Microwaves like many other modern day things make our lives easier – they can defrost frozen foods, reheat leftovers or even cook entire meals in a matter of minutes. But this convenience comes at a cost – your health. There are several reasons why microwaves are not so great – and that is why I no longer have one in my house.
Most of us have never bothered to learn how microwaves actually work – Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation. Waves of electrical and magnetic energy moving together through space – they bounce around the inside of your oven and are absorbed by the food you put in it. It basically causes the water molecules of food to resonate at very high frequencies which eventually turn into steam which heats your food. While this can rapidly heat the food, it also causes a change in your food’s chemical structure. Russian investigators found that carcinogens were formed from the microwaving of nearly all foods tested – A carcinogen is a substance that is capable of causing cancer in humans or animals.
Microwaves zap away foods nutrients – A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that broccoli “zapped” in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97 percent of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11 percent or fewer of its antioxidants.
Mums take note – another study about breast milk/infant formula by Lee in 1989 found vitamin content becomes depleted by microwaving, and certain amino acids are converted into other substances that are biologically inactive. Some altered amino acids are poisons to the nervous system and kidneys. Do you want your children drinking milk that was microwaved?
Possible radiation leakage – newer modern microwaves now go through rigorous testing but all microwaves do still release small amounts of radiation. So if you chose to use one I suggest staying well away from it while it is in use.
Potentially not as serious but also important to mention – is the uneven heating that occurs from microwaving. I am sure that you have burnt your tongue or lips on food or drinks that you have microwaved. This could be far more severe for infants or young children.
So in wrapping up – the convenience of microwaves does have a major downside. Changing the chemical structure of foods, zapping out the nutrients, leaking small amounts of radiation and the uneven heating can cause burns to lips, tongue and mouth. I decided to get rid of my microwave – I suggest you do the same if not minimise the amount you use this device.
Tips for life without a microwave:
Be organised and take out foods to defrost the night before. Alternatively you can place the freezer bag into a bowl of water (may take around 90mins).
Toaster ovens or traditional ovens can still reheat foods – not as quickly but within 15mins or so
Steaming vegetables only takes around 7mins and doesn’t lose to many of the foods nutrients
Heat milk and liquids the old fashioned way – in a pot or kettle.