They can pop corn in a jiffy and reheat last night’s dinner faster than you say “lazy ass.”
Just a quick zap and you’ve got yourself a hot meal, baby. But as it turns out, your favorite kitchen shortcut may have a hidden agenda.
What your microwave isn’t telling you
Microwaves have dominated our kitchens since 1967 and more than 90 percent of Americans have one in their homes. But microwaves are also a form of electromagnetic energy that produce radiation. (You know, the same stuff in atomic bombs.) This radiation has been known to decay and change the molecular structure of naturally occurring amino acids in food.
What does this mean for your food?
Conclusions from studies are pretty clear: Microwave ovens actually change the nutrients, minerals and vitamins in food to produce radiolytic compounds – new chemicals that are created by the screwing around of the old ones. In one of the most integral studies completed on microwave ovens, Swiss scientist Hans Hertel found that microwaved foods did a number on our blood and physiology. In his study, participants who ate food cooked in a microwave oven experienced a decrease in hemoglobin levels, and an increase in white blood cell count and cholesterol levels.
The Dangers of the Hotbox
- Turns some minerals into cancerous agents and can cause tumors in the stomach or intestines (Though there’s no solid evidence that microwaves cause cancer, contrary to popular belief)
- Can cause decreased immune system function
- Can cause memory loss and emotional problems associated with mental problems
- Slows down hormone production
Microwaves are Considered Unsafe for Baby Milk
Although microwaves heat food quickly, they aren’t recommended for heating a baby’s bottle (or that sippy cup your friends make you use when you drink wine, klutz). Heating formula in a bottle causes the loss of vitamins and essential nutrients. In breast milk, some of the protective properties and nutrients are also destroyed. Warming a bottle by holding it under warm water or setting in a bowl of heated water may take a few minutes more, but it is much safer and beneficial to your baby.
What Can You Do?
This doesn’t mean you need to eat cold food for the rest of your days. Use convection ovens, your stove or oven to heat and reheat your meals. They’re safer because they heat by circulating hot air and heat to raise the temperature.
Let’s be real – there will be times when you’re in a hurry. Just cut down on your microwave time if you’re not ready to toss it altogether. It could also make a great spot to stash your mail.