Do you Microwave?
Tuesday night I was cooking some sweet potatoes in the microwave when the microwave made some loud popping noises and then started to smoke and smell really terrible. We unplugged it, let it sit, and then tried it the next day. Same thing. So that's the end for my poor little microwave.
I didn't realize exactly how much I use the microwave until I didn't have one! I usually get up and make my coffee right away. I have a little while I check my email and get ready to run. Then I microwave the rest and have it when I get back and start working. My go-to cold weather breakfast is oatmeal.... which I microwave. When it comes to lunch I usually warm up left-overs from dinner the night before .... in the microwave. Since it is freezing in my house I also usually have a cup of tea in the afternoon, which I also heat in the microwave. I usually make the main part of dinner on the stove or oven, but I frequently use to the microwave to defrost something frozen first or warm-up frozen veggies. And since I have a raging sweet tooth, I always need dessert. But to keep myself from eating an entire pan of brownies, a lot of the time I make a single serve no pudge brownie in the microwave.
So, I was feeling a little lost without my microwave and put a post of facebook asking if anyone had one I could borrow until I get a new one. I was surprised by the comments. Quite a few people told me I didn't need a microwave and they are actually bad for me and my food.
When I was little I remember my grandmother running over to shut the microwave door if I left it open because she was convinced something bad was emitted from the microwave even when it was off. But, I didn't know so many people still feel that strongly about microwaves.
So I did a little Googling.
Opinions are mixed. But I think this article from Dr. Oz's website sums it up pretty well. He breaks the issue down into 2 different questions.
Question: Are microwaves “bad” for food?
Basically, they aren't any worse than other cooking methods, and may actually be better! Most cooking methods destroy some of the antioxidant and enzyme content of food. But because microwaving has a reduced cooking time compared to other methods, it actually limits this destruction. A key is to limit the amount of water you use when cooking.
Question: Are microwaves “bad” for you?
Microwaves do emit radiation, however this is tightly regulated. And microwaves are only a small source of environmental radiation as many other devices in our lives including laptops, cell phones,and tablets also contribute. However, it is important to use microwave-safe containers, such as glass and ceramics, and to avoid plastics, metal and aluminum. Using non microwave safe plastics can leach harmful chemicals into your food. He also recommended checking your microwave to make sure it is functioning correctly and to stand several feet away while microwaving.
I will be getting a new microwave and soon (I have Thanksgiving for 15 to prepare), but I did some new things about how to use a microwave more safely.
Do you have a microwave? How often do you use it? Do you ever think about microwave safety?