Saturday, June 19, 2010

Things I hate: Microwaveable 'convenience' foods

(Photo: Gawker)

As a reminder, Things I Hate generally:

- are made of plastic
- are meant to be used once and tossed away
- are not in any way recyclable
- appeal to people's vanity and desire for instant gratification
- strive to create a need where there was none before
- are recently created streams of pure waste

Microwaveable convenience foods skeeve me out, and not just because they never, ever look like the picture on the box when prepared. First, there's the waste issue. By the time you are done there's practically more packaging waste than food, and most of it is plastic.

For another thing, there's the act of microwaving food in plastic. Knowing what we know now about plastic and heat, it boggles my mind that there are hugely profitable companies designing entire lines of food that are heated in their own 'disposable' plastic containers. (I haven't looked at any of these things in the store lately- what kind of plastic do they use for the dishes? Is it BPA free? Recyclable? Has any consumer group even asked about this??) Here, have some toxic chemicals with your mass produced, highly processed meal! Yech. How much longer before the thought of heating food in plastic becomes anathema? That day will come, I'm pretty sure of it.

I also object to the whole aesthetic. Who wants to eat or even serve food out of a dish that looks like it should contain dog food? (And that is what the food more or less looks like in reality anyway...)

Then there is the whole mass production issue. Mass production enables millions of people to be fed for relatively little money- a plus. But it comes with risks- like the mass distribution of yummy, yummy salmonella.

Microwaveable convenience foods: how convenient are they, really?


Anonymous said...

Microwaveable food isn't so convenient when your options are to wash the disposable container or have stinky garbage in the kitchen. There is nothing wonderful about prepackaged microwaveable foods.

daharja said...

Oh, it's wonderful to have found your blog, and to see another blogger fighting the never-ending war on plastic.

Yep, I hate those microwavable meals too. Why they can't be packaged in cardboard is beyond me.

Of course, plastic is cheaper. Which is probably why.

This isn't quite as nauseating as the individually-wrapped jelly belly jellybeans I ranted about recently, but it's still pretty awful.


Leanne (new reader and another fighter against plastic waste)

Juli said...

Thanks, daharja! I can't wait to do some reading on your blog as well!