never been a bitch so I don't act bitchy

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Royal Flush

So one night Pamie and Dan and I were watching TV, and just finishing up dinner. I took my plate and disappeared out of the living room, then came back and put my plate in the sink, now empty.

"What did you just do?" asked Pamie, a disturbed look on her face.

I thought for a second and realized what I'd just done. Mechanically. Automatically. Without thinking.

"I put the rest of my pasta in the toilet and flushed it down."

"Ew!" said Dan. "No!"

"Dan! Not you, too," I yelled. "You're from New York. You're supposed to understand."

"My friend used to do that all the time," Dan said. "She'd finish a meal and flush the rest down the toilet. I begged her to never do that while I was around or I'd leave."

"I don't understand what the big deal is," I protested. "We're battling ants right now. It's best not to attract them. And anyway, putting food in the toilet is just like-"

"Don't say it!" shouted Dan, covering his ears.

Pamie jumped in. "He once flushed a sausage. And I saw it."

"That's it. I'm leaving!" squealed Dan.

Honestly, I'd never thought too hard about it one way or the other. When I lived in New York, I had a tiny 3-bedroom on the first floor of an old half-commercial block in the West Village. And we had roaches. Tiny ones, but they were always there -- in the kitchen only, thank God. Whenever I'd come into the dark kitchen, I'd turn on the light and keep my eyes shut for a few seconds to give the fuckers time to skitter under the sink or into the rice or wherever they lived. Honestly, for all my love of New York, roaches are the one thing I can't deal with. A month ago I was being considered to write for a new midseason TV show. The catch was I'd have to move to New York for a few months at least. And aside from missing all my friends and my wife like crazy, the one thing that gave me serious pause was the knowledge that I'd once again be living in Roachland. So anyway, in that 3-bedroom, we had roaches and no disposal. That's living in a left-over food quandary.

Let's say you're eating something like soup. Chunky soup. And there's a bit left. What do you do with it, I ask you? Throw it in the garbage, only to have it leak everywhere? Try to shove it down the sink, only to get stuck in the pipes? Take it out to the curb? Dolphins don't like Chunky soup. No, there is only one obvious choice. The toilet. Right?

Once I moved to Los Angeles, I had a disposal in the first apartment I shared in the Valley. But then once I found my little one-bedroom in the last block of the Hollywood Hills (where I would live for seven years!) I was thrust back into the same left-over quandary. Roaches weren't a problem, but ants were. And they liked left out food just as much as roaches. So I was back to putting unwanted food down the toilet. Mostly soup-ish things that wouldn't fare well in a paper garbage bag under the sink, or, yes, I guess the occasional meat product. Seven years. It became second nature. Until I started dating Pamie.

And the sausage incident happened. And I was informed that it was disgusting. We debated the point, but I couldn't make her understand my side. So I stopped doing it. For the sake of the woman I loved. Cold turkey. (Which, incidentally, is something else I might have flushed down the toilet.)

Anyway. When we moved in together, the house we rented thankfully had a garbage disposal. As does the house we bought last year. And so until that one night, during Six Feet Under, a few nights after we'd learned the hard way just to what insane degree ants are fans of scrambled eggs, Food Down The Toilet hadn't been an issue for a few years. Until that night.

So help me out here. Pamie and Dan think it's the grossest thing in the world. I don't see anything wrong with it.

So, people: To flush, or not to flush? That is the question.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never heard of food flushing.

7:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

never heard of it, but sounds like a brilliant idea. go stee!

7:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no idea why this grosses me out so much, but it does. Like George says, though, "It's all PIPES!"

8:05 PM

Anonymous Lauren said...

I don't have a problem with it -- it seems pretty smart. Then again, I've been known to do a bunch of gross things in my time, so maybe I'm not a person you should be listening to.

10:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have no garbage disposal, it totally makes sense. I remember flushing things like oatmeal when I was a kid, before we had the disposal.

Doesn't it seem a lot grosser to have liquidy leftovers funking up the inside of the garbage can?

10:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I have two dogs so leftovers are not a big issue. Occasionally I do flush food, like soup that I can't put in food recycling bin. But I try to be very careful with that, because here in Finland we don't have dolphines but Saimaa Ringed Seal that cries when you do the enviromental no-good.

2:20 AM

Anonymous Libragirl said...

