Almost every home and office nowadays has a microwave. They are one of the fastest and most convenient ways to reheat food, and sometimes even to cook food from scratch, but they also get a bad reputation for emitting radiation and potentially being a source of harmful carcinogens. Today, we are debunking the myths and telling you, once and for all, if you should get rid of the microwave or not.
How do microwave ovens work? They cook and heat food by using short waves of energy,causing molecules within the food to microwave and quickly build up heat energy.
Some people are often worried that nutrients can get lost from food during microwaving. The truth is, unfortunately any cooking method causes loss of vitamins, minerals, and other useful compounds. Microwaving will actually retain more water soluble vitamins than boiling. Similarly, long exposure to heat decreases the nutritional value of most foods, and this is why some studies show that more nutrients are lost via oven baking of vegetables than from microwaving them. Microwave cooking meets both criteria for preserving vitamins and minerals, short exposure to heat and little liquid use. Consequently, there is no validity to microwaving killing off your vitamins and minerals. It is actually one of the best ways to retain as many micronutrients as possible.
Although the concept of microwaving foods in itself is safe, some foods are safer than others when microwaved. It’s important to note that microwaves heat food unevenly. For example, an area of food that has more water will get heated quicker than a drier area of food. This can be crucial in terms of food safety. Use the pointers below to prevent any food-borne illnesses.
- Cover foods with a microwave lid to hold in moisture to make sure food is heated more evenly.
- Always cook or heat larger pieces of meat on medium for a longer time, rather than high for a shorter time, to ensure the meat is fully cooked all the way through.
- It is usually a good idea to stop the microwave and stir food halfway through the cooking time.
- Never microwave food while it is wrapped in cling film, it can melt and release harmful chemicals into the food.
In short, microwaves don’t make your food radioactive. As long as you follow the instructions for use, microwaves are as safe as any other cooking method.