9 Clever Products That Will Protect Your Lunch From Food Thieves

iStock.com/ilbusca
iStock.com/ilbusca

It’s happened to all of us: You’ve been thinking about lunch all morning and when it’s finally time to eat, you realize that your meal has been stolen by one of your co-workers. Food theft is no joke and should not be taken lightly. Keep your edibles safe from your thieving colleagues with these protective products.

1. Fred E.M.T. (Emergency Meal Transport) Insulated Lunch Tote


Fred, Amazon

No one is going to want to steal an organ—after all, those can’t be properly cooked in the break room microwave. The bag is foam-insulated to keep your kidney (or sandwich) cold. Great for anyone who doesn't work at a hospital.

Buy it on Amazon for $20 or at these other retailers:

2. Accoutrements Crime Scene Sandwich Bags

Plastic baggies with yellow "crime scene tape" printed on them

Accoutrements, Amazon

This set of 10 plastic baggies comes with either police tape or quarantined banners. If they don't succeed at thwarting thieves, you may to have to close off the kitchenette with real crime scene tape while you dust for prints.

Buy it on Amazon for $5 or at these other retailers:

3. Roach Bag Clips

A roach-shaped bag clip on a bag of snacks

Orwill, Amazon

If making your lunch look like a crime scene doesn’t work, try making it look infested. These bag clips are designed to look like everyone’s least favorite mealtime companion: the cockroach. Stick them on or in your snack bags to deter even the most strong-stomached lunch thieves.

Buy it on Amazon for $8 per pack of four.

4. Forum Novelties Moldy Sandwich Bags

A novelty sandwich bag designed to look like a piece of bread is moldy and cockroach-infested

Forum Novelties, Amazon

These bags take it a step further with fake mold and a cockroach. Even if it doesn’t trick anyone, it’s certain to ruin their appetite. There are only four bags per pack, so use them wisely—and be sure to check your food for real mold before use.

Buy it on Amazon for $5 or at these other retailers:

5. Fred Already Been Chewed Cookie Cutters

Gingerbread man cookies formed to look like they've had bites taken out of them
Fred

Make your sneaky co-worker believe that someone beat them to the punch by using these cookie cutters, which make it look like these tasty treats have already been snacked on. The three gingerbread man molds each have a bite mark shape aimed at different parts of their bodies. The package even comes a gingerbread recipe.

Buy it on eBay for $10.

6. It's Not Your Lunch Locking Lunch Bag

This black bag gets straight to the point: “It’s not your lunch.” If the harsh (but valid) statement isn’t enough to rattle your co-workers, the lock will do the trick. The 8-inch-tall bag is insulated to keep your meals at the right temperature, but the main attraction is the hunk of metal standing between food thieves and your delicious pre-bitten cookies.

Buy it on It's Not Your Store for $20 and up.

7. CaseOrama Stained Mug

A mug that appears stained with coffee and lipstick

CaseOrama, Amazon

No one wants to wash other people’s dishes, so this dirty mug will be strictly off limits to everyone but you. The design features what looks like spilled coffee and lipstick on the rim, so it appears to have been heavily used. Only you will know better. It’s dishwasher safe, so you can get it really clean, despite its appearance.

Buy it on Amazon for $19.

8. Cooluli Portable Mini Fridge

A mini portable fridge open to reveal apples, vegetables, and cans of soda

Cooluli, Amazon

If people won’t stop taking your stuff out of the fridge, it's time to get your own. This portable mini fridge, complete with removable shelves, is big enough to hold up to 12 cans of soda. It can be plugged into a regular outlet or even a car cigarette lighter (we did say portable) and runs more quietly than most computer fans, according to Amazon reviewers.

Buy it on Amazon for $90 or at these other retailers (potentially in different colors):

9. Fridge Safe Box Locker

A small locked cage designed to hold lunches in a fridge

5Star Super Deals, Walmart

If none of these other tricks work, you can get even more aggressive. Nothing says “stay away from my lunch” quite like a plastic food cage with a combination lock. The 12-inch-long locker comes with a handle so you can take it to and from work, and if, in the worst case scenario, your co-worker cracks the code and steals your yogurt, at least you'll know they've earned it.

Buy it at Walmart for $16.

A version of this article first ran in 2016.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

This Caturday, Watch Two Kitties Duke It Out in the World’s Oldest Cat 'Video'

VladK213/iStock via Getty Images
VladK213/iStock via Getty Images

Yes, Thomas Edison’s invention of the first commercially successful light bulb indisputably altered the landscape of modern technology. But was it really his most important contribution to the world as we know it? This first-ever “cat video,” shot in his Black Maria Studio in New Jersey, suggests the answer is "No.”