Totally gross. My brother and sister in law lived in apt. in The City and never flushed food. The TOOK THE GARBAGE OUT.

2:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to do the same thing until my wife also told me that it was dirty and disgusting.

I still do it from time to time when she's not looking.

Flush away, brother.

5:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you can flush food? Personally, I wouldn't dare try that at my house, as my toilets can barely choke down any "waste matter" that's larger than, say, a Roma tomato without the aid of a plunger.

Fortunately I have a dog, so leftovers are not a problem.

6:06 AM

Blogger Kizz said...

Sure it's gross but isn't the toilet where you're SUPPOSED to put gross stuff? I mean, you puke in there. Basically with the plate - porcelein maneuver you're just cutting out the middle man.

6:33 AM

Anonymous Shuffledog said...

Why is it disgusting? Far WORSE stuff goes down those pipes...

8:02 AM

Anonymous Wing Chun said...

In Toronto, we also have a special container for organics that goes to compost, and other food goes there. But we do flush runny wet stuff, like soup or cereal. Spaghetti or a sausage...I would say that's a bit weird, but I've never lived in New York.

8:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is flushing food any grosser than flushing poo?

1:14 PM

Anonymous Melanie said...

I think my mother would have put it best: Kitchen germs are kitchen germs, and bathroom germs are bathroom germs. Something about bringing a plate into the bathroom and then back into the kitchen freaks me out. That's probably a germaphobe tendency, though.

1:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Melanie; I'm not a germaphobe, it just seems...wrong. Then again, in 10 years of NYC living I've never had a roach problem, so I guess in that situation you do what you have to do, but a friend of mine flushed a bunch of past-due milk down the toilet last night, which I didn't get either. Just pour it down the sink and rinse the containers, homes! -- Sars

1:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I flushed all the time when I lived in Chicago and had no garbage disposal.

2:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I guess you and Vince can now do weird toilet things together when The Chaos and the Pamis/Stees get together.

2:31 PM

Blogger kate said...

In all my years of living in NYC, I've never flushed food down the toilet. Yuck. You know, if you put the drain collector thingie in the sink, and turn on the water lightly and pour chunky soup down, you'll wash away the broth, and just be left with a collection of noodles and beans and carrots or whatever. And then you can toss that into the garbage. Or, if it's like stew or something, then you could put it in a plastic grocery bag and then into the garbage bag, so it won't leak. But the toilet thing seems a little nasty. I'm with Pamie and Dan.

2:38 PM

Blogger Allison said...

stee, I wish I could be on your side, except that... well, IT'S THE NASTIEST THING I'VE EVER HEARD.

2:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

who hasn't thrown up partially digested food? i wonder if the people against flushing would fish out the food chunks and throw them in the trash. sorry, was that unnecessarily disgusting?

2:54 PM

Blogger gotcris said...

I can't say that I've ever done that, but it is a clever idea. I think that would be something that would be done not in mixed company. It seems like a guy's dorm sorta thing.

3:14 PM

Blogger mary ann said...

It had never even occurred to me that people would do that with any food. I think it's weird. And gross.

3:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do it all the time, especially when it's food that's been...forgotten about for a while (in the fridge), and it's in a container I want to keep (because yes, I am both too cheap to part with a good container easily, and too guilty-feeling about throwing out plastic). It ain't gross. Better than throwing it out the window onto the street or onto a midden, which is what used to happen....

4:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I'm running late, I eat my creal in the bathroom. The husband has informed me I'm gross. I say go for it.

4:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've NEVER flushed food down the toilet. Maybe because I've never lived in a big city... but ewww.

5:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing is, we all KNOW that what ends up in the toilet starts out as food. But we don't want to be reminded of it while it's still in it's original state. Kitchen is for food. Bathroom is for poo. Do not mix up the two. Only chaos lurks down that path.


6:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I do know the difference between it's and its. Just not while I'm posting. Gah.


6:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flush, totally. If it's that or roaches, easy choice.

6:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never heard of people doing it, but I really don't see why it's gross. I mean, essentially, a toilet is a garbage can that you don't have to drag to the curb, so flush on.

6:44 PM

Blogger Lobsterchick said...

Pamie wins this round. That's horrific.

6:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is madness! WHAT is so gross about it? I do it all the time. Food is far less repellent than diarreah (sp?). Jeez, people, toughen up.

6:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

no. no no no no. do not flush the food. the toilet is not for food. not even the composting toilet. not the flush toilet, not the groover, not the living machine, no. indoors, outdoors, no toilet is for food. in New York, there is the incinerator. or the curb. in LA, there is surely the trash can with a lovely sprinkle of diatomaceous earth atop the food, thus giving you the comfort of nontoxically slaying many more ants via internal bleeding while not repelling your sensible wife and many a reader. lordy.

7:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, sorry. Pamie is right on with this one. No dishes near the potty. MAYBE if you are tossing food that was in a disposable take away container, but the thought of putting a plate or reusable storage container that close to a toilet is just AWFUL.

7:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I lived in the dorms at my college for 5 years and the toilet was pretty much the only garbage disposal we had. So while incredibly gross, it was necessary. Although, I did have a friend who used his bathtub as the dishwasher. Gross!!!

7:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And that was in a coed dorm, as I'm a girl. (just felt like clarifying.)

7:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm gonna have to side with the wife on this one. Fricken gross, dude.

7:26 PM

Blogger Sarah said...

Kind of gross. I'll go with kind of gross.

7:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had never heard of it until I read about it here, but it's a brilliant idea. I don't have a garbage disposal, so you can bet I'll try this the next time around. Thanks!

7:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what's the big deal about taking a dish into the bathroom? You're going to wash the dish afterwards, correct? Think about it. You take a shower or bathe in there. You get your body clean and you brush your teeth in the bathroom. All next to the toilet.

7:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really don't understand what is so gross about it. It's not something I do on a normal basis, but if it's soup or cereal, it's going down the toilet. The bowl or container doesn't get that close to the toilet, and I'm always holding on to it. But using the bathtub for washing dishes or eating on the throne? Really, really gross.

7:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huh. This doesn't strike me as the slightest bit gross. I've always had both a compost pile and a garbage disposal, so I've never had to do it, but I wouldn't hesitate to flush food. In fact, my roommate insists on flushing milk that's so sour it's turned chunky, although I generally just put it down the drain.

So for those who find it disgusting, what is it exactly? So far the only reason people have given is that a dinner plate should never be in the bathroom, but, I mean, come on. I mean, don't you all use your hand to wipe your ass, with only the protection of some toilet paper, and yet trust that once you've washed that hand, it's safe to use for other things, including eating from? But somehow, after putting a plate 6 inches from a toilet, nothing could make it clean enough to eat off of? Give me a break. It makes no sense.

Flush away, man. As much as it pains me to go against Pamie, I gotta say she's nuts in this case.

8:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the whole act of flushing your food down the toilet is king of weird. I have never heard of that until now.

However, I don't think it's gross. What's so gross about it? As somebody earlier pointed out, the dishes will get cleaned. And far more disgusting things have been flushed down the toilet then some leftover food.

So... I declare stee the winner of this round.

- Karen

8:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have flushed food down the toilet my whole life, and I grew up in South Dakota where I never saw a roach. It makes sense if you don't have a garbage disposal. And for all the people saying just take the trash out, I now live in New York, and I am not about to walk up and down all the stairs in my six floor walk-up to throw out a bag of leaky food every time I have leftovers.


8:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

flush! flush! flush! if it's roaches/ants otherwise... no contest.

8:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why, but GROSS!

I've never even heard of anyone flushing food -- and while I can understand the benefits, something about it just creeps me out.

Little soupy leftovers? Dump it in the sink. Take a spoon and mash up any chunks until they go down the drain. If it clogs, plead the fifth.

For larger items that I don't want stinking up the garbage, I simply throw them over the fence into the neighbors yard.
Because I? am a terrible neighbor.
Seriously. Chicken, fish, pasta, burgers, pie, turkey carcass.. over the fence it goes!

9:32 PM

Anonymous Courtney said...

There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't flush. I've been doing it my whole life and don't find anything wrong with it. Flush away!

9:34 PM

Blogger alx. said...

I've never heard of it, but why not?

9:38 PM

Anonymous Kim said...

I don't see the problem with flushing, but I've learned that some people have toilet phobia. Like my friend's husband can't take a bath because it puts him on eye level with the toilet and the poo germs are going to...jump into his face? I don't know the reasoning, but some people are just irrational about the toilet. Yeah, I said it. Irrational.

