Cup noodles are a beloved after-school snack, college dorm staple, and budget-friendly, tummy-filling addition to any pantry. Many people peel back that paper lid then stream water in from the tap. Then they simply pop in the microwave without a second thought. Easy-peasy. Recently more people than ever want the answer to the question: can I microwave cup noodles?
A meme recently appeared that highlighted the clear words right on the side of the cup Do Not Microwave. The revelation that you should not actually microwave cup noodles was shocking. So is there really any harm in cooking the whole cup right in the microwave? Read on to reveal the science behind why you should follow the warning on the side of the cup.
Styrofoam Is In Most Cup Noodle Containers
Until recently all cup noodles were made of styrofoam. Nissin released a cup noodle with the cup made to place in the microwave as shown in this YouTube video. But as a general rule, you can rely on the fact that your noodle cup is made of styrofoam. This is because the material is flexible and lightweight. And because it is insulation between you and the hot food inside. But there are several downsides to the material.
Styrofoam In The Microwave Equates Chemical Leaching Into Your Food
According to Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, the chemical styrene in styrofoam is problematic because when it gets hot it can be ingested through the foods eaten from the plates or containers. It is on the top 100 list of hazardous materials to avoid. In addition to this disturbing news about your health when the chemical is heated, it also fills the landfills and decomposes remarkably slowly. This is a bad thing for the environment as well.
Eating off styrofoam, in general, is not a big risk. However, heating it too much can release bad chemicals.
You Can Still Enjoy Your Favorite Cup Noodles
The directions on most cup noodles are similar. Boil water on the stovetop in a pot, heat it in a kettle, or heat water in a microwave safe container and then pour the hot water over the cup noodles carefully. If you do this the styrofoam should not be able to leach out harmful chemicals.
If you are still concerned about styrofoam heating, you can break the noodles out of the cup and enjoy them from your own container or simply purchase the noodle brands that come in different packaging.
Keep in mind that all this information is to help you enjoy your cup noodles safely. It is just as easy and delicious to pour boiling water over the top of your noodles to enjoy them in the cup. You can even add some veggies to your water while it boils and pour the whole concoction over your cup noodles for a flavor and nutritional boost. Enjoy!
In conclusion, the answer to “can I microwave cup noodles?” is a clear NO. Do not pop your styrofoam cup noodles into the microwave for convenience. You are allowing dangerous chemicals to get into your food when you do this. But do not fret, there are certain cup noodles specifically made to use in the microwave, and pouring hot water over the top is quite easy.