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  • What do you think about microwaves?

    Do you think using a microwave to prepare food is unhealthy or dangerous?

    Many people are familiar with the story of how the microwave was invented; in 1946 a scientist noticed the chocolate bar in his pocket melted when he stood near a magnetron for a period of time. In the subsequent 65 years, they have grown in popularity and now nearly every home has one.

    My gut instinct tells me it's not good.. I do own one but use it only a few times a week. I'm reading a bit about it today and thought it was an interesting topic for discussion. So... what are your thoughts?

  • #2
    I don't have one - not particularly due to any health concerns but I'd rather just cook and prepare food without it. That said, if I ever eat out and the food has been microwaved it always tastes "wrong" to me.
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    • #3
      The problem is, I don't know. My gut instinct says the same as yours. I'm very wary of microwaves - 1946 was not exactly a shining era in knowledge of human health and physiology. I avoid microwaving if at all possible; I heat up soup in a saucepan, food in the oven. I avoid food that is designed to be microwaved. A few times a week still seems very frequent. if that's something you try to avoid.

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      • #4
        I think the biggest problem with microwaves is what most people heat up in them....pre-packaged crap and/or plastics. I don't have any worry about nuking my egg every morning or re-heating leftovers.

        I did a class on microwaves in college--30 years ago--and the professor said there was no way he'd ever "let his wife buy a microwave". I've often wondered if his stance changed over time.
        Liz.

        Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
        Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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        • #5
          I use my microwave just to cook veggies such as frozen broccoli and cauliflower. Other than that, I don't find that the microwave works well to evenly cook or heat food.

          However, as far as a health concern, there have been numerous studies from what I understand that have concluded that food that is cooked in a microwave is still the same from a molecular and nutritional standpoint as food that is cooked by other methods.

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          • #6
            Though we don't use it as much as we used to (in general, I'm just not a big fan of reheated leftovers), the only meaningful cooking application I find it useful for is steaming.

            My old Betty Crocker book still has guidelines for cooking things via microwave, because they'd just come out and gee gosh golly look what they can do! We're talking roasts, whole chickens...pretty much everything. Mmm. Gray meat!

            I don't even use it for heating water for tea anymore. We bought a Keurig back in March, and it spits out hot water like it ain't no thang. But even pre-Keurig, I used my electric kettle for all hot water applications. I'm old new-fashioned like that.

            And now that I really, really think about it...even when I used to eat frozen meals, I always tried to do them in the toaster oven if I had the time and the patience. They just taste better.

            So to summarize: steaming and occasional reheating. That's what it's good for.
            Steph
            My Primal Meanderings

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            • #7
              i dont use one either. a vegan friend of mine told me that are bad. i know there is more evidence showing they are bad rather than being good. i found this online and it supports everything i have ever heard. i have attached the link. everyone here knows about my primal results, the first thing i did in feb of 2010 was throw my microwave away. i heat everything up on the stove or eat it cold!!!!

              jesus i hope this turns into a popular thread! i will pray! ;o)

              __________________________________________________ _______________________________

              For years the argument has been going on… is the microwave safe? Being invented in 1946 the microwave became an instant classic around north America and soon the world for its fast and convenient cooking methods. But was it doing more harm than good? Did anyone ever look into it? Did anyone care? Well I did some digging and research and came up with a few important facts everyone should know.


              Microwaves kill nutrients and proteins
              In a recent study it was found that using the microwave to cook vegetables you were losing up to 98% of the veggies nutrients (especially if you had any water in with them ). The microwaves radiation goes into the vegetables and destroys all but a tiny amount of the plants essential and natural nutrients that your body uses to fight disease, gain energy, replenish cells and more. Whats the fix?

              You need to stop using the microwave to cook veggies and start to steam them, this is the second best way to get all the nutrients and health rewards from eating green. The first would be to eat them raw as you should for a few snacks per week.

              It was also found that re-heating meat such as steak or hamburgers that the microwave actually destroyed all the animal protein that the meal would have to offer if you didn’t use the zapper. The best way to re-heat your meat is just wrapping it up in tin foil and putting it back into the oven for a few minutes before you serve it.

