File this under things that should have been obvious but were not: Chinese takeout boxes can be teased apart and turned into a handy platter. That's right up there with "ketchup fanning," the practice of deforming your paper ketchup container so as to accommodate a larger volume of ketchup and to facilitate the dipping of fries.
Of course this process isn't perfect. It should go without saying that it will not be much use in the case of dishes with a great deal of sauce. It's also fairly obvious that most of us are more than capable of navigating an intact box of takeout with chopsticks and a little manual dexterity. That said, this would be perfect for sharing takeout without having to dirty and actual dishes. What's more the box is still usable as box, you just have to refold it carefully and tuck the flaps tightly.
The plate/bowl as origami isn't exactly new though. Several companies have produced just such devices for backpackers. Of course their process follows a reverse line of thinking. You fold yourself a bowl to eat your meal then unfold it for easy cleaning and space saving storage.
So the question remains, what other simple food hacks are out there that remain undiscovered? What other exercises in lateral thinking remain undone? How else can we make the process of shoveling fast food into our mouths even easier?
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.