Anyway, I just toss leftover in the garbage unless it's liquid and then it's down the drain. I live in the boonies and we have a garbage disposal and also a septic system, which I don't want to tax with too much...solids, if you will. I get not wanting to take out the garbage when you live on the third floor or whatever, but I've never had a plastic garbage bag leak. It just stinks sometimes.

In conclusion, I side with stee. Although he should do it quietly and out of Pam's earshot. stee has uncovered the divisive issue of our generation! Everyone has an opinion on this one.

9:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm grossed out by the flushing, not 'cause the dish is in the bathroom, because, seriously, it's not like you're not going to wash it before you eat off it again. It's the visual of the food in the toilet, which I find vomit-inducing without even having to actually see it. When I was growing up we had a separate little trash bucket for food that closed very tightly--my mom kept it in the fridge to keep away the ants, which is maybe just as gross as flushing--but I guess that doesn't help if the food is soup. So I guess I see your point, but... gross. I'm with Pamie.

10:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I do think it's weird, I don't think it's terribly gross.

That said, flushing wastes water and keeping an old yogurt container or something in the freezer to collect such wastes until garbage pickup is at least as practical (no smell, no clogging drains, no leaking) and probably would not gross anyone out. I think Pamie wins.

10:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, so at first I thought this was reallyreally gross and it made me nauseous. But the more I thought about it the more I couldn't figure out WHY I thought it was gross. So after much contemplating (I have no life. shut up), I figured out that its the idea of EATING in the bathroom that's really gross, but as long as you're just flushing it and not snacking in there... I guess its not that bad. Sorry Pamie.

10:20 PM

Anonymous Ellen said...

My MOTHER is an advocate for The Flush when it involves thick liquids of any kind: tomato sauce, gravy, etc. I have been instructed to perform this maneuver while loading the dishwasher and cannot. do. it. To me it's too When World's Collide. Therefore, when she cleans a pot, I *don't know* what happens to those thick liquids, I just know that they disappear.

10:24 PM

Anonymous Narami said...

Pamie wins here.
Undigested food + toilet = foshi.

10:30 PM

Blogger dammitray said...

put it in the raccoon trap. free raccoon.

10:32 PM

Anonymous Allie said...

Erm... Gross. I grew up in Michigan, where we have both ants and roaches in hazardous amounts depending one where you live, along with the least picky field mice ever, raccoons and mentally unstable deer. We didn't have a disposal, but I never shoved leftovers down the toilet. I'll have to side with pamie and Dan, sorry.

11:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why it's so grosse. It all ends up in the same place, anyway.

11:22 PM

Blogger laurie said...

Nasty. The horrible plop would sound too much like someone vomiting. And, even the mental image of spaghetti in the toilet is more than I can handle. I have to side with Pam.

11:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Er, uh...pardon me, I'm feeling queasy and a little faint...

11:58 PM

Anonymous Bella said...

I don't understand why it's so gross? It's not like you're storing it in there for later. Could somebody explain what the big deal is? The undigested food is less gross than what normally gets flushed. I think it's a pretty handy way of getting rid of scraps - no mess, no fuss.

3:17 AM

Blogger K~ said...

The logic is there; but so is that heavy feeling in the back of my throat I get right before I get sick. I'm with Pamie on this one.

4:51 AM

Blogger Meeralee said...

Dude, it's not that the food is gross. It's that the toilet and its usual contents are gross, and it's incredibly disturbing to have food, which you, you know, put in your mouth to eat, associated with toilet imagery. It's not that the act of flushing food down the loo is actively disgusting, its that doing so contaminates the act of eating food you don't want to dispose of with the image of the toilet bowl. And that's just tough to swallow.

5:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flush away, stee. I never used to do it until I found myself stuck with a bunch of frying pan fat after a big batch of bacon. I flushed 'er and haven't looked back since.

5:56 AM

Anonymous Tracy said...

I've done it. I just can't look while it's happening without gagging. Only the wet stuff though. I'm with pamie on the sausages.

5:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You shouldn't flush fat (or pour it down the sink drain). Pour it into a jar or empty can, let it solidify, and put it in the trash.

