Ramen noodles are a staple for starving students and an everyday favorite; even our healthy vegetarian Mat has a soft spot for them, notwithstanding the fact that most of them are full of palm oil. Any good TreeHugger would avoid buying them in styrofoam or plastic cups because of the waste, but a lot of people do for the convenience. And one of the prices of that convenience is that they are dangerous; the packages are badly designed and tip easily. A Doctor tells NPR:
"I don't have them in my house," says Dr. Warren Garner, director of the burn unit at University of Southern California's County Hospital in Los Angeles. "I would say that we see at least two to three patients a week who've been injured by these products.".... He says there's no other injury that he sees as regularly that can be so directly attributed to a product's design, and calls these soups "uniquely troublesome."
The stuff that pours out of the cup is indeed "uniquely troublesome."
Noodle soup is strangely perfect for delivering a serious burn. The sticky noodles cling to the skin, which leads to deeper, more severe burns, according to a study published in 2007. The study showed that hospital stays for upper body noodle-soup burns are more than twice as long as scalds from hot liquids alone. Garner says that about one in five children he sees with the burns end up needing surgery, and these patients can face permanent scarring and limited mobility in their joints.
So along with paying more and creating extra waste, the convenient cup of ramen is inherently dangerous due to bad design. Another good reason to stop buying disposable and sit down to a real bowl of soup. More at NPR, via Consumerist.