Recently, the microwave in my house crashed, which means that I’ve been eating a lot of cold food. Of course I could heat my food on the stove, but then I think of all the dishes I will have to wash afterwards, and it just doesn’t seem worth it. So at home, I get no heat – no big deal, because at least I can use a microwave at school and can therefore have hot/warm meals between classes, right? Nope, nope, nope!
Why not? Because this is what usually happens:
I put my food in the selected campus microwave. Then I close the door. Then I push the button. And the result is always a cold and dark silence. No sound. No light. The microwave is dead. My heart drops.
This has been my experience with almost every microwave on campus. It always seems to happen as my ravenous 4th block hunger pains ramp up. When it doesn’t happen, and I can see that the microwave does work, I find myself stuck at the back of a giant line, since everyone else has decided to pounce on the one working machine. And as if standing in the line wasn’t bad enough, I usually end up behind the person (or in most cases, the persons) who think of the microwave as their own personal slow cooker - seriously, what are people trying to do when they heat their food for 10 minutes? Disintegrate it? I am ashamed to admit that it can be a real struggle for me whenever the student at the microwave takes their food out, checks it, and puts it back in for 4 more minutes – my inner Hulk is really hard to repress in those moments. Really, really, hard. Even just thinking about it…. Makes…. Me…. So…. Angry! Ugh.
And speaking of potential explosions, for those who don’t know, or who pretend not to know, you are NOT supposed to microwave metal…or highlighters, or pencils, or gummy bears, or light bulbs. Not only could doing so start a fire, but it can increase the number of dead microwaves on campus, which I think we can all agree is not needed.
Let’s just say that I’ve resigned myself to eating my food cold - yes that includes munching on depressingly dry and grainy rice.
But is eating cold food really a good idea?
I did some Googling on “if eating cold food is bad for you?” and learned the following:
- The human body has still not quite evolved to handle cold foods, so it will actually expend energy warming up the cold foods you put into it. Let foods warm to room temperature before eating.
- When we consume cold food or drink our body starts doing all the efforts to heat it up, because it is only possible for our body to work on a temperature, which is the optimum temperature.
- The digestive process requires heat to break down what you eat and drink. Cold is, by nature, slowing and contracting - therefore cold drinks, and very cold foods like ice cream, slow and impede digestion, causing digestive upsets, abdominal pain and discomfort.
- Excessive consumption of cold foods may also lead to a number of health issues including fatigue, weight gain, cysts and tumors, the development of unhealthy bacterial infections, excessive bloating and gas, brain fog, chronic sinus infections and problems with elimination.
And all of that lead me to Google one more item…. Which lead me to find [insert fancy announcement music here] the UAlberta Microwave Map! It’s a real thing! And
I wish I could give an award (like a microwaveable lunch) to whoever thought of the idea.
You can find the map here.
The thing I love about this map is that it also tells you how many microwaves are at the location. So, if I were in a hurry, I could go to a location with more than one microwave with the hopes that I will find a decently clean microwave and spend less time waiting in a long line. Just make sure to zoom in; otherwise it just looks like a confusing cluster of microwave symbols.
|Before Zoom vs. After Zoom|
So, depending on how much you love ice cream, it might not be such a bad idea to save the Microwave Map link on your phone or computer. I think for the New Year, I am going to try and decrease the amount of cold food I eat, even if it does mean using extra dishes at home, or waiting a little bit longer before I eat my lunch. To be honest, if in the end I have a full stomach, I’ll be happy.
Niabi is a third year student just starting a BA in English with a Spanish Minor. She’s a relentless optimist, hazardously curious, and tends to laugh a lot (her friends would say that she has a juvenile sense of humour). When not spending money she doesn’t have on clothes, or jamming out to Reggaeton, you can find her in a movie theatre, reading a book that involves sword fighting and dragons.