I think I'm starting to understand why people find the flushing so gross. They find the mental image of food floating in the toilet nauseating, which makes some sense, since it's very reminiscent of actual vomit. But I think what's become clear is one thing: the disgust is not rational. There's nothing actually bad or dirty about flushing food, it just skeeves some people out. So Pamie doesn't really have a leg to stand on here.

6:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with the above--the idea of pouring the food into the toilet and seeing it there is gross, but there's nothing inherently bad about flushing it. Sounds like a bit of a toilet hang-up to me (sorry, Pamie, Dan and other dissenters). I've gone up against some serious roach situations living in New York, and YOU DO WHAT MUST BE DONE. The last apartment I lived in, the trash cans were in an unlit alcove in an unlit alley between two buildings. Faced with the choice, in the dark of night, between taking out the trash (and four flights down was that dark alley) and flushing down the remains of a late dinner so as not to attract the roach battalions overnight, I admit I have flushed. Not habitually, but it has been done, and I have no regrets.

6:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, stee, gotta go with Pamie on this one. It's really gross.

6:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was growing up we didn't have a garbage disposal either so really wet things, like the remainder of your morning cereal, would get flushed down the toilet. I didn't know it was a big deal until now, seemed logical. Heh, sometimes the pull of the flush couldn't get all of the Cheerios so there would be little floating O's for the next person who used the toilet.

6:33 AM

Blogger chrissyg said...

Fer sher. I flush coffee grinds mostly, but also do wettish food items like soup. I'm with ya, Stee!

6:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole idea grosses me out. I lived for years in an apt. with no disposal. The leftover food went into a landfill clogging plastic bag and straight out into the dumpster. I'm no friend to the environment.

I have no good reason for finding food flushing so gross, yet I do.

Pamie is right.


6:43 AM

Anonymous Lauren said...

As a kid, I used to secretly smuggle and flush food I really didn't want to eat. But even then, I appreciated that it was a disgusting thing to be doing. Food and toilets do not belong together.

6:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My boyfriend's old roomate used to throw unwanted food out the window (they had woods behind their building, it wasn't going into the street or anything) because he thought putting food in the garbage would make the apartment smell. This was all fine and good (though a bit crazy) until one day a woman who lived on a lower floor asked them if they knew why she kept finding food on top of her air conditioner. She said she was looking out the window the day before and saw hotdogs and beans landing on top of it. I guess sometimes the toilet isn't the worste solution.

7:19 AM

Blogger Beth said...

I side with the dog that is at the pound right now thinking, "That fucker flushed my pasta." The dog that should live in your house, eating your pasta and sausages.

7:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stee, you big pussy...

I've lived in New York for...forever and I have never met anyone who flushed their food. The mere thought of it makes me want to gag.

Pamie and Dan win!

Sarah C.

7:49 AM

Anonymous Kathleen said...

I don't see what the big deal is. Yeah, now that you have a garbage disposal, it would make more sense to use it... but flushing the food seems like a pretty pragmatic solution, sans disposal.

7:50 AM

Anonymous kelly said...

Or you could just dump the leftover food in a ziplock baggie and throw that away. And empty your trash fairly regularly. It keeps the roaches out of my place.

8:02 AM

Anonymous ladylivewire said...

I've done it when I didn't have a disposal and I had extra chunky soup to get rid of. You're so right--what else do you do with chunky soup?

I don't see how it's gross. I never let the dish touch the toilet or anything.

8:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw my boyfriend do it once and was horrified. He's been flushing food for years, apparently. You're the first person I've found who also does this...he would be so happy. Yuck!

8:09 AM

Blogger lisa said...

I have never heard of anyone flushing the leftovers, but my first reaction was that it was revolting. Now that I've tried to think of why it would be revolting I can't see a reason. But I still wouldn't do it, who wants to go all the way upstairs to the bathroom when the garbage is right there in the kitchen?

8:14 AM

Anonymous Potes said...

I had no idea that this is something people do! My mind is blown. And I am horrified. Like, when you're cleaning your toilet I think the last thing you'd want to see is splattered tomato sauce.

8:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yuck! Pamie wins!

9:05 AM

Anonymous Courtenay said...

