A few months ago, we got rid of our microwave. I was convinced that I couldn’t live without it, so I moved it to the basement. Turns out, I haven’t missed it a bit.
Many of my favorite food and nutrition bloggers are very against using a microwave to cook foods, and the Weston A Price Foundation recommends against it, since it was never used any traditional societies.
However, I’m having a really hard time finding solid scientific evidence that says, without a doubt, that microwaving food causes real, immediate harm. But! BUT! It all depends on how you look at it.
What is true: microwaving food in plastic containers causes the plastic to release toxic chemicals into the food. Also, from one of the more reliable sources I was able to find, scientists don’t all agree on how microwaves actually heat food. There’s also the issue of “popcorn lung,” i.e. highly processed foods specifically made to be microwaved that release airborne chemicals.
Additionally, as everyone knows, microwaves heat food really unevenly and therefore should not be used to cook raw meat or heat up baby bottles, and — let’s face it — microwaved food often just doesn’t taste as good.
What may or may not be true: microwaving food causes cancer, fibromyalgia, and host of other major human diseases. (Here’s a fairly typical article.)
Even if the more extreme assertions aren’t true, what I’ve read was enough to convince me that it’s probably not worth it. Additionally, microwaving food is kinda antithetical to the entire slow foods frame-of-mind — if you want to eat something but are feeling too lazy to cook it properly, maybe you’re not really hungry to begin with!
Our microwave occupied a large part of our kitchen counter. We got rid of it, put a toaster oven in its place, and haven’t looked back. Look how much counter space we freed up!
I’ll be honest: I still use the microwave at work to heat up my soup lunches. (Hey! I’m not perfect!)
Do you feel strongly about microwaves? Know about some really great scientific evidence that they’re dangerous or that they’re safe? Post it in the comments! Seriously. I’m interested in figuring all this stuff out, and I want to take an even-handed approach and investigate multiple sources.