What is the most used appliance in the kitchen? Right, the microwave oven! But is it the right choice for us?
Best Thing Since Sliced Bread!
A person would be hard-pressed today to find a kitchen without a microwave oven in it! Most kitchens today have microwave ovens proudly displayed with the rest of the appliances. The first kitchen appliance my boys learned how to use was a microwave oven, besides the refrigerator that is. The two work together, a microwave and food!
When invented, our beloved microwave oven was first called a Radar Range. It was invented by accident as a matter of fact, in 1946 by an engineer named Dr Percy Spencer. At the time Dr Spencer was working for Raytheon Manufacturing Company. He was one of the company s most valued engineers and was working on a project improving radar technology for Allied forces. While working on a unit called a magnetron, which is the tube that makes the microwave work, he had a chocolate bar in his pocket and after the test was done he found his bar had melted. This piqued his curiosity so he tried popcorn and a raw egg next and now look what we have!
The accidental start of something that would change the way we cook forever, the radar range. Here’s an interesting fact: The first microwave oven, or radar range as it wall called then, was nearly 6 foot in height and weighed a whopping 750lbs. They’ve come a long way since then! Just go check out your kitchen, what’s the size of your microwave oven?
Are Microwave Ovens Dangerous?
That is the question of the decade and it seems opinions are easy to find! Let’s start with how a microwave works. I am in no way a scientist nor do I have Dr. in front of my name, but I do read a lot and have a bit of common sense.
The concept behind the microwave oven, as I understand it, is it uses the above mentioned megatron to generate microwaves that target and send heat energy to water in food. That’s why veggies will heat up quicker than a denser food with less water. It’s also a myth that food cooked in a microwave heats from the inside out. The water targeted by the microwaves is through-out the food being cooked so the microwaves are targeting through-out the food also. Have you ever noticed that food may be hotter in certain parts of microwave cooked food? That’s because the distribution of water in food is not consistent and where there’s a higher concentration of water the food will cook more.
Many people have questioned the safety of using microwaves to cook. A microwave oven uses a very low amount of radiation to make the megatron do its thing. About as much as emitted by a television or cellular phone, but enough to concern many people!
After checking on this, I have come across reports and opinions either way. They either feel there are no safety issues at all, IE: FDA, Harvard Health, WebMd among others. OR, its the worst invention ever and if you eat food cooked in a microwave over you’ll surely die! IE: The Paleo Mom, Dr Mercola, The Natural Society, to name a few.
Microwave ovens cook with microwaves which use a very low dose of radiation to work. One side claims that the levels of radiation is equivalent to feeling the sun on your face while the other side feel the microwaves are actually destroying the nutrients in our food, and the radiation used, although small amounts, will accumulate in our bodies over time thus becoming a health issue.
If you are not, I’m confused enough for the both of us! On one side a microwave oven is a healthier way of cooking because it cooks so quickly that fewer nutrients are lost during the cooking process thus it must be healthier. That makes perfect sense to me, but I can also understand the hazards. Other things to keep in mind would be what are you cooking you food on, is it wrapped in plastic? Both of these could be possible causes of cancers and this is the one safety issue that both sides can agree upon.
A person could get as deep into this issue as they would want, but it all comes down to what’s your opinion? I can say for me, I’m not going to stop using my microwave oven. I do believe that it has harmful effects on food and I also believe that it emits small amounts of radiation, but I think my television and cellular phone do also! I have been using my microwave oven less after researching this article! If I’m not in a hurry I’ll melt the butter and steam the broccoli on the stove top instead. Little steps can make for a big jump some day!
Thank you for taking the time to read my article, I hope you gained something and ask to share your opinion with me!