Everyone has a favorite snack or quick lunch that they munch on in the office. But you should think carefully about your choice before your next snack break. We want a snack that will keep us going until the next meal, and we want it to be tasty. But, at the same time, we don’t want to alienate our colleagues or have to scrape salsa off our keyboard.
An office is a social space you share with your workmates; it is simply good manners to think about them when you choose your snack. If you are new to an office, find out if there is a “Snacks Code of Conduct” in operation.
If one of your co-workers insists on eating snacks or food that you find offensive, think about introducing such a code in your workplace. It’s the small things that drive us nuts. (In fact, nuts are on this list). Here are ten not safe for the office snacks.
10 So Long Smelly Sandwiches
Boiled eggs have their place at the breakfast table, but you shouldn’t eat them in the office. A boiled egg and tuna sandwich might be a quick, easily prepared snack, but your co-workers will probably not thank you for eating it. Tuna has quite a strong smell, but mix it with boiled egg, and you have a combination that will ensure that your co-workers will steer clear of your desk. Unless that is what you are going for.
What’s happening with your boiled egg is that iron in the yolk reacts with sulfur in the white, creating that noxious bad egg smell. This only occurs if the egg has been overcooked and the yolk is yellow. A perfectly cooked boiled egg has a deep orange yolk and doesn’t smell.
There is a lively debate online about the smelliest ingredient in a boiled egg and tuna sandwich. For me, the boiled egg would win out every time, but there is strong support for tuna. Perhaps it’s best to avoid tuna sandwiches altogether.
9 Avoid the “Popcorn” Button
Oh, Orville Redenbacker. You’ve done too many offices dirty. This hot, crunchy, buttery delight is perfect for movie theaters, but it doesn’t belong in the office! First of all, no matter how careful you are, popcorn gets everywhere. You’ll find grease smudges on the keyboard, popcorn down your shirt, and kernels stuck between your front teeth.
But hang on… there’s more.
While a microwave might seem simple to use, somehow, people still screw it up. Have you ever actually used a microwave where the popcorn button was accurately timed? When you accidentally leave that bag of “Butter Lovers” in too long, that extra minute can leave your office smelling like burned popcorn for the next millennium.
8 Don’t Be Shellfish
You have to be very careful with shellfish. Shellfish accumulate heavy metals, which are passed on to you when you eat them. Many people are allergic, so tell your colleagues that your salad contains shellfish if you share it.
Another problem is with reheating. If you reheat shellfish (or any fish for that matter) in the office microwave, the fatty oils break down and release a strong fishy smell. The following person who wants to use the microwave won’t thank you for this since their hot pocket will taste a wee bit fishy.
7 Curry is NSFW
Okay, curry is amazing. I’m going to be the first one to say that. The flavors are absolute heaven. But a big dish of curry just doesn’t belong in your lunch bag. Curries typically have a heavy scent that not everyone loves. And the smell of curry can stick around for a lot longer than you’d want.
The reason for this dish’s intense aroma is because it’s full of fragrant spices and herbs like cardamom, ginger, cumin, coriander, cloves, and turmeric. While these ingredients pack curry full of health benefits, it might not be the best idea to bring this into your next “Lunch and Learn” meeting. But if you’re absolutely dying for Indian or Thai food at work, try getting a few co-workers together for a group order. After all, “Working together is success.“
6 Peanuts? You Must Be Nuts!
On a recent flight from Antigua to London, a 14-year-old girl suffered a severe allergic reaction (known as anaphylaxis) when a fellow passenger opened a bag of peanuts. The girl didn’t eat a peanut, she didn’t even touch one, but the proximity was enough to cause her to black out.
Fortunately, a nurse was on hand to administer oxygen and give the girl two shots from an EpiPen. In this case, the girl’s mother had asked staff to tell passengers not to eat the complimentary peanuts, but one passenger took no notice.
There are many benefits to eating peanuts. They cut the risk of heart disease, are an excellent source of proteins, and help you concentrate. An ideal snack, it would seem, but not if you are going to send a colleague into anaphylactic shock.
5 Donut Bring Any Krispy Kreme
“There are donuts in the breakroom!”
It’s the announcement we all love and hate. Donuts are completely irresistible. And there’s a biological reason for this: we crave high-calorie, high-fat food because it gives our body an energy boost. When we eat a donut, we get a dopamine rush to the brain that urges us to eat just one more (this time with sprinkles).
But donuts are nothing more than deep-fried cake dough with no food value. If you look into an empty box of donuts, you will see that the bottom is coated with oil, as is your stomach lining. Still, people insist on bringing donuts into the office, even though most people are trying to eat healthy on some level. Try to eat just one—show Jill from accounting that you have iron willpower.
No, it’s best to reserve donuts for special occasions and not have them constantly around the office.
4 Don’t Pack Anything with Garlic
Garlic has a lot going for it. Among other benefits, it can:
- Reduce harmful cholesterol levels
- Protect against some cancers
- Act as an antibiotic
- Help ward off the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia
- Give your immune system a boost
- Cut high blood pressure levels
Unfortunately, it is also pungent and lingers on your breath for a long time. You might not notice this yourself, but you might find that some of your colleagues keep their distance if you snacked on a garlic-rich snack.
There are some things that you can do to combat garlic breath. Try drinking milk after your snack, eating some parsley, or thoroughly brushing your teeth.
3 Beware the Big Gulp
Soda, we love it and hate it at the same time. Soda may be a sweet drink with a pick-me-up of caffeine, but this forbidden nectar can be deadly when consumed in abundance. And many of us like to consume it in abundance. Drinking soda while mindlessly working can increase sugar consumption, caffeine consumption, chemicals, and even artificial coloring.
Instead, try grabbing cold water with a lemon wedge. Not only will you save money as a daily soda—or three or four—will add up, but your desk will also stay free from sticky spills while your body will remain more alert without a caffeine headache numbing your thoughts.
2 No Kimchi for Me
You must have a cruel streak and dislike your workmates if you bring kimchi to the office. Kimchi has many beneficial properties, but it also has a strong, pungent smell that will quickly dominate your office space and linger for hours. That it is smelly is hardly surprising as fermented cabbage is the main ingredient.
Believe it or not, some Korean scientists are hard at work trying to reduce the smell of kimchi to make it more acceptable to western taste buds, but purists insist that the smell is an integral part of the kimchi experience. This may be so, but bringing it to the office is not a good idea.
So far, not many people are likely to bring kimchi to work. But it is becoming increasingly popular, and it is only a matter of time. Better to introduce a no-kimchi rule beforehand.
1 The Bottomless Bag of Chips
Let’s be honest—half your potato chips will disappear the moment you open the bag. Your colleagues might help themselves to one or two, and before you know it, the entire bag is gone. And you’ll find Dorito’s fingerprints are all over that contract.
And don’t get me started on the loud crunching coming from the next cubicle!
But you’re not missing much. Chips are devoid of healthy ingredients and high in fat, calories, and salt. They fill you up and are temptingly convenient, but they bring you no benefits at all. You might as well nibble on your pencil for all the good that potato chips do you—in fact, your pencil would be a healthier option.
Also, brown chips may contain acrylamide, which might increase your chance of contracting cancer. Acrylamide forms naturally as a result of cooking temperatures. Manufacturers are trying to reduce the amount of this chemical in their chips by changing the cooking temperatures – but there is still a risk.
If you like munching on something while you are typing away, then try substituting healthier alternatives such as dried fruit, kale chips, or trail mix.