Say no to Nukes!

Microwaves have been a staple in American homes for decades. Most people have a hard time imagining their life without one and very few people think twice before popping an entire meal into the microwave for a quick cook or re-heat. But let’s consider for a moment some things we all know about microwaves and what the facts imply.

For one thing, food tastes different when it’s cooked in the microwave. Now you might say to me, food tastes different on the grill than it does in the oven. But, you know the difference I’m talking about. Cheese gets rubbery. Bread gets chewy. Have your kids ever put marshmallows in the microwave? (I’m not condoning eating marshmallows here, especially not nuked.) The candy will explode to 10 times its original size.  So, why is it that food cooked to the same temperature over a flame comes out so different from the same food cooked in a microwave? Because it is different, literally. The job of a microwave is to heat up your food quickly by using electromagnetic current that pulls at the electrons in your food. When the electrons in your food move they change the actual makeup of your food at the molecular level. I know that sounds complicated, but think back to 9th grade science if you can and it will make sense. Putting your food in the microwave is like the ultimate magic trick. It goes into the box as one thing and comes out a totally different thing even though it may look the same. Why does it matter? Because those changed molecules are what make up the vitamins and minerals in your food. Cooking your let’s say broccoli in the microwave (especially on a high setting) is about as nutritious as boiling it until it’s barely green.

At this point you might be thinking that there are plenty of instances you could use the microwave where nutritional value won’t matter. Heating water for tea or reheating your coffee. Well not only is the quality of that beverage  questionable, but (and this is strictly for the mothers out there) ladies do you remember when you were pregnant being told not to stand in front of the microwave? That’s because even though the doors of most microwave ovens are thick some of the micro-waves escape. Studies have been done in many homes that rely heavily on their microwaves. In houses where the appliance was kept at waist level there were higher cases of prostate and uterine tumors, chest level: breast tumors etc. Those electromagnetic waves don’t just work when they’re inside the box.

There’s a reason that microwave ovens are significantly less popular in other parts of the world. In Russia they were banned as far back as 1976. So here’s are some tips. Use a tea kettle. If you only fill it with as much water as you need you not only save energy, but you also cut back the time. Keep your coffee in a travel mug. The lid and insulation will keep it warm for much longer. Heat your leftovers in a skillet. Takes hardly any more time than the microwave and boy will they taste better. And steam your vegetables stove top. If time is that big of an issue for you, cook them the same amount of time you’d microwave them for. They’ll be packed with vitamins that way! So you might ask, Vicky, do you have a microwave! I do, but only because my sons caught me trying to remove it from the wall myself and pleaded with me to leave it. So there it sits, unused. I’m not saying toss the thing, I’m just saying when possible: say no to the nuker!

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