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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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8 Great Gifts for People Who Work From Home

World Market/Amazon
World Market/Amazon

A growing share of Americans work from home, and while that might seem blissful to some, it's not always easy to live, eat, and work in the same space. So, if you have co-workers and friends who are living the WFH lifestyle, here are some products that will make their life away from their cubicle a little easier.

1. Folding Book Stand; $7

Hatisan / Amazon

Useful for anyone who works with books or documents, this thick wire frame is strong enough for heavier textbooks or tablets. Best of all, it folds down flat, so they can slip it into their backpack or laptop case and take it out at the library or wherever they need it. The stand does double-duty in the kitchen as a cookbook holder, too.

Buy It: Amazon

2. Duraflame Electric Fireplace; $179

Duraflame / Amazon

Nothing says cozy like a fireplace, but not everyone is so blessed—or has the energy to keep a fire going during the work day. This Duraflame electric fireplace can help keep a workspace warm by providing up to 1000 square feet of comfortable heat, and has adjustable brightness and speed settings. They can even operate it without heat if they just crave the ambiance of an old-school gentleman's study (leather-top desk and shelves full of arcane books cost extra).

Buy It: Amazon

3. World Explorer Coffee Sampler; $32

UncommonGoods

Making sure they've got enough coffee to match their workload is a must, and if they're willing to experiment with their java a bit, the World Explorer’s Coffee Sampler allows them to make up to 32 cups using beans from all over the world. Inside the box are four bags with four different flavor profiles, like balanced, a light-medium roast with fruity notes; bold, a medium-dark roast with notes of cocoa; classic, which has notes of nuts; and fruity, coming in with notes of floral.

Buy it: UncommonGoods

4. Lavender and Lemon Beeswax Candle; $20

Amazon

People who work at home all day, especially in a smaller space, often struggle to "turn off" at the end of the day. One way to unwind and signal that work is done is to light a candle. Burning beeswax candles helps clean the air, and essential oils are a better health bet than artificial fragrances. Lavender is especially relaxing. (Just use caution around essential-oil-scented products and pets.)

Buy It: Amazon

5. HÄNS Swipe-Clean; $15

HÄNS / Amazon

If they're carting their laptop and phone from the coffee shop to meetings to the co-working space, the gadgets are going to get gross—fast. HÄNS Swipe is a dual-sided device that cleans on one side and polishes on the other, and it's a great solution for keeping germs at bay. It's also nicely portable, since there's nothing to spill. Plus, it's refillable, and the polishing cloth is washable and re-wrappable, making it a much more sustainable solution than individually wrapped wipes.

Buy It: Amazon

6. Laptop Side Table; $100

World Market

Sometimes they don't want to be stuck at a desk all day long. This industrial-chic side table can act as a laptop table, too, with room for a computer, coffee, notes, and more. It also works as a TV table—not that they would ever watch TV during work hours.

Buy It: World Market

7. Moleskine Classic Notebook; $17

Moleskin / Amazon

Plenty of people who work from home (well, plenty of people in general) find paper journals and planners essential, whether they're used for bullet journaling, time-blocking, or just writing good old-fashioned to-do lists. However they organize their lives, there's a journal out there that's perfect, but for starters it's hard to top a good Moleskin. These are available dotted (the bullet journal fave), plain, ruled, or squared, and in a variety of colors. (They can find other supply ideas for bullet journaling here.)

Buy It: Amazon

8. Nexstand Laptop Stand; $39

Nexstand / Amazon

For the person who works from home and is on the taller side, this portable laptop stand is a back-saver. It folds down flat so it can be tossed into the bag and taken to the coffee shop or co-working spot, where it often generates an admiring comment or three. It works best alongside a portable external keyboard and mouse.

Buy It: Amazon

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The Longest Movie Ever Made Would Take You More Than 35 Days to Watch Straight Through

Nishant Kirar, Unsplash
Nishant Kirar, Unsplash

A typical movie lasts between 90 minutes and two hours, and for some viewers, any film that exceeds that window is "long." But the longest film you've ever seen likely has nothing on Logistics—a record-breaking project released in Sweden in 2012. Clocking in at a total runtime of 35 days and 17 hours, Logistics is by far the longest movie ever made.

Logistics isn't your standard Hollywood epic. Conceived and directed by Swedish filmmakers Erika Magnusson and Daniel Andersson, it's an experimental film that lacks any conventional structure. The concept started with the question: Where do all the gadgets come from? Magnusson and Andersson attempted to answer that question by following the life cycle of a pedometer.

The story begins at a store in Stockholm, where the item is sold, then moves backwards to chronicle its journey to consumers. Logistics takes viewers on a truck, a freight train, a massive container ship, and finally to a factory in China's Bao'an district. The trip unfolds in real time, so audiences get an accurate sense of the time and distance required to deliver gadgets to the people who use them on the other side of the world.

Many people would have trouble sitting through some of the longest conventional films in history. Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996) lasts 242 minutes, and Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Cleopatra (1963) is a whopping 248 minutes long. But sitting down to watch all 857 hours of Logistics straight through is nearly physically impossible.

Fortunately, it's not the only way to enjoy this work of art. On the project's website, Logistics has been broken down into short, two-minute clips—one for each day of the journey. You can watch the abridged version of the epic experiment here.