I can understand the motivation for flushing leftovers, but I have to agree that there is something icky about your dinner plate being near your toilet seat. In our apartment we keep all of our perishable garbage, like leftovers and random scraps from cutting up veggies, in the freezer. We just double-bag a couple of plastic grocery bags, dump in the garbage, and stick it in the freezer. That way the food doesn't stink anything up and it doesn't attract bugs. You can do it with soup and other liquid stuff too. Just make sure the bags don'r have holes and tie off the top so it doesn't leak before it freezes solid. It never occured to me to do this growing up, but my boyfriend's family has always done it and it really is a good trick. No flushing food and no bugs! Problem solved and no one gets grossed out.

9:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eek, no offense, but storing garbage in the freezer grosses me out more than just getting rid of it, however you do it. Still not down with the sausage thing--wet stuff only--but in certain circumstances, if you gotta flush, you gotta flush.

10:44 AM

Blogger Leah said...

My husband flushes the crusty catfood, because it makes the garbage reek. And I have been known to flush unidentified leftovers because I cannot bear to throw it in the garbage.
If I had a disposal, I'd use that.

10:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't object to the grossness of flushing food so much as to the wasting of water and making extra work for the water purifying plant (or whatever it's called in English).

I once toured such a facility btw, and Oh My God, talk about gross...

1:06 PM

Anonymous Laura said...

Huh. I've honestly never heard or thought about it. I'm from the boonies of the Midwest- we throw our excess or spoiled food in the field where it returns from whence it came. :) But let me tell you how much it sucks to be dumping spoiled food wayyyy far awaay from the house, trying to get it out of out of the tupperware when it is below zero with snow on the ground.

So, to me, this flushing thing sounds like not a bad idea.

And also? Why do so many think it's gross? extra food is not human excrement or vomit- is it just the toilet's association with those things that makes you think it's gross? And if so, do you walk inot your bathroom every morning and greet it with an, 'EW!! GROSS!' Think of the poor toilet. After all he does for you, this is how you treat him. Maybe you should go scrub him out an extra time to make him feel better.

Also, flushing food is so much better than ants. Ants are disgusting and you step on them and have to kill them with your hand when you see them excaping and can't grab a napkin in time. And they crawl all over your counters, leaving their grubby, disease-filled footprints all over the place. THAT is gross.

Sorry, pammie, I'm with stee on this one.

1:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

??? What is the big deal? Bugs = gross. Food in the can = not all that gross.

1:54 PM

Blogger zanie said...

As long as there's no splash-age from the toilet onto the plate or utensil, I don't see an issue with it. I find a garbage bag full of rotting food MUCH more disgusting that a little flushing.

3:44 PM

Anonymous stephanie said...


I also flush liquidy foods down the toilet. Foods like cereal, for example, are much better being flushed. The flakes can get stuck to the bowl while the bowl waits to be washed... I would also flush soup, since it would cause a leak in my trash, which is never fun. This method is very pragmatic and actually pretty non-gross. One hopes you will not be in the process of using the bathroon whilst you flush. Certainly not... I don't know about you, but our garbage disposal rarely does much good. There are very many things you cannot put there that you may flush. I mean, let's think about it... It is going down the toilet sooner or later, at least this way is hygenic.

5:25 PM

Blogger Melissa said...


5:39 PM

Anonymous Jeff said...

I guess it makes sense, but I've never done it and it makes me feel sick thinking about it.

6:46 PM

Anonymous Amanda said...

I don't understand at all why people are so disgusted by this. I've never done it, but if I had a bug-problem, I'd do it. I figure that's less gross than having bugs crawling around in my kitchen.

7:39 PM

Anonymous kC said...

What lots of y'all have already said--logically, it makes sense, but the part of my brain untouched by logic is still kind of squicked out by the idea.

9:22 PM

Anonymous Ms Thing said...

1. I live in NYC.
2. I flush old soup or other wet meals left in a pan down the toilet. I don't have a garbage disposal.

If you know how to wash your plates and kitchen utensils correctly, it's not a big deal.


10:17 PM

Blogger Cunning Linguist said...

Part of me thinks that utterly disgusting, but a part of me thinks it makes sense. But it just seems kinda awkward to put non-digested food down the toilet.

I had a friend growing up who, when she brushed her teeth, would spit the toothpaste in the toilet. I still haven't figured that one out, but I made her stop whenever she spent the night at my house or vice versa.

