I never touched this hoax because I always thought people would be able to see how implausible this story is. Yet, this story (or its many iterations) keeps circulating back to my mailbox. Take a look at the latest version to arrive. Then let's bust this stupid myth once and for all! First, let's start with the logic of the story... or the lack thereof. 1. Why would anyone melt plastic straws or bottles in their frying oil in public??? Even if a hawker is so greedy for that edge over his competitor, would he/she be so stupid as to do it so openly? 2. Even if there's someone that stupid (and the story has at least two idiots of that caliber), why would anyone buy anything from them? Are we that stupid as to continue to buy from such hawkers if we can see them doing such a thing? 3. More importantly, why didn't the writer (who seemed oh so concerned about our well-being) report the hawker to the authorities? Why didn't anyone else for the matter? 4. We all know how plastic stinks when you burn or melt them. Logically, any food cooked in such oil would stink. I cannot imagine anyone who would buy such food or even come close to such a hawker! 5. We have all been to so many night and morning markets and purchased fried bananas and all sorts of fritters from such vendors all our lives. HAVE ANYONE OF YOU EVER SEEN SUCH A THING??? I'll bet NONE of you have ever seen it. Yet, the writer and his uncle have personally seen TWO vendors doing it. Coincidence? I think NOT! Okay, maybe I'm an incorrigible skeptic. Let's look at the science then. 1. Plastic bottles are made of PET (Polyethylene terephthalate), that melts at above 250 degress Celcius. The de facto frying oil in Malaysia is palm oil, which has a smoking point of just 235 degrees Celcius. That means the frying oil will break down and start smoking BEFORE the plastic bottle even begins to melt! 2. The only cooking oils that are stable enough above 250 degrees Celcius are refined safflower oil and avocado oil. These are the oils that are remotely capable of melting plastic bottles. Needless to say, they are both much harder to find and A LOT more expensive than palm oil. How much does a fried banana cost? RM 0.70 (US 22 cents)? 3. Even if you go to all the trouble and expense of actually melting the bottles in safflower/avocado oil, and successfully coat a banana in molten plastic, you will end up with a pretty inedible plastic-coated banana. The plastic coat will be hard to chew on. Try chewing on a plastic bag. If that's not much fun, then you can imagine how it feels to chew on a plastic-coated banana. You will probably feel like you are chewing on a soft dildo... 4. Plastic-coated food items will be easy to spot. They will be waterproof and will not spoil. If applied to small food items like ikan bilis (anchovies), they will actually pass through your GI system and exit in your stool in pristine condition! 5. More importantly, plastic cannot be absorbed or digested by our body... so it will pass through our GI system. The only danger of swallowing plastic is that it may cause GI obstruction. That's why turtles die when they chew on plastic bags... so stop using so many plastic bags and STOP throwing them into the sea!!! To sum it up, this is YET ANOTHER hoax. Yes, people, IT IS NOT TRUE. I hope that everyone will forward this rebuttal of this stupid hoax, instead of forwarding the actual hoax. It's time to stop this stupidity. If you still persist in not using common sense, then let me leave you with a "tip". If you are worried about eating plastic-coated food and yet, cannot pass up on such delicacies, well, there's a simple test - leave the food for 15 minutes or so, and see if it softens. If you cannot wait, then just dunk a part of it in water and see if it absorbs or repels water. But seriously - STOP FORWARDING THIS STUPID HOAX ALREADY!!!!