The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

D-hall Bowls Extremely Hot When Microwaved

By Kevin Hong

Grinnell loves to tout its progressive ideals, but when it comes to the Dining Hall, Grinnellians feel that they need to have certain things, among them dishes that can be popped in the microwave.

“The main reason why we decided to change dishes is that the old ones were cracking and stained,” said Jeanette Moser, Associate Director of Dining Services.

However, the bottom of nearly all new plates and bowls state: “Not for microwave use.” The plates are made of melamine resin, a very durable plastic which is not suitable for the microwave since it absorbs the microwaves more so than some of the foods—due to its tendency to get extremely hot, expand and become brittle.

Some schools would panic. Some students would ask, “How can we choose between scalding plates and our beloved cheese quesadillas?”

As is the trend, the leaders of the dining hall have found an alternative to bridge the crisis while not changing a thing.

“We chose a melamine product again, but that was not intentional. We have discussed the issue. … For now, people may use those bowls that do not say ‘not for microwave use’ in the stir fry station,” Moser said.

Tried and true, the bowls most students associate with the adventurous flavors of the Far East have come to the rescue. Quesadillas and safe handling are here to stay.

Only a number of melamine products affirm that they are microwave safe. However, nearly all of these products are damaged when placed into the microwave with food in them. “What we had before was melamine, too. And what they say is that all melamine probably should say “not for microwave use,” Moser said. “The product is not dangerous to people, but it could get hot and brittle. … It’s going to take repetitive use for that to happen.”

As for the old dishes, dining service has donated most of them.

“The broken ones are not really recyclable, but the plates we had that were not chipped, damaged, or badly stained were donated to a family whose house got burned down, we also donated some to different local churches and non-profit organizations that wanted them, and that was the majority of the dishes that were still usable,” Moser said. “We hope the new dishes could hold up better than the other ones, which lasted five and a half years.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *