Food

Contrary to Popular Belief, Microwaving Food is NOT Bad for You!

Intentional Living, Mindful Living

Intentional Living, Mindful Living

Contrary to Popular Belief,

Microwaving Food is NOT Bad for You!

There is such a scare about microwaving food.  I have friends who do not use the Microwave because they are scared the radiation will harm their food and somehow do irreparable damage to them.  When I was at work, I had a co-worker’s young child tell me how awful  heating my lunch up in the microwave was.  This little person kinda treated me like I was making a really bad health decision.  So I decided to investigate.

Popular Beliefs about Microwaving Food

Is Microwaving food bad?

  • I hear from some of my clients and a few of my friends that they don’t microwave because “nuking”your food destroys the nutrients inside.
  • Others live in fear that being by  microwave radiation is harmful to their health.
  • Some even say, it’s not natural, therefore shouldn’t be done

These are all fears which are no longer supported by science.  Microwaves have changed so much since their inception in the 1960’s.  There are much more safety regulation over microwave radiation that  zapping your left overs is NIOT going to harm you.

The Science of Microwaving Food

Will Microwaving Food Destroy Nutrients?

Microwaving food is NOT bad for you

Microwave oven

Microwaving Food is NOT Harmful to Your Health

The scientific fact is:  Microwaving food takes no more nutrients out of the food than cooking it other ways.  The research is bountiful:  Boiling and steaming also leach out vitamin and minerals. Actually, boiling leaches out more vitamins than microwaving.  Steaming over a burner or steaming in the microwave removes about the same amount of nutrients.   So nuking is no worse than steaming and boiling.

But what about that nasty radiation?  Unless you are still using an early (1970) microwave, the design and construction of them have vastly improved, even over the past 10 years!  If your microwave is properly maintained and you don’t have your nose up to the glass looking at your food simmer, you are in no harm of any extra radiation.

The way microwaving food works:

Cooking Food in Microwave

I find this interesting:  There are water molecules in food.  These water molecules rotate rapidly when being microwaved.  This rapid water molecule rotation  creates molecular friction ad your food heat up. This causes the molecular structure in your food to change and nutrients to be lost.  But REMEMBER the molecular structure when heating food by steaming, boiling, or camp fire also changes, hence vitamins and minerals are leached out.

What are Safe Microwaving Containers?

However, you might want to consider your container when microwaving food.

“[Plastic] contains chemicals that may leach into food when it’s heated,” says Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., a scientist with the Environmental Working Group, a health-research organization. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed that plastics labeled “microwave-safe” are suitable for microwave use. “No studies have shown short- or long-term health consequences from heating microwave-safe plastics,” says Michael Herndon, an FDA spokesman.

So to Nuke in plastic or not to Nuke?  The Jury is still out.  I  prefer a non-plastic (glass) container.  Better to be safe and it is not an inconvenience.

Whatever you do; DO NOT microwave in cold tub containers

1. Margarine containers

2.  Yogurt tubs

3.  Cottage cheese tubs

4.  Those handy dandy one use plastic containers

Is Microwaving Food Safe?

So, would I cook a 4-course meal in the microwave?  Probably not but I am pretty comfortable I will be no more unhealthy than my counterparts even though I will continue to heat up my left overs  in the microwave oven!

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