A scandal is unfolding in the culinary world. Apparently many of the “food hacks” popularized by online cooking videos just don’t work. Microwaving milk and eggs results in scrambled eggs, not flan, people.
But a new cooking video series on the Asian Food Network, Asia's largest television and online food channel, includes an unlikely ingredient that’s a little too real. The videos show AFN's celebrity chefs including Sherson Lian and Debbie Wong making dishes like soy sauce-covered sea bass, spicy clams and oyster porridge. But before they’re done, they top off their dishes with a heaping spoonful of plastic or chopped up bits of straws.
The films are the latest in the World Wildlife Fund’s “Your Plastic Diet” campaign by Grey Malaysia, which debuted last year and draws attention to microplastics in the food chain. Since plastic doesn’t biodegrade, it breaks down into tiny, sometimes microscopic pieces that contaminate water, meat and seafood. The effort supports WWF's push for a globally binding treaty on plastic pollution.
According to a University of Newcastle study, people all over the world are eating as much as five grams of plastic a week without knowing it—about a credit card’s worth of plastic.
“The only way we are going to stem the flow of plastic into nature is at a global level, a Paris Climate Agreement, but against plastic pollution," said Kim Stengert, chief of strategic communication and external relations at WWF Singapore in a statement. "The ‘Plastic Diet’ is now a constant reminder to policy and decision makers everywhere that urgent action is needed.”
The twenty new spots are running in 11 countries where AFN airs: Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Mongolia and Taiwan.