Are you worried about microwave dangers?
Don't freak out on me, I'm not going to suggest you totally avoid the microwave…yet. I only want you to start thinking about it more. That's how it started for me. For example, as you're popping something in there, start saying to yourself something like, “I wonder how else I could warm up my…(fill in the blank)?” Then feel free to leave a comment and ASK ME! I'm ALL about convenience in my life, so if I can do this, so can you. It's really not that big a deal. I'll tell you about ways I've gotten around using the microwave, but first you probably wonder why we don't use it anymore
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?
Well I'm not going to tell you that it's been proven to be harmful to your health, because the jury is still out on that one. And I'm not going to tell you that “it changes the whole molecular make-up of the food”, because whenever a food is cooked it is changed and less nutritious, no matter how it is heated up. (Which is why everyone should incorporate some raw foods into their diets for better nutrition, and remember, the more gently food is heated, the better.)
But what I will tell you is why we limit how much we use our microwave these days due to the possible microwave dangers:
- There are enough questions out there surrounding its safety to make me leery. Search online and you'll have plenty of reading about the free radicals and possible cancer connections. There's too much we still don't know. This site from Dr. Mercola will make you re-think the whole microwave safety issue for sure.
- Just the sound of the word “microwave” sounds very unnatural to me and makes me want to avoid it! That may sound lame to you, but I'm just being honest, the word itself puts my radar up.
- How many of you Moms out there would step away from the microwave when you were pregnant to avoid any possible harm to your baby while it was on? Well, if it is a concern for babies in the womb, don't you think it's a concern for all of us?
- The microwave always heats things up unevenly anyway, with one part over-heated and hard, and another part still cold.
- Even though food is changed and less nutritious no matter how it is heated, according to Nina Planck, in her book, Real Food, “The microwave destroys antioxidants, enzymes, and vitamins dramatically more than conventional heat.”
- I hope by now everyone knows to never use plastic in the microwave…right? But did you know there are also some concerns about toxins from paper used in a microwave, too?
- Have you ever done a taste-test with microwave popcorn and oh, I don't know… MY popcorn? No comparison! Microwave popcorn just tastes like all the fake butter and chemical preservatives that it's chock full of.
- I use our Krups Toaster Oven a LOT, and I love it. It has 5 different ways to heat (toast, broil, defrost, convection bake & bake), and the “convection bake” feature works great for warming stuff up. You pop it in, go do one thing, come back and it's done.
- Another gadget I love is my hot water dispenser. This saves a lot of time. I use it in a variety of ways: to melt a few chocolate chips I put them into a glass bowl, set that bowl in some hot water, and in 5 minutes they're melted. To thaw some blueberries for pancakes, I just run hot water over them and drain – done. Same thing for frozen peas, and then babies and toddlers will scoop them up, believe it or not. Works great for tea, obviously, or even to warm up my coffee.
- Here's a very helpful post on how to heat up foods without a microwave.
Turning the oven on or getting a saucepan out to warm up leftovers with a little water or milk in the bottom really doesn't kill you, even though I used to think it surely would. Give it a try! 🙂
BIG UPDATE about microwave dangers: Read this from Chris Kresser who says that as long as you step back while it's on, it's really not that different than other cooking methods, except for how it doesn't cook food very nicely. Hmmm, what do you think?
- Another great post on this topic: Living Without a Microwave
- Scroll down through all the past Rookie Tips (this one will come up again, just scroll past it)