In the 20-second short film from 1894, two cats bedecked in boxing gloves and harnesses duke it out inside a tiny ring. According to the Public Domain Review, the cat-thletes were members of Professor Henry Welton’s touring cat circus, which also featured cats riding bicycles and doing somersaults.

The film’s subject matter is actually pretty on par with the level of eccentricity reached in Edison’s other early recordings, which weren’t always animal-friendly. Atlas Obscura reports that he electrocuted an elephant, filmed a trapeze artist undressing, and also captured the first copyrighted film, “Fred Ott’s Sneeze.” In it, Fred Ott sneezes.

The decision to film a couple of kitties seems oddly prescient in the wake of today’s internet culture, where viral cat videos reign supreme. But if you’ve studied ancient Egypt even a little, you know that 1894 was hardly the beginning of our obsession with fascinating felines.

Hopefully, you’re not forcing your own cat to entertain the neighborhood with boxing matches, but are you treating her as well as you could be? Find out the best way to pet a cat here.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

15 Jokes From the World's Oldest Jokebook

Images: iStock. Collage: Lucy Quintanilla, Mental Floss.
Images: iStock. Collage: Lucy Quintanilla, Mental Floss.

The oldest recorded joke—a lowbrow Sumerian quip stating "Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap"—dates back to 1900 BCE, eking out a pharaoh wisecrack from Ancient Egypt by a solid three centuries.

But to pilfer one of the oldest jokes in the book means dusting off the Philogelos (meaning "Laughter Lover"), a Greek anthology of more than 200 jokes from the 4th or 5th century. From gags about dunces to jests at the expense of great thinkers, here are 15 jokes from the oldest existing collection of jokes, as translated by now-retired classical languages professor William Berg.

1. A student dunce goes swimming

comedians
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"A student dunce went swimming and almost drowned. So now he swears he'll never get into water until he's really learned to swim."

2. An intellectual visits a friend

ancient dancers
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"An intellectual came to check in on a friend who was seriously ill. When the man's wife said that he had 'departed,' the intellectual replied: 'When he arrives back, will you tell him that I stopped by?'"

3. The miser's will

ancient roman theater masks
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"A miser writes his will and names himself as the heir."

4. The sharp-witted spectator

ancient theater
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"A sharp wit observes a slow runner: 'I know just what that gentleman needs.' 'What's that?' demands the sponsor of the race. 'He needs a horse, otherwise, he can't outrun the competition!'"

5. The hot-headed doctor

ancient roman theater masks
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"Consulting a hotheaded doctor, a fellow says, 'Professor, I'm unable to lie down or stand up; I can't even sit down.' The doctor responds: 'I guess the only thing left is to hang yourself.'"

6. The cowardly sailor

treater rehearsal
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"A coward is asked which are safer, warships or merchant-ships. 'Dry-docked ships,' he answers."

7. The jealous landlord

ancient roman theater masks
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"An envious landlord sees how happy his tenants are. So he evicts them all."

8. The drunk barkeeper

ancient roman theater masks
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"A drunk opens a bar, and stations a chained bear outside."

9. The guy with bad breath

ancient comedian
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"A guy with bad breath decides to take his own life. So he wraps his head and asphyxiates himself."

10. The wife-hater

ancient roman theater masks
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"A wife-hater is attending the burial of his wife, who has just died. When someone asks, 'Who is it who rests in peace here?', he answers, 'Me, now that I'm rid of her!'"

11. The luckless eunuch

ancient roman theater masks
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"A luckless eunuch got himself a hernia."

12. The husband with halitosis

Roman woman holding a mask
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"A husband with bad breath asks his wife, 'My dear, why do you hate me?' She give him an answer: 'Because you kiss me.'"

13. The gluttonous gifter

ancient roman theater masks
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"A glutton is marrying his daughter off to another glutton. Asked what he's giving her as a dowry, he responds, 'She's getting a house with windows that look out onto the bakery.'"

14. Too tired to care

ancient roman theater masks
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"Two lazy-bones are fast asleep. A thief comes in, pulls the blanket from the bed, and makes off with it. One of them is aware of what happened and says to the other, 'Get up! Go after the guy who stole our blanket!' The other responds, 'Forget it. When he comes back to take the mattress, let's grab him then.'"

15. The forgetful teacher

ancient roman theater masks
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library // Public Domain

"An incompetent teacher is asked the name of Priam's mother. At a loss, he says, 'Well, we call her Ma'am out of politeness.'"

An earlier version of this story ran in 2014.

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