7:28 AM

Anonymous Michelle S. said...

Ok, everyone is getting stuck on the wet soup-cereal thing. The problem is not with soup or wet stuff... it's with flushing chicken, pasta, sausage, vegtables, etc... The toliet is not a garbage disposal!! Ick!

7:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like many posters, it's hard for me to oppose Pamie, especially since, you know, dead to her.
But my mom always used the flush disposal system for stuff that would otherwise sit in the trash barrel (ham and cabbage water, for example, after a boiled dinner). As a kid whose oldest brother used to regularly deposit her in the trash barrel, I was definitely a fan of Mom's system.
So really, this is less about siding with Stee; Pamie, my mom SAID!

7:50 AM

Blogger Jeni said...

Sorry, pamie & Dan & all you other non-flushies out there. I say DO IT! I have a disposal, so no problems there, but when I lived in a Bingham house? Flushed it all.

Also, Cheerios are good for the aim of toilet-training little boys. I'm just sayin'.

12:24 PM

Anonymous TB said...

I don't think I've ever done it personally, but after careful consideration, I say it's okay. Waste disposal is waste disposal.

1:04 PM

Blogger BB said...

I think what surprises me is not so much that people think it's gross - although I do think that's a weird reaction - but that people are shocked and amazed by the very concept.

I find having to put things in the toilet at work is absolutely disgusting, but that's because I have no idea who uses that thing and people in my office building generally don't know how to be clean in the bathroom. (We have no disposal, nor even a proper kitchen sink, at my office).

However, when at the Home Toilet (wow, thanks Chaos!), I have no problem flushing wet-ish or decaying items, since I don't want them mucking up the trash bin. I don't usually flush non-decaying solids ... and I wouldn't flush a sausage, 'cause I think it would get stuck.

1:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually ended up here through Pamie's blog, but I have to side with you Stee. I live in Chicago and have no disposal, but I do have ants. Flushing food is just practical. Though, even if I didn't have ants, I'd still do it. I really don't see what the problem is.

1:34 PM

Anonymous Laziza said...

I have never even heard of that. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I have to ... process.

3:38 PM

Anonymous nes said...

Well, where I live (Santa Fe, NM) a lot of places are on septic systems including the place that I rent. And I know that flushing food, and most especially meat, is not good for septics. Whether or not flushing shit down a regular city sewer system can cause the same type of mayhem, I have no clue. Does anyone know if there is an actual health reason not to do this other than it just seems gross?

4:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flush away Stee! Just aim straight and don't fall in.

4:59 PM

Anonymous Jennifer said...

I think it's warped, but there are grosser things out there than this.

But what I can't help but wonder, and what 102 people before me haven't brought up is, how on earth did you NOT clog up the toilet doing this? If a tiny little tampon can clog a toilet, how on earth did you get away with SAUSAGE?

7:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

definitely flush it, but be sensible. unground meat does not belong in the toilet, nor do half-eaten sandwiches or anything cumbersome. scrambled eggs? yes. oatmeal? check. cereal, tuna, and other soggy things? yes. even.... spaghetti!

if you are going to put sausage in there, at least cut it up first. you don't want to choke a dolphin with your kielbasa.

(or maybe you do, you sicko!)

8:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say FLUSH away. Cut out the middle man, M.C. Colon.

10:01 PM

Blogger Jen said...

It feels yucky, but there's no real logical reason why. I mean, it's not like you're still going to eat that food. What's the big deal? I think for me, it's the dishes in the bathroom part.

But I've done it. Logic overcame the gross feeling, so I say go for it. Work that flusher!

10:12 PM

Anonymous badrobot said...

I suppose this isn't really quite the same issue, but in my apartment, whenever we have food that would smell if left in trash, we put it in a plastic bag in the freezer and then throw that out on garbage day. Liquidy stuff gets strained down the drain and then the potentially smelly stuff is in the freezer.

The toilet thing doesn't seem so much gross as just really weird.

8:21 AM

Anonymous dr.jd said...

I dunno about the toilet thing...somehow I doubt it'd stop 'em for long by itself. I once found a string of ants marching happily into my freezer (which was open a crack), where they quickly froze and died. But they kept marching. My housemate thought they were carrying a queen in there.

