookie dough. Delicious. Just this year, dozens of people didn’t heed this warning and ended up contracting E. coli from the raw flour. Being the hopeful girl I am, I tried looking into alternatives for flour. Unfortunately, I soon discovered that all grains, including all types of flours and oats, have phytic acid in them. When phytic acid is mixed with chemicals in your intestinal track, it blocks the absorption in your body’s intestines and can ultimately lead to mineral deficiency and bone loss. All raw grains are out of the picture, unless you’re tall enough to be able to afford a couple of inches, which I definitely can’t.
My search for the best alternative to flour ended on a slightly sour note, but at least I was able to prevent myself (and hopefully others) from eating raw cookie dough. Of course, if you’re willing to risk it, go right ahead. Have fun cramping, vomiting, and vomiting out the other end! That doesn’t sound like a fun Saturday night. Personally, I would recommend that at your next sleepover or party, just cook your cookie dough. Better to be safe than sorry!