Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chris Phillips' Mailbag: Sparking Carrots

Be sure to get your hard-hitting questions answered by a pro!  You can also email them to me or put them in the comments and I'll answer them too, so you'll know how to live the rest of your life correctly*.  

This week's question comes from Jen in Omaha, NE.  Jen writes:

Why do carrots spark in the microwave?  I'm trying to steam them in a steam bag.

First question seems obvious, but should still be asked, did you seal the bag using the handy zipper, or did you staple it shut?  Because that's happened to me once and not only did it blow a hole in the side of my microwave, but the staples burned the tips of my fingers when I tried to open the bag.  I know I should have been more concerned about my defunct appliance, but I figured if I was out a microwave, I was gonna eat some steamed carrots out of the deal to cope with it all.  But if you used the bag's seal it could be "arcing" due to what is in the carrots.  

According to the USDA:
"Some foods such as raw carrots and hot dogs can cause arcing while being microwaved. In hot dogs, this can be due to the uneven mixing of salts and additives. In carrots, it can be due to the minerals in the soil in which they were grown."
My question is what "additives" they add to hotdogs to make them spark?  My guess is that, unless you eat Goldschlager brand hotdogs, it's lead.  The USDA advises that you turn off your microwave instead of standing in front of it.  Good idea, fellas.  I'm pretty sure they're still safe to eat.  After all Iron Man had an arc reactor in his chest in both Iron Man movies and he seems to be doing okay.  

*Legal disclaimer:  I am actually a moron.  Please don't actually ever do anything I tell you, unless you're drunk, and I have your permission to twitvid it and make you an internet sensation.  But mostly just don't listen to me.


  1. LOL. Microwaves are evil and run food dry of every single nutrient. There's no point in cooking food in one. You might as well just eat cardboard. :o) My two cents.

  2. Carrots spark in the microwave - who knew? Now I want to go try it.

  3. Microwaves are overunderrated! or something! :)

  4. Thank you Chris for starting my day off with a bang - or a spark! Either way, thanks!

  5. Yikes, Chris. I'm surprised you didn't turn yourself into some random, twisted version of one of those lame B movie monsters who by virtue of contract has to run amok in Tokyo. Be careful with microwaves, dude!