The only reason humans are doing better than the ants (by most measures) is that we've got chemical weapons of mass destruction.

9:27 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh come on, like there's a choice between ant and/or roaches and flushing food down the toilet when you don't have the luxury of having a garbage disposal?
please! you sit your ass on the toilet and expel bodily wastes.
what's the difference between that and putting food that HASN'T been digested in there?!!

honestly, white people.

8:01 PM

Anonymous Lumenatrix said...

Did you ever think you would get this many comments on this?

Anyway, we get ants too,and while I have never heard of flushing food, if the toilet can handle it, I think that is a fab idea. As for the folks who want you to walk every bit of leftover to the curb as you end up with it, they can come on over and carry it down the three flights at my house anytime. I may just institute flushing food at my house.

4:36 AM

Anonymous Jen Z said...

Okay, now, my Pamie bloglines feed was broken so I'm behind schedule and no one's going to read down this far. But! I vote with Pamie -- it's gross. And yes, I do get it that there's no sensible reason for this position that anyone can actually defend. But that's just how it is. For about half of us, apparently, at least. Heck, if you must know, if I have the stomach flu etc., I don't even like to throw up in the toilet. Having my face that close to the toilet just makes me feel MORE nauseated. Best place for old food, throw-up -- basically everything except #1 and #2 -- is a trash can or a sink, preferably a sink with a garbage disposal. Sez me.

2:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at a friend's house recently and she couldn't put ice in my drink because her BF is a garbage freezer and it made everything in the freezer smell - including the ice. She couldn't be appologetic enough, but the thought of putting trash (rotten left-overs!), next to your freshly bought and frozen food?!??!?! GROSS!!!!

Flush on Stee!

Chris in NJ

1:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the food is already rotten, then the freezer trick doesn't work. Rotten food is already rotten and should be taken to the curb/dumpster. If all you need to do is get rid of the last 4 bites of something you just ate, or the peel you just cut off some cucumber, or the end of the onion you just used that's going to stink up the trash can, then tossing it in a bag and then the freezer works great. I do it all the time. My trash doesn't leak, or stink, and neither does my freezer b/c the throw-out food goes in fresh, not rotting.

4:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My fiance designs the big plants that clean water (both for the water you drink and the water you probably don't want to drink).

The look on his face when I suggested one would flush food down the toilet was sheer horror. Then again, we don't have to deal with large, creepy bugs as roommates.

I guess it affects the efficiency of the water treatment plant - the processing takes up more energy therefore costing everyone more money in the end. They design plants to break down human waste, not food.

That's what I understood of it, at least...

6:14 PM

Blogger Jocelyn said...

we flush, within reason. it depends upon the break-up-ability factor, but more because we have 4 days between rubbish pickups, and 4 days of key west sun can make double bagged kleenex smell like the pits of hell.
other interesting refuse disposal methods here is double-bagging seafood leftover parts and freezing them prior to dumping them in the trash. but flush!

9:34 AM

Anonymous erin said...

weird? yes.
gross? no.

but what is wrong with the disposal? do the ants go in there?!?

6:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Splashback. It's all about the grossness of the splashback. Odds are, microscopic drops of poo-laden water will splash back onto the crockery.

THAT is disgusting.

9:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neither weird nor gross. We mostly don't have garbage disposals in Europe (we do have a washing machine in every house, though, and not that weird sort that gets stuffed from the top). Flushing chunky wet stuff is THE ONLY option, unless you want to have a very yucky trashcan.

2:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry stee, gotta go with Pamie on this one.

hope you aren't on a septic tank!

8:42 AM

Anonymous Christopher A. Wheeler said...

bb is correct, sausage DOES plug the toilet. That's why a google search brought me here; I just plugged my toilet with a sausage and now I'm trying to figure out how to fix it.

1:24 PM

Blogger Judi said...

I've never heard of this! And I'm from NY. I think it's brilliant. I could see how others would think it was gross, but I'm in the pro-camp. Although probably not for myself while I'm in a basement apartment.

1:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who can object to biodegradeable food wastegoing into a toilet and being replaced with fresh water?Many localities make compost from the solids which have been biodegraded. Sure bears landfill!

12:04 PM

Blogger nancey said...

I'm from the Bronx. We flush all food down the toilet. But I live in Mass. now, they don't. strange.

9:25 AM


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