A couple of years ago, a tenant called me on the phone and told me that her dishwasher smelled bad and that the bad odor was getting worse. I went over to her apartment, sniffed inside her dishwasher, and said: “Your dishwasher smells like fish. Do you know why?” She told me that she didn’t know why but that maybe – just maybe – it was because she had been cooking salmon in her dishwasher. That left me confused. She then showed me a cookbook with a recipe in it for salmon cooked in a dishwasher. This was something that I had not heard about before. I told her to stop cooking fish in her dishwasher and to run the dishwasher twice with nothing in it except dishwasher detergent. When I got home, I went online and searched ‘fish cooked in a dishwasher.’ To my surprise, I found dozens of recipes for fish cooked in a dishwasher. (No. I’m not making this up, although this story may sound just too bizarre to be true. Go to Google and check it out for yourself.)
Cooking fish in a dishwasher is a really bad idea, no matter what anybody tells you. Predictably, your dishwasher will smell like fish. Even worse, cooking fish in your dishwasher could make you very sick. The heat in your dishwasher may not be sufficient to kill parasites and dangerous microorganisms like salmonella. The temperature inside a dishwasher doesn’t get anywhere nearly as high as the temperature inside an oven. That’s why there are plastic parts inside your dishwasher, but there are no plastic parts inside your oven. I also found recipes online for chicken, turkey, eggs, lobster, and lasagna cooked in a dishwasher. You should never cook food in your dishwasher. It isn’t designed for that. (Yes, everyone knows that you have to be very smart to get into U.C. Berkeley, but unfortunately, the SAT doesn’t have any questions on it like: “Should you cook fish in your oven or your dishwasher?”)
I can’t figure out why anybody would want to cook fish in a dishwasher. If an apartment has a dishwasher, it also has a stove. There are lots of apartments that have a stove but no dishwasher, but I’ve never seen an apartment that had a dishwasher but no stove. Take a look at the photo below. I copied this photo from a recipe for salmon cooked in a dishwasher on the Realtor.com web site. It seems to me that they should know better than to recommend something like this. Look at this photo and ask yourself – What sort of person would look at this picture and not immediately know that there is something wrong – very wrong – with this?
People put the strangest things into their dishwashers. I once had a tenant who ruined an expensive pair of hiking boots by washing them in his dishwasher. Here is a list of things that you should never put in your dishwasher.
Wooden items. The water and heat inside a dishwasher can warp and crack wooden items, like salad bowls, cutting boards, and utensils with wood handles, like steak knives.
Cast iron cookware. Seasoning prevents cast iron cookware from rusting, but a dishwasher will remove it.
Non-stick cookware. Most non-stick coatings do not hold up well in the dishwasher.
Aluminum cookware. Aluminum pots and pans can oxidize in a dishwasher and turn dull or even black.
Insulated mugs. The heat of a dishwasher can damage the vacuum seal between the inner and out walls. Once that happens, the mug will lose its ability to retain heat.
Sharp knives. They will lose their edge.
Dishes with big pieces of food on them. You don’t have to rinse dishes before loading them in your dishwasher, but you should scrape food off of them first.
Crocs. It might seem that the easiest way to clean Crocs and other rubbery footwear is to put them in the dishwasher, but the heat in a dishwasher can shrink and warp them.
Computer keyboards. Yes, people have done this. I know how hard it is to clean a computer keyboard and get the dust and dirt off the sides of the keys, but you will ruin your keyboard if you put it in a dishwasher.
President Trump has repeatedly threatened to cut off FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) funds for California firefighters. Trump claims that California’s forest fires are the result of poor forest management by the state. In January, Trump tweeted: “Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest (sic) fires that, with proper Forrest (sic) Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!”
There are 2 big problems with Donald Trump’s argument.
1. Most really big forest fires in California start on Federal land, not land owned by the state of California. That’s not surprising since the Federal government owns 48% of all the land in California, including most of the forest land in the state. For example, this past summer’s Carr Fire started in a recreation area owned by the United States Forest Service. The fire then moved onto private land and then into the city of Redding itself, where the fire destroyed over 1,000 houses. The most destructive and deadliest wildfire in California’s history was this past summer’s Camp Fire, which also started on land owned by the U.S. Forest Service. It was the world’s costliest natural disaster in 2018. A long list of Federal agencies own big chunks of California real estate in addition to the Forest Service, including the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. All of these agencies are under the direct control of President Trump. While it is true that forests in California have been and are being badly managed, most of these forests are under the control of the president of the United States, not the governor of California.
2. Climate change and global warming are major factors in California’s forest fires. Over the past 100 years, the average temperature in California has risen by 3 degrees. In addition, the average annual rainfall in California has fallen. This warmer, drier air sucks water out of plants and the soil, leaving trees and grass drier than they used to be. The California fire season used to be late summer, but now, it is nearly all year round. California used to get some rain in late October that wet things down, but now, the rain doesn’t come until November or December. Global warming is not a controversial theory within the scientific community, but unfortunately, President Trump and most of the people in his cabinet believe that it is.
Sonny Perdue. The U.S. Forest Service is under the control of the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. Perdue believes that global warming is a hoax. He calls global warming “junk science” and “a running joke.” Perdue is also one of the neo-Confederates in Trump’s cabinet. For as long as I can remember, neo-Confederates have always frustrated me. I grew up in Maryland, which was a slave state until the end of the Civil War. When Perdue talks about slavery and the Civil War, he sounds like the pro-Confederate schoolteachers I had when I was a kid. When Perdue was governor of Georgia, he tried to put the Confederate battle flag back into the Georgia state flag, and he made April ‘Confederate Heritage Month’. Perdue believes that most slaves supported the Confederacy and that large numbers of them fought for the Confederacy too. Perdue’s claim that there was widespread support for the Confederacy among the slaves has come under a lot of criticism from historians, just as his speeches on global warming have come under a lot of criticism from climate scientists. When I was living in Maryland, I knew white people who shared Sonny Perdue’s belief that black people didn’t mind being slaves and that during the Civil War, their sympathies were with their owners and the Confederacy, just like in ‘Gone With The Wind’; however, I have never met a black person in my life who shared that view.