The invention provides a distribution and heating method for foodstuffs and an inexpensive disposable microwave shipping, heating and serving package for food composed of a paperboard carton and a lossy microwave energy absorber which becomes hot when exposed to microwave radiation. The absorber is associated in conductive heat transfer relationship with a food product contained in the package and is usually bonded to a structural supporting sheet such as aluminum foil. The package also includes a shield e.g., a metal foil sheet adapted to reduce by a controlled amount the direct transmission of microwave energy into the food product. The shield may have holes of a selected size to provide a predetermined controlled amount of direct microwave energy to the food product or can be a nonperforated sheet or screen. The absorber heats the adjacent surface of the food by conduction to a sufficiently high temperature to provide searing or browning while controlled microwave exposure heats the inside. The thickness of the absorber is substantially in the range wherein absorber thickness and temperature response are positively correlated.