Microwave use is the first truly controversial subject we’re tackling here at Kitchen Stewardship. I told you in this post that I’m starting with the foods that have only positive research going on around them. Eating more beans, yogurt, and chicken broth, getting vegetables into your diet more regularly…these are things that are no-brainers.
Every nutritionist, scientist, doctor, ETC. out there agrees on their goodness. I can get behind them. Eggs are just slightly controversial, but I firmly believe that whole eggs are good for you. I think eggs just had some bad research and/or bad press a decade or two ago, and they’re still trying to recover. There’s not actually that much controversy out there anymore.
Do Microwave Ovens Do Harm?
Microwaves are another subject entirely! You can find sources saying that microwaves zap the nutrients out of our food, people who strongly (strongly!) believe microwaves are giving us all cancer and other nasty diseases, and those who will tell you to make your microwave a plant stand. You can also find numerous articles and bits of research that say microwaves are not harmful, leak such a slight amount of radiation that they can’t possibly hurt humans, and actually preserve more nutrients in vegetables than stovetop cooking. Who are we to believe?
What to Believe?
Who would have ever guessed you needed to have faith in scientific evidence? That you would need to be a believer or not a believer about issues of nutrition? I thought my belief muscles would only get exercise in my faith life, when deciding whether or not to believe in a God I cannot see. I guess I can’t see nutrients, either, so until there’s a perfect scientist or researcher, we’re just going to have to keep praying.
My Microwave Story: Part One
I first started becoming skeptical about microwave use just this past fall. Until then, I steamed all my side vegetables for dinner in the microwave and used it a zillion times a day to reheat leftovers. My friend emailed a link to Dr. Mercola’s site to all her contacts, urging us to reconsider using the microwave. Her mother had survived cancer, and after doing her research, got rid of her microwave and convinced her children to do the same. I was intrigued. (You can view Dr. Mercola’s article here; I won’t quote from it because apparently Mercola is touchy about that.)
That same month I came across a few other sources citing the microwave as a nutrient-killer. I couldn’t figure out what to do, however, because I was pretty dependent upon the thing. I was overwhelmed. I got nervous just looking at it in my kitchen. I decided to take a Baby Step: each day, each time I wanted to use the microwave, I thought I could at least think it through, consciously, and figure out if there was another way to meet the same end without turning on the microwave. I wouldn’t stress myself out over it, but I would analyze my options.
My challenge for you is this: join me in considering microwave use. Each time you plan to open the door and push some buttons, ask yourself if you could use a pan, a pot, a teapot, a toaster oven, your big oven, a George Foreman, or eat raw food. Decide how you might be able to avoid the microwave. Then decide if you want to that time…or not. Don’t stress out about it. Just Mind the Microwave in May.
Count Your Minutes!
Challenge yourself – tally your minutes each day and see if you can beat the one before. It’s all about the baby steps.
For now, let’s consider the fact that we’ll never prove definitively that microwave use does not harm us or our food. We can be pretty sure…fairly sure…certain?…that not using the microwave won’t harm our bodies. So stick with what you know for sure, and don’t be afraid to be tentative about conflicting research.
Other Mind the Microwave Posts:
- The official invite – sign up post
- Practical Tips for Success
- Research Notes, part one
- 10 Tips for Avoiding the Microwave
- Time Management/Fewer Dishes Tips
- 13 Surprising Benefits of a Microwave Free Life
- Research Notes, part two: Radiation Danger
Looking for other Food for Thought?