Monday, September 28, 2009

The Plastic Eater

There I stood, in my workplace kitchen, admonishing someone I had barely even talked to before. “You really shouldn’t microwave in plastic,” I said, trying hard not to sound pedantic. “The toxins from the plastic will leach into your food.

P.E. was a cute, seemingly likeable guy—tall and blonde with huge brown eyes—both on me. “I love eating plastic,” he said, with a smart-ass gleam in one of them. “I like all those chemicals leaching into my food. Makes it taste better.”

Jerk. What went wrong with my delivery? Did I need charm school? The Actors Studio? Toastmasters? Mime lessons? It sure didn’t elicit the response I expected from someone who seemed so nice. You think I like playing plastic police? I appreciate a know-it-all about as much as a ‘D’ restaurant rating. I just have a soft spot for ignorant people in harm’s way, that’s all.

From then on, every time P.E. saw me in the kitchen, he’d go out of his way to put his Tupperware in the microwave and make some snarky remark in his inimitable, nobody-tells-me-not-to-eat-plastic way. We turned it into jovial combat, but I couldn’t understand how someone could have such disregard for a danger that was so easily remedied. Even if he thought it was hooey, would it hurt him to microwave his lunch on a china plate? Wouldn’t it also look more attractive?

If people want to nosh plastic, be my guest. But I wasn’t going to let one nonbeliever stop me from spreading the gospel to other plastic eaters living under a Saran-covered rock. So I continued to deliver my plastic rap. Many of them actually seemed appreciative for their newfound knowledge—even thanking me and saying they wouldn’t do it anymore.

In my own Tupper-wary way, I had found my flock and was slowly but surely converting the sheeple. I was making my voice heard from the plastic pulpit. Whether they really heeded the call or not, who knows. Que Saran Saran.


  1. So using saran/cutrite/wax paper in the microwave is also bad...? How will I cook my meals, waah! And where's the cutting article on how dangerous microwave cooking is in the first place []?

  2. I microwave in ceramic but cover dish with stretchy plastic wrap (saran) or sometimes a plastic bag, but these never touch food. Is that still considered "toxic" even though plastic doesn't touch food?

  3. I would not use any plastic at all in the microwave, as the heat breaks down the plastic and it could migrate into the food. You could use a paper towel to cover the dish or nothing at all, which is what I do. Check out the link I referred to from Environmental Working Group.

  4. Agreed, no plastic in the micro. Scares me to even stand in front of it. Great post, keep up the good work.