Indonesia’s Jakarta flour mill is the focus of the latest fan theory on how the Cordyceps infection first started in The Last of Us TV series.
The Last of Us is the show that everyone is talking about after an impressive debut brought in the second-largest audience in HBO’s history; only behind House of the Dragon.
Whilst the TV show is adapting the original video game series, there is plenty of creative freedom being expressed including the controversial removal of spores from the main storyline.
Now, a new The Last of Us fan theory is spreading just like Cordyceps online, one that involves contaminated flour and the Indonesian-based Jakarta flour mill.
The Last of Us: Flour contamination fan theory explained
The latest theory explores how the Cordyceps infection might have initially spread around the world involving contaminated flour.
User ‘anagnost’ posted the theory to The Last of Us subreddit in which it is detailed how not only do our main characters avoid eating flour-based products in episode 1, but the initial infection is reported to have started in Jakarta, Indonesia; the location of the world’s biggest flour mill.
According to anagnost, “There are too many coincidences that have our main characters avoid eating objects made with flour”, including:
- Sarah has no flour to make pancakes or pancake-mixture in the morning, so the family decides to have eggs.
- Both Sarah and Joel refuse the biscuits offered to them by Danny, the neighbor who is caring for his elderly mother.
- Joel claims to be on an Atkins diet, which tends to avoid flour-based carbohydrate products.
- Sarah doesn’t eat any of the cookies that she makes at the neighbor’s house because they have raisins in them; cookies that Nana (the first infected we see) consumes.
- Joel forgets to buy a birthday cake as Sarah requests.
“The logical conclusion is that cordyceps began spreading as a result of food containing a contaminated ingredient. A shared ingredient between pancakes, cookies, cakes, and biscuits — like flour — could be a likely culprit.” – Mashable.
However, the big kicker here is that the radio station which reports on the initial health crisis, i.e., the beginning of the Cordyceps infection, claims that the crisis began in Jakarta, Indonesia.
What is interesting here is that Jakarta has the largest flour mill in the world both in terms of size and capacity.
In 2019, the milling complex owned by P.T. Bogasari Flour Mills saw significant expansion, with it expected to have a total daily production capacity of 11,650 tons, and a yearly capacity exceeding 4 million tons by the end of that year.
“Recognized as the world’s largest flour milling facility for many years in terms of both milling capacity and physical size, it stands as a monument to the growing importance of flour-based products in that heavily populated country as well as the greater Asia region.” – World-Grain.com.
Director of PT Indofood Sukses Makmur, Franciscus Welirang told World Gran in 2019 how “Indonesia’s flour market is growing” and that “The average 10-years growth is 5% per annum, mostly due to population growth, changes in eating habits and the growth of the middle-income class.”
“Rather than eating rice three times daily, many Indonesians have switched to eating bread or noodles for breakfast. Restaurants are also driving demand for wheat-based food products. The number of high-end bakeries is also growing, mainly in major cities, including Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, and Bandung.” – USDA, via World-Grain.
The original Reddit post also detailed how the showrunners have been suspiciously using the term ‘breadcrumbs’ to hint at how the story of the initial infection will be explored, including in the post-episode podcast after the biscuits were mentioned.
What is certain is that if a apocalyptic-level fungus was to contaminate our food supply, contaminating the global flour trade would certainly be an effective method considering the use of fungi in so many products.
- AGES EXPLAINED: How old is Joel in HBO’s The Last of Us?
By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]
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