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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.