              Older microwaves have been known to leak radiation
              After a while just like most things you purchase in life, the consumer product takes a toll and begins to wear and tear. This is no different from your microwave, and just thinking about some of my friends houses and seeing they still use a microwave that had to be made in the 1970’s makes me sick to my stomach. Microwaves use radiation to re-heat the food and an astonishing amount of microwaves have been know to leak and expose people to EMF’s ( electromagnetic fields ).

              Is The Microwave Safe?

              i went primal in feb 2010
              200lbs
              37% body fat
              38-40 waist

              1 year to the day
              140lbs
              7.8% body fat
              29 waist

              currently
              137lbs
              7% body fat
              29 waist

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              • #8
                I've been told all my life to avoid microwave cooking because it destroys vitamins and nutrients in the food, but more recent research indicates that it could be quite the opposite. Possibly even the most optimal form of cooking?...
                Microwave Cooking | Perfect Health Diet

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                • #9
                  dear microwave,

                  you keep my food warm, i eat it so quickly, in the oven it takes forever. thank you for the waves, microwave.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hunt3R View Post
                    I've been told all my life to avoid microwave cooking because it destroys vitamins and nutrients in the food, but more recent research indicates that it could be quite the opposite. Possibly even the most optimal form of cooking?...
                    Microwave Cooking | Perfect Health Diet
                    not personal but i will never beleive it. never! no way! there is nothing natural about a microwave.

                    i went primal in feb 2010
                    200lbs
                    37% body fat
                    38-40 waist

                    1 year to the day
                    140lbs
                    7.8% body fat
                    29 waist

                    currently
                    137lbs
                    7% body fat
                    29 waist

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't think they are dangerous, just useless. Even when I owned one I didn't use it. I think I used it to melt butter once... Nothing tastes right cooked in a microwave and using it to defrost meat just makes the edges nasty.

                      Oh, putting marshmallows in one it cool, there's a use for one after all ;>

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                      • #12
                        I think it's interesting to note what onalark said: gray meat. Surely anything that turns our meat gray isn't healthy!

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                        • #13
                          I don't think microwaves are at all dangerous. However, they are usually used incorrectly or are simply the wrong tool for the job.

                          Will they break down nutrients in vegetables? Yes! COOKING tends to do that. Steaming is considered better usually because you are less likely to overcook that way. If you do, though, steaming can also yield mushy, nutrient deficient veggies.

                          Will microwaves make meat turn grey? Yes! That's overcooking to the point the meat is "well done". Ick. Of course, external application of heat greys meat from the outside in while microwaves penetrate into the food so as to grey it more uniformly. Microwaves are not bad for you in this way -- they just aren't a good tool for making meat tasty.

                          Radiation leaks ARE possible. Of course, microwaves heat by imparting energy to water molecules (the heated water is what actually cooks the food), so if there is much of a leak you should feel it since it would heat your hand when placed near the leak. If you have a 20 year old microwave or the door is loose I'd recommend replacing it. Otherwise... not much of a risk.

                          On the PLUS side, you are much less likely when using a microwave to create charring in your food (yum... tasty, tasty charring). Charring food can create carcinogenic compounds. Eating carcinogens? Not so good. You may also be able to eat food thoroughly without overheating the exterior and causing loss of nutrients due to overcooking.

                          On balance, it's like so many things. Microwaving food isn't all good or all bad. It just is what it is. Sometimes it's a good tool, sometimes it isn't.
                          Life is short: Void the warranty.

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                          • #14
                            I'm not too worried about it. If I'm at home, I'd rather reheat something in a skillet or the oven. I don't have that option at work. I just make sure I pack things that are good nuked.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chasintrail View Post

                              Oh, putting marshmallows in one it cool, there's a use for one after all ;>
                              It's the only good use I've found for Peeps.

                              Probably 95% of what I use them for is to reheat. 5% for cooking and that's mostly steaming veggies.
                              "Sometimes, you need to make sure the angel on your shoulder has a wingman." -Me

                